Traveling with Kids

It is a big event when you move out of your house with kids, and if you are planning to go on a summer vacation with them, there are a number of things you should know to make it all go more smoothly. Even if you plan to live a nomadic life with kids there are things that just make life easier.
So, here are some tips that can help in easing your worries. Your mileage may vary but these are some things we have found to be pretty helpful.

Go slow
Well, you have kids, and with children comes a few more worries than just traveling alone. It is important to be realistic about what your children can and can't handle.  If your toddler needs a nap at home that won't be any different on the road and if you push against it with a super full itinerary you may all pay the price.  

We have found that even though our children are not toddlers anymore the slower we travel the better.  It gives us all more down time, time to research the next move, and a better understanding of any given area we are traveling to.  So try to move slowly and allow for plenty of time to relax and just experience the culture around you.

Include the whole family in decision making
Share your ideas with your family members and shortlist spots you should visit while on a vacation. I have found, to ease tension of leaving behind the familiar, it is super helpful to keep kids involved in the planning process and to let them take the lead on what they want to do and see.  Here, it is important to include budget talks and expectations as not every dream can be made possible on every trip. 

If everyone has some say in how the vacation, trip, or lifestyle will go we have found it is a much more pleasurable experience for everyone.

Everyone wants to save money while traveling. So if you can avoid peak season traveling or holiday periods you can usually save big on flights and accommodation. Even food can be less expensive when traveling in the off season and you won't have lines of tourists to wait through.

At the same time, if you can subscribe for alerts, it will help you book combo packages for air tickets and hotel bookings. Additionally, there are coupons available for Expedia and similar sites that can help you get an additional discount on your bookings.

Remember, your budget does not only need to include airfare and hotel bookings, but even entertainment, souvenirs, and other unexpected expenses. This can increase the amount of money you need significantly.  So, be sure to set a realistic budget that can accommodate all of these expenses. You don't want to be left short on cash the last few days of your trip.

Choosing a hotel
While choosing a hotel, it is important to choose a kid-friendly location. A kid-friendly location should have food outlets, local attractions, park, beach and other important spots in proximity. This will help you save time and efforts and keep your kids entertained. After years of traveling we have learned that amenities and location are the most important things in choosing a hotel.  Especially if you decide to travel slowly it is so helpful to have amenities right where you are for that much needed down time.

Capturing the experience
Moving around with your family, it is time to create and capture memories. Kids love to click pictures too! So, carry a camera that can capture decent pictures and think about carrying a smaller camera so the kids can take turns capturing the experiences you are having.  Some of the pics my kids have taken have turned out to be our favorites!

You can even carry a journal for your children if they are interested in writing. Encourage them to list and draw things they see, experience or eat.  Scrapbooks are also a possibility although that may be best to wait until you return to start working on.

Apart from this, what have you planned for your travel with kids? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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