Five Top Travel Tips for Families
Heading off on some family adventures this summer vacation? We’ve got you covered with some simple ideas that will help make your holiday all the more fun, rejuvenating and memorable!
It may sound cliched but the ultimate key to a truly restful and happy holiday is some detailed planning beforehand. Set aside specific time to pack all your essentials and use a list to ensure you do not forget anything. Include all family members in the process so that you don’t end up on a paradise island only to realise someone forgot to pack their swimsuit! Using a packing list will also help you pack lighter which will leave you more space to bring back some special knick knacks from your travels.
Make sure all your transportation, accommodation and tour bookings are in order and carry all your important documents together in one folder or bag for easy access. Remember to carry photocopies of passports and tickets just in case of loss of the originals.
If you’re the more modern traveler and only carry soft copies of tickets and booking vouchers, be sure to leverage technology the right way and store scans of important documents in your email as well as internal storage of your phone or tablet. Load up your devices with your preferred entertainment, especially if you have young children who can easily feel restless on long flights, trains or road trips. Don’t forget to carry your earphones!
A pro tip is load your device with white noise audio (sounds of waves, rain, etc.) that can promote peaceful sleep at night, particularly for children. White noise drowns out other sounds that could potentially disturb them, so give this a try if your kids have trouble falling asleep in unfamiliar places.
Bring a few comforts from home
Allow young children to bring along a few home comforts such as a stuffed toy, reading books, or a portable music player. Additionally, carry along a small activity pack with items such as coloring pencils and books, card games, board games, hand held electronic games, puzzles etc. This will come in handy during long travel times when boredom and restlessness kick in.
Go a step further in ensuring comfort by packing along small presents such as a toy or puzzle and/or treats such as some beloved chocolate to reward children for good behavior.
If you or your children ever need particular medication or special products, stock up on them before leaving for the trip. Take along a few snacks of your preference as they will come in handy when you’re tired and hungry in the air or at foreign locations. Do not assume that you will be able to stop and buy snacks along the way as airports especially can be expensive and have a limited selection of healthy options.
Video is a powerful medium to capture all the best moments of life and vlogging your way through your vacation can be a wonderful way to revisit it whenever you want to. Record footage of interesting activities you witness or engage in, the scenery you admire, and most importantly, your thoughts and feelings each day of the trip!
Consider giving your children a journal and a cheap digital camera to record their own memories in their own ways. Pictures can be put into a scrapbook after you return, providing a lasting keepsake of your wonderful experiences together.
If your children are writing a journal, encourage them to draw and list things they see, eat and experience. Go a step further by buying a cheap postcard from each destination to jot down the best memories.
It’s important to remember, however, not to go overboard and let the lure of capturing photos and video take away the enjoyment of the travel. Be sure to keep your cameras away at times and simply relish some moments fully. Such experiences will be far more valuable than any photograph or video you can shoot. Remember that the best travel experiences are the ones where you cherish each day and truly enjoy yourselves! Travel is supposed to be fun so make it just that!
Check Your Ego with Your Bags
Traveling with family can be stressful at times but remember that attitude is everything: no matter how much you plan and prepare, things can and will go wrong. Just go with the flow and everything will work out great. Treat your trip like one big adventure and any mishaps simply become small obstacles for you to overcome. Accept the possibility of hinderances such as delayed flights, lost luggage, illness, and homesickness. If unforeseen events happen, stay positive. Your children will learn important life lessons from watching you on this trip.
All parents dread the public tantrum that a child can throw but remember to deal with it calmly. Remember that there are probably other parents who have been in similar sitations and can empathise with you. Moreover, if you find yourself losing your cool with children, stop to remember what you were like as a small child or teenager, and how you liked to travel and be treated and the things you enjoyed doing.
Most importantly, travel with an open mind. We travel abroad to experience different cultures, environments, and ways of thinking. Don’t shut yourself and your kids off to experiencing all there is to offer. If you all travel with an open mind you can have a much more enriching experience. There are times and moments when other cultures will shock you. Don’t judge them. When this happens, just sit back and say to your kids …“Isn’t that interesting?”
Whenever possible, give children the autonomy to choose a few small souvenirs from the places you visit so they can have their own keepsakes from the trip.
Stay safe and have a wonderful time this summer!