Even well seasoned travelers know that traveling as a family brings a whole new level of stress when things don’t go as planned. For some, traveling with family can be very challenging – whether it’s a road trip across the country, dealing with a teething baby while flying across the Atlantic, trying to tame an energetic toddler in an unconditioned airport, an island getaway, or a four week multi-city exploration adventure – things can get tense! More luggage, and even just one extra little person, means more to consider. Here are a few tips from us on how to make a vacation as a family a little easier:
Do Your Research
Be sure to do some research before planning any trip. Make sure you know all there is to know about your destination, especially if you are traveling with young children. Doing some research will help you figure out what clothes to pack, what restaurants to visit, areas that you should perhaps avoid, and what your local transportation options are once you arrive.
Packing light its good, but packing smart is better. Life in Asia, and specifically China, has taught us that we should always have everything that we need packed, and packed in a way that is easily accessible. With kids – accidents and mess are inevitable! Always expect the unexpected and have essentials in your carry-on, like diapers, wipes, medications, a change of clothes and snacks.
Only the Essentials
Although it is important to be prepared, it is foolish to overpack. The more you bring with you, the more you have to carry and keep up with during your trip. We almost always wear much less than we pack, so over the years we have learned to pack less and less. If you are flying to one destination, and not moving around too much, then feel free to pack more freely. If you plan on moving around at all, try to keep things light!
Vacations are fun, but traveling can be both tiring and boring, especially for little ones. Make sure to bring entertainment for everyone. Ideally a backpack for each child would mean that everyone gets to bring whatever they feel would benefit them most.
Appreciate the Quality Time
It is easy to get wrapped up in the packing, planning, and many times in the stresses of dealing with children, but try to remember that you’re on vacation. Even during those long flights – take heart, you’re on your way to somewhere beautiful. Hopefully some place you have been dreaming about visiting. Enjoy this quality time with the family. Let go of the stress… Relax and enjoy!
Above all else, Be Flexible
A lot can go wrong on a trip, especially when you’re traveling as a family or with a group. The key to enjoying your vacation, no matter what happens, is remembering that attitude is everything! Even if things don’t go as planned, you can still make the most of it. Being open, understanding, and above all flexible will always make your trip smoother. Lines could be long, traffic could be heavy, weather could change, flights could be delayed, and children will most probably get grumpy at some point along the way, but with just a little planning, a positive attitude, an open mind, you’ll survive and enjoy another family vacation.