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travel with kids

Traveling with kids can seem kind of daunting and frankly exhausting. While any family trip won’t  be without its share of bumps in the road, traveling with kids doesn’t have to be stressful and can actually be fun and rewarding. So ditch the stress and build memories with these 7 tips for traveling with kids.

Hiking with kids? Check out these top tips for hiking with small children.

We travel not to escape life, but for life to not escape us.

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travel tips for kids
vacation with kids

7 Tips for Traveling With Kids

1
Plan for the unexpected Expect and plan for the worst. A child throwing up in the hotel on Day 1 on Disneyland? Oh yes, that happened. Pack medications of all sorts for your children and the adults. Child becoming grumpy because they have wet socks? Pack extra socks and underwear and keep them in your pack while you are out for the day. Blisters? Break in shoes ahead of time. Pack bandaids and mole skin. Meltdown on the plane? Pack plenty of snacks and entertainment. Have a packing checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything crucial. Bring extra diapers, bring an extra change of clothes (or 2). You get my point. Think of some of the things that could go wrong and plan and pack for them to minimize the pain they will cause while on your trip.
2
Provide yourself a time cushion Kids have a way of adding a good extra 20 minutes (or hour) to anything that should be simple and straight forward. To avoid stress at the airport, arrive at a time that will give you a comfortable cushion incase something doesn’t go as planned and let’s be real, it will.
3
Provide snacks and entertainment during the flight or car ride Are we there yet? Kids can get a bit stir crazy sitting in an airplane or car which can then make us anxious and stressed. The key I have found is a well timed snack and entertainment. Don’t automatically pop them down with a snack, wait it out until you can tell they are getting antsy but haven’t gotten hangry because at that point we all know it will not go well for anybody.

Try some travel games before whipping out the toys and other entertainment. Some of the ones we love I listed below. Use electronics as the last resort but when you get to that point, just do it! No judgements here. 

4
Make an itinerary or plan but remember to be flexible Making a general plan or itinerary for your trip with your kids is a good idea. However, when traveling with kids, just like in everyday life, things don’t always go the way we planned. This is one of the biggest lesson I have learned while traveling with kids- try to be adaptable. When things don’t go according to your plan, just take a deep breathe and try to readjust the plan. Rearrange the order of things, alter the plan, or scrap it and be spontaneous. I know it can be hard especially if you are a type A but try to have a easy going attitude. When something goes wrong, try to find the good! You will have a much more enjoyable trip and your kids will have much better memories if you can accomplish this.
5
Plan around their schedule I know that it can seem like a good idea to fit in as much has possible when you are on vacation but this is setting yourself up to fail if you are traveling with kids. Plan on getting the “must dos” done first thing in the morning when your children are rested and likely in their best mood. Observe nap times and bedtimes as much as possible to prevent cranky children and therefore adults. Try to make a list of 5 or so of the most important things you want to get get done in the day and be happy if you accomplish that. Trying to do too much in a day with kids, especially young kids, will leave them overstimulated and exhausted.
6
See the world through their eyes One of the best things about travel with kids is seeing the awe and excitement in their face. Kids seeing the ocean for the first time or their first flight or first Disneyland trip can remind us of the joy that is present all around us that sometimes as adults we look over. If you let yourself get bogged down in some of the hardship that can come with travel with kids then you will really miss these priceless moments. Play with your kids, be silly, try to have adventures and soak it all up!
7
Live in anticipation of the memory Some vacations may seem to be one problem or disaster after another. Someone may get sick or it may rain the whole time. But some of these disasters end up being that funny stories your family will tell for years to come. What may not seem funny in the moment often ends up being so later. Our very first Disneyland trip had problem after problem and I had a bad attitude about it. Years later, I look back at the pictures and honestly? I hardly remember the issues we had, I remember the wonderful memories. So even if it seems tough in the moment just remember that you are making memories as a family that will last a lifetime.

Traveling with kids is not always easy, there is so much that can be gained by doing it. Use these tips for your next travel and let me know how it goes (the good and bad) below.

You can find more tips for family travel here. Heading on a  Disney vacation? Click here for 10 ways to go to Disney on a budget.

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Tips traveling with kids

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