Travel

Top Five Tips for Family Travel

I was bitten by the travel bug while on my first ever {big} vacation – to Europe. This started an intense passion like no other, and since then have had passports full of stamps from all over the world.

After having children, I didn’t let my love for travelling get lost in the chaos of daily life and parenting. Instead I now see wonder through more eyes than my own. 

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

 

Yet how does one balance travelling with a family in tow? Here are Top Five Tips for Family Travel, to get there with sanity intact – you so you enjoy your family adventure!

 

1. PLAN AHEAD

Travelling with children requires lots of planning so give yourself time to do your homework. Seek feedback from other parents or read family travel reviews, while vetting your options. Make your list of must-sees and what amenities you desire, and go from there. Some start with a location, and others choose based on attraction, etc. Either way, give yourself that time to explore your options, in order to make it the best.

2. INVOLVE YOUR CHILD

Happy kids mean a happy vacation! Feed off their excitement and let them feel involved in the planning process – if they do help plan, the happier they’ll be to join. Pick two or three places you’d like to visit on your trip and let your child help pick the final destination. 

3. START PACKING EARLY

No parent wants to waste time shopping while on vacation for the things they’ve forgotten to bring with them. To dodge this avoidable stress, don’t wait until the day before {or the day of} to pack; rather start with a little each day to ensure you don’t forget anything important. Even as a seasoned family traveller, I start gathering items ahead of time and make lists as I think of them. Not only for items to pack, but what to buy for the trip or any necessary arrangements to make for while you are away. 

4. ENTERTAIN THE TROOPS

When travelling with kids, parents know that waiting in line can make the calmest kids get a little stir-crazy. To avoid this, make sure to carry a few boredom busters in carry-on luggage, especially for the kids. Magazines, books, puzzles, word games, video games and/or a deck of cards don’t take up a lot of space and are great at keeping everyone occupied. If you have multiple children, pack items that are usable for them all, to avoid packing so many items only usable for each child. Also, bring some snacks like granola bars and treats. 

5. ARRIVE IN GOOD TIME

Be sure to keep up to speed with your flight’s schedule so that you arrive with plenty of time as airports can get busy, even at unexpected times of the day. Be aware of any updates such as gate changes or changes in check-in times – missing that flight isn’t a great way to start that family vacation!

 

Have any other family travel tips?

 

Family travel by Canadian Travel Blogger, Tammi Roy at My Organized Chaos. 

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39 Comments

  1. I am the queen of planning ahead. We are actually traveling the week after next 🙂

  2. Giving yourself plenty of time really helps ease the stress of family travels. Also, finding the right entertainment is key when traveling with little ones!

  3. The best tip for family travel is to stay organized. Between packing, kids, kids packing, and everything else, it can get crazy.

  4. We have had to travel often in the last couple of years, mostly flying. One of the biggest things that helped us out a lot was packing pb and j sandwiches, snacks, and bringing empty water bottles, because food at the airport (especially if you have layovers) are super expensive. Once we get through security, I go to the water fountain (most airports we’ve been too actually have filtered water fountains now!) and fill up our water bottles. Also having my iPad, laptop, and coloring books for our daughter helps keep her busy and less fussy during 8 hour flights.

  5. My son is old enough that travel has become far less stressful. When he was younger, I made sure to double check EVERYTHING he did.

  6. I have a special needs son, so we didn’t travel with him until he was much older. I pack a lot of electronics for the older kids so they don’t get bored.

  7. The biggest tip I have for family travel to make sure the kids aren’t hungry. Man, my kids turn into little monsters when they get hungry. Best tip of all for travel. And don’t let mommy and daddy get hungry either. 🙂

  8. I am really bad at planning ahead. We usually wait way too long to plan our trips and by then airfare is always so pricey!

  9. I’m a big planner when it comes to traveling with the family. Entertainment for the kiddos is a big big thing! If they aren’t happy, then mommy isn’t happy and it can become disastrous.

  10. Traveling with kids is always difficult. Seems like you pack way more than you need and you still always end up forgetting something.

  11. Love the tips for traveling as a family. Planning ahead is definitely key for making the process more enjoyable.

  12. Great tips. I pack early too. With 5 kids I have too. I pull their clothes and they pack them (the older ones)

  13. Yes, taking children on any trip whether it’s a road trip or a flight to somewhere means lots and lots of planning. It was a relief when at least my older kids could get a list from me of the things they needed, to put on the bed for me to check through before going in a suitcase.

  14. I love traveling and have been bitten by the travel bug as well. My biggest tip is to get organized, make lists and pack early. I often leave packing until the last minute and then I am stressed. Lists are great at keeping me organized.

  15. I especially like your tip for packing early and making lists. I found a notepad listing common things to pack when travelling to jog my memory of things to bring that I find useful too.

  16. Another tip — make sure the kids get enough sleep while travelling (to avoid unnecessary meltdowns).

  17. Early packing is key….chance to remember things you’d ordinarily forget over time!

  18. I love to travel as well and was fortunate as a child to have parents that took their 4 children with them.

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