If you’re making the transition to travel with kids, here are some of the things you need to think about:
If you’ve previously been a carryon only traveler and traveled very light then there can be a bit of mourning associated with packing for family travel. Kids need lots of changes of clothes and at least a few toys. You’ll often also need to bring both a car seat and a stroller. You’ll need to practice pack long before the night prior to your departure. Family travel blogger Keryn from Walking on Travels has some great packing tips and lists for traveling with babies and toddlers. She’s an inspiration because she often travels solo with her two little ones.
2. At the airport
Packing itself is often easier than figuring out how you are going to manuever all that stuff plus your child/ren through the airport. Sometimes it’s like you never have enough hands, and even getting all or stuff onto one trolley takes a bit of practice. This is of course much easier if there are two adults traveling or if you have another adult (such as Grandma) who can at least help you get checked in. Of course, even when you’re one adult with one or more kids, it can be done. Just expect there to be a learning curve. Allow time and bring plenty of snacks and drinks to keep the kids happy.
3. Is the place you want to book even child friendly?
Do they allow children? Do they have extra fees for kids in the room? When you’re not a parent, you typically don’t even think about whether somewhere is child friendly or not. Some sites allow you to easily see that information. For example, if you booking a trip in Europe, Neilson holidays has a “family friendly” tick box so they will only show you family friendly resorts. Therefore you don’t have to sort through to find that out yourself. They have holidays to Greece and Turkey, which are ex-UK so if you’re coming from the US, you could have some city time in London and some play time in the sun. Yes, you can still take that dream trip to Greece or Turkey if you’re a parent!
4. Are there enough activities for my child’s energy level?
Especially if you have a little guy who NEEDS to go to the playground every day to burn off excess energy then you might consider an all-inclusive that has kids play options right there. You might find the idea of the beach relaxing but your kids might find it too boring unless there is more to play with than just water and sand.
5. What gear do I need to buy?
It’s far easier to travel with bedding for little kids rather than . Things like this Nap and Go Bed for babies under 18 months is a good place to start.
6. Who am I going to travel with?
You might be used to traveling alone but when you have kids, it can often make sense to try to coordinate trips with “babysitters” and by this I mean free babysitters like Grandparents or dotting aunties. A big carrot can be if you’re renting an apartment or villa and can provide your free babysitter with some accommodation for their stay. This often works out great for all concerned.