Travelling with the kids is often seen as a bit of a hard work. There is a lot to anticipate about a trip with children. What if they scream or run around during the flight? What if you cannot find the food they like at the destination? Other problems like forgetting to bring their medication or having to go through airport security while the kids are acting up can turn the entire trip upside down too.
Still, all the hassles of travelling with the kids often lead to some very special moments. It gets easier too; after a couple of trips, you’ll know exactly how to prepare and anticipate different parts of the trip. Before planning your next trip with the children, here are the best tips and tricks to help make travelling with kids as painless as it can be.
Planning Is Key
Planning is everything when you want to travel with kids. The better you plan, the more enjoyable the trip will be. It is also important to note that small details matter, especially when it comes to the needs of your children.
When choosing a destination to visit, for example, you want to take the kids’ preferences into considerations. You can turn the simple task of deciding where to go into a fun moment with the kids. Let them have a say and you’ll be off to a great start.
The same can be said for other parts of the trip. Some hotels now offer games and facilities designed to keep kids happy and comfortable while on holiday. Checking if the hotel you want to book has these amenities is a good idea.
Thanks to the internet, there are now so many things you can do to make the trip even more seamless. You can use web check-in when you don’t have bags to check in at the airport. This makes travelling light much more rewarding.
Other services are available too. You can have the airline escort you and the kids through the airport, have a stroller standing by near the car park, or even pre-book in-flight meals and snacks for the kids. The more things you prepare beforehand, the fewer hassles you’ll have to deal with on the actual trip.
Speaking of conveniences that you can now access online, there are parking services at most UK airports nowadays. This makes driving to the airport the better way to go. Remember that the start of the trip is crucially important, so you want to make it as pleasant as possible, especially for the kids.
Driving means you eliminate the possibility of certain issues like your ride not picking you up on time. At the same time, you can also keep the kids comfortable with car seats and a familiar vehicle. There is no point in making them nervous early in the trip.
You don’t even have to worry about parking. When travelling from Birmingham, for instance, you can arrange for Birmingham Airport meet and greet using birminghamparking.com. You’ll be greeted by a member of staff who will take care of your car and you can forget about having to find a parking space and walking with the kids to the gate. This makes for a more stress-free experience.
Pack Food and Entertainment
The two things you must always have with you when travelling with kids are food and entertainment. Entertainment is easy in today’s iPad era. You can fill your tablet with movies, games, and books and not have to worry about the kids getting bored at all. Even streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video lets you pre-download your kids’ favourite shows.
Food is trickier, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have food with you at all times. For starters, packed baby food and snacks are now available in compact, travel sizes. You may still have to open some when getting through security – for security purpose, obviously – but it is worth the trouble.
As mentioned before, you can also book pre-flight meals and snacks. You can check the menu at the hotel restaurant when making a reservation to see if there are kids’ dishes available. Don’t forget to do some research on restaurants near the hotel, as well as convenience stores that open 24 hours just to be on the safe side.
Great Things to Do
When travelling with kids, you want to balance between keeping them excited with plenty of things to do and avoiding making them feel too tired. This means creating your itinerary around your kids’ usual schedules. If you have a child that needs a nap, you want to make sure that there is enough of a gap during the trip for that.
Again, the internet is your friend when it comes to planning a trip. You can use apps or web services to create your itinerary, all while taking the fact that you are travelling with children into consideration. Find attractions that the kids will love, and you won’t have to worry about them getting bored or cranky at all.
One thing to remember about travelling with kids is that you don’t have to be with the kids all the time. This brings us to our next point.
Set Aside Some Time for You
Many popular destinations now recognise the growing number of travelling children, which is why it is not surprising to find facilities like daycare and nannies just a couple of clicks away. There are even hotels with on-site kids centres and plenty of (supervised) activities for the kids to enjoy.