Whether you’re taking your kids on adventures around town or across the state, give them a chance to learn and grow on away-from-home experiences. This kind of supercharged travel requires a little more planning than your standard kids-free travel. Use our nine tried and true tips to make your outings smoother and more sane for the whole family:
Spontaneity can be a lot of fun, but could backfire if you arrive at your destination and can’t do what you promised your kids. It pays to book ahead and double check all of your events a few days prior leading up to your departure.
Build in extra time
Kids love to explore and don’t really feel the time pressures of travel the same way adults might. So, it pays to build extra time into your schedule and let your kids have some open time to learn on their terms. Research local parks and let your kids get the wiggles out and burn off some extra energy.
Full water bottles, snacks, and some hand-held entertainment are essential to easier and less stressful travel. Also, don’t forget a first aid kit that includes antiseptic wipes, Band-Aids, and a thermometer. If your family is on a day trip, it’s a good idea to pack a second set of clothing for your kids in case of mishaps.
Avoid Packing Sweets
Pack savory treats such as crackers, cheese sticks, and fruit. Doing this will help you avoid arriving at your destination with children on a sugar rush.
Be prepared for the weather
Check your destination’s forecast several days prior to your outing. This may sound obvious, but is worthy of mention. It’s essential for parents to set your kids up to be comfortable for the expected weather and terrain.
Know your family’s limitations
Vacation is no time to test your kid’s limits. Doing so could be disastrous. Most kids tend to get cranky after too much stimulation and an event packed day. Pace the activities and plan for a modest pace. Build in breaks throughout your getaway, so both parents and kids can recharge.
Prepare your kids
Talk about your day’s plan or weekend away in advance. If a lot of walking or waiting in long lines is involved – reassure them, it’s part of the experience.
Upon arrival at each new place, designate a meeting point in case someone gets separated. Prior to your trip, consider making a homemade wristband with parents’ names and cell phone numbers written on it.
Have your kid’s favorite pillow and blanket ready for nap time so they are comfortable. A good nap can help pass the time traveling and give your children some much needed down time. For you, it will provide you a few moments of peace and quiet.
To have more fun and fewer hassles, use these tips to make your family’s adventures memorable for all the fun you had.
Photo Credit: Sara Kendall
This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.