I don’t often have Guest articles, but Leslie Campos had a nice article about traveling with children! Since I travel with my grandchildren sometimes, this seemed to be a nice fit! Read on.
Although this might be a little hard to believe, there are actually ways to travel with your young children on a budget. While traveling may look a bit different than it did years prior, it can still be full of rich experiences, relaxation, and fun. Whether you want to experience a staycation or trek across the world, it is doable with a little planning. With that in mind, let’s discuss some ways to prepare for trips and how to make beautiful memories with your family.
Plan for Entertainment
Plan for Entertainment
At your destination, there are plenty of activities you can plan for to help entertain your children and get their energy out. For example:
- Some places have local music events that can get you and the kids up and dancing.
- Local parks are a wonderful way to see the area and have fun, free playtime.
- If you are near beaches, rivers or mountains, you can experience the beauty of the area by hiking the local trails.
- Plan to wander around downtown/city centers, soak up the atmosphere, and eat a snack. Perhaps the little one will take a nap from all the movement.
It’s also important to have entertainment in place for while you’re in transit and in the moments your kids get antsy. Electronics can be helpful in this regard. A portable device that streams movies, TV shows, music, and games can be a lifesaver and keep everyone calm and happy. Additionally, a device that fits most TVs and connects to WiFi will be easy to set up in a hotel if you’re stuck inside and can be just what your family needs to unwind or prevent boredom.
While you need some basic essentials (we will touch on these later), avoid overpacking. Overpacking means the following things:
- More to carry, while also hauling around your kids
- Unused items
- More possibility of forgetting or losing things
- If flying, higher baggage fees
The most important thing to consider is what to pack:
- Favorite snacks. This will cut down on your traveling expenses and prevent you from buying expensive snacks in those “hangry” moments.
- Baby/toddler transportation. If you have a little one in tow, bring along a baby carrier, a compact but durable stroller, and a harness/leash for those days when your child needs to run loose. If you don’t have the baby gear on-hand, shop consignments for gently-used items to get a great deal.
- Clothes. Assume no laundry will be done, so be sure to pack enough for each day and extras in the event of accidents.
- Familiarity. Traveling can be overwhelming for children, pack their comfort items (blankets, stuffed animals, nightlights, etc.) to prevent unease and provide security.
Choose the Right Lodging
You’re not limited in your lodging options just because you’re traveling with children. However, you should consider all your needs before making a reservation. If you want to save some money by eating in, you may want an extended stay hotel or an Airbnb that has a kitchen. If you are a frequent traveler, choose hotels that accumulate rewards that will go toward discounting future stays, give you free stays, or give you perks during your travels.
If you find that one or more child needs their own space, don’t go for the less-expensive rooms. If you do, you’ll find that your trip is more stressful trying to navigate nap times, rest times, and night sleep. When deciding where to stay, weigh your comfort along with your needs.