6 Happy Travel Trips for On-the-Go Parents
All! It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? Since our Holbox adventures Justin has since gone to Peru and hiked Machu Picchu for a SECOND time and I’ve been to Munich, Germany to take part in Oktoberfest. I’ll be getting a post to you soon about tips on how to properly Oktoberfest (yes, I’m making it a verb) as a tourist
In the meantime we have some exciting news! Daniel over from Dad Solo has provided an awesome guest post covering some helpful tips on traveling with kids. I know that’s not something we talk about ever so this post will hopefully help to fill in some gaps. Give it a read and tell us what you think!
One of the best things about being a parent is that you get to experience the world with your children. However, before pack your (diaper) bags, you should know that it’s not always easy. Traveling with kids means lots of preparation and a willingness to compromise. Keep reading for six quick tips on how to make travel enjoyable for your entire crew.
1.) Keep Things Clean
Your children’s bodies are used to the germs inside your home. They’ve probably even grown accustomed to the germs at their school or daycare. But when you expose them to the big wide world, there’s an entirely new breed of gunk and grime to get into. You’ll need to pay extra attention to their hands and toys. Keep a pack of antibacterial wipes handy for when you’re at the airport or hotel lobby. If you’re going to be staying in a rental, you can disinfect hard toys in the dishwasher. Angie’s List recommends vinegar and water for toys that can’t handle soap.
2.) Drive Through the Night
Driving through the night or leaving in the early morning hours is a great way to put some distance between your car and your home before the roads get noisy and the sun begins to brighten your day. A word of caution: Driving after dusk is not without its dangers, including decreased visibility and a higher concentration of intoxicated drivers. Make sure you and your adult co-pilot are well rested and your child is in an age-appropriate car seat.
3.) Make Sure Everyone Gets Their Rest
When you travel with kids, you’re going to compromise on a lot of things. Sleep is at the top of this list. This is especially true if you’re traveling across time zones or have a child who has difficulty winding down without their normal routine. So, be patient with your kids. Travel Mamas blogger Colleen Lanin notes that it can take two or three nights for your little ones to adjust. Try to arrive at your destination before bedtime, and pack your own travel crib or portable play yard. While most hotels advertise these as available, they are never guaranteed, and your child may be more comfortable sleeping in familiar surroundings.
4.) Give Yourself an Extra 15 Minutes for Every Two Hours of Travel
Unless your kids routinely sleep in the car or are old enough to handle an adult schedule, you’ll need to plan for plenty of pit stops. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself an extra 15 minutes for every two hours on the road. Your children will need some time to stretch their legs and expend pent-up energy. Don’t limit these layovers to interstate rest stops; check out RoadsideAmerica.com before you go to find some of the most interesting roadside attractions along the way and make this a part of your vacation.
5.) Let Older Kids Make Some Decisions
Babies and toddlers can’t fully express their interest and desires. School-age kids, however, are a different story. The 5-and-up crowd is more than happy to tell you what they want to do and when they want to do it. Give your older kids say so and let them help plan the trip, but limit them to one or two decisions so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Travel + Leisure offers a few great tips on vacations for children from baby to teen.
6.) Travel All-Inclusive
Last but not least, plan a vacation with all-inclusive amenities. A resort or family-oriented cruise will give everyone in your party something to smile about and comes with the added bonus of not having to spend anything after your initial trip is paid for.
Traveling with kids isn’t always easy. So, plan ahead for sanitation, sleep, and side trips and it will be smooth sailing from the driveway until you return.
All images courtesy of Josh Willink. Check out his Instagram! Josh has absolutely adorable travel photos of his family. Everyone at The Goodish Traveler thanks Josh for the use of his gorgeous photos.