Traveling with kids can be exciting, frustrating, and a little nerve-wracking all at the same time. Sure, you want to share the world with your kids, but what about getting through the airplane flight, touring museums, or just enjoying a nice dinner?
Here are some tips and tricks we have learned from traveling with our own kids.
Traveling with Kids
Have Them Write in a Journal
This is age dependent, but even kids as young as five can keep a journal, even if you have to write a few sentences for them.
When we travel, we have Tyler and Kara do their writing at dinnertime. This seems like the perfect time to review the day and jot down a paragraph or two. For young kids, just a few sentences are fine. Older kids can write more. Have them write about their favorite activity or even about something they didn’t like. The entries may be hilarious. Plus, it can be eye opening as to what stands out to your kids as the most memorable part of the day.
Your kid’s journal just may be your favorite souvenir of the trip.
Let Them Lead the Way
Have your kids lead the way through the airport, train station, and subway station. This is a great opportunity for them to learn how to navigate through airports and metro stations and to learn how public transportation works.
Just in Case They Get Separated from You
Teach them what to do if they get lost or separated. Before leaving your hotel, have a plan in place just in case this happens. We make sure Tyler and Kara know where to go if we get separated on the metro, out on a city street, or at any public place.
Give Them Your Information
Write your contact information on the back of your hotel’s business card and put it in your child’s pocket or shoe. If your child gets separated from you, they will have your information and the hotel’s information so you can be reunited.
Include Them in the Trip Planning
Talk to your kids about activities in the places you plan to visit. Include some of the activities they express interest in.
If they are old enough, have them research a place you plan to visit.
Encourage Them to Take Photos
Let them bring a device that they can take pictures with and encourage them to take photos. When you return, build an album for them with their favorite photos.
Let them Buy Souvenirs
Give them a fixed amount of money for souvenirs. Let them pick out souvenirs of interest and learn how to manage their money.
Teach Them How to Haggle
If you are in a location where haggling is customary, then teach your kids how to do it, especially for the souvenirs they want for themselves.
Keep Museum Visits Short and Sweet
Visit no more than one, maybe two, museums in one day. Let’s face it, kids think museums are boring. If you push them to do too much, they’ll return the favor by whining, pouting, and making the experience less than pleasant for you.
If you do plan to visit museums, here are some tips to make the visit fun for the whole family.
Turn the visit into a scavenger hunt. Do some research before your visit. What are the main things you want your kids to see and learn at the museum. Make a list of these things and have the kids find them and check them off. You can even split into teams (with one adult on each team) and designate a meeting location for when everything has been found.
Play eye spy.
Count the number of ears in the museum, excluding live people. Sounds strange but it makes them look at everything in the museum.
Take scary face selfies in front of museum displays.
Bring a Favorite Toy to Keep Them Occupied
If you are going on a road trip, long flight, long bus ride, or a train trip, bring along plenty to do to keep your kids occupied. Coloring books, travel games, and an iPad with games and movies are all great ideas.
Have you traveled with kids? What other tips and tricks do you recommend? Comment below!
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