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Traveling with kids is an unforgettable experience but sometimes for all the wrong reasons. Here are some children travel tips to help your family vacation go off without a hitch.
1. Always travel with snacks and drinks. Kids may get hungry when there is no store or restaurant about.
2. Plan how you are going to let your kids sleep while on vacation – can they break all the rules and go to bed late or will you keep them to a tight schedule? Whatever you do don’t go sightseeing with a tired child.
3. Include sites which will interest you more than them, interest them more than you and sites which you can all enjoy together.
4. Travel light when setting out for a day of activities or sightseeing as you might end up carrying them.
5. Don’t forget the wet wipes, sterilizing gel and extra toilet paper and tissues.
6. Bring toys but choose them carefully. No toys with small parts, bulky toys, heavy toys or expensive toys. Books are a good option and action figures.
7. Although you obviously want your kids looking out the window an electric device like a cell phone packed with games will keep them happy in your hour of need.
8. Before leaving on your trip check online which museums, parks, attractions have toilets and changing tables if you need.
9. Some museums and attractions will lend or rent you a stroller while you are there so check online before dragging yours along. Even some top hotels are now offering strollers to guests. For young kids pack a very light weight stroller.
10. Instead of being disappointed that you paid for an expensive entrance ticket and the kids didn’t seem to “get enough out of it” check up on free museum days and do all the free stuff on offer in your vacation city. And by the way, even when kids look and say they have gotten nothing from an experience you’ll find months or even years later they will suddenly mention some fact about the site you thought had gone right over their heads.
11. A hotel suite with a living area and separate bedroom is great but check if yours has a separating door. If you want some privacy and the kids are on the sofa bed in the living area this can get awkward.
12. Set your kids the task of reading up about your destination before leaving and use the trip as a learning experience.
13. Give your kids a camera, when they get home they can make their own holiday album.
14. Give your kids some vacation spending money; they will enjoy making the decision of what to buy without having to ask you for money.
15. Literally write your phone number on their arm in case they get lost. Add a note with your details into their inner pockets.
16. Brief your kids on what to do in an emergency and when arriving at an attraction choose a meeting point incase all else fails.
17. Ask younger kids to keep a travel journey and older kids might even like to write a travel blog about your trip.
18. Balance the day with activities, a chance to run around and moments of down time. This could mean going to a hands-on museum, a park and then a relaxed place to sit still for a moment and eat.
19. Take medicines for mild complains as well as band-aids.
20. To save you from disappointment bank of spending much longer at attractions and getting from place to place than you would if you were traveling alone.
21. A centrally located hotel will save on the logistics of getting on and off trains and buses.
22. Go to the local grocery store and stock up on food each day for small meals and midnight snacks.
23. Choose a hotel room with a bath tub rather than a shower. Kids will love having a long bubble bath while you will enjoy that time as well.
24. Use the trip as a history lesson, language class, social studies and cultural lesson.
25. Go with a relaxed laid back attitude. You probably won’t get to see everything you planned – be prepared for that. Seeing the sites is only half the point of a family vacation. If you get up tight it will make everyone upset so just chill, go at a slower pace, be flexible and see the most important sites first.
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