Vacations can be a fantastic way to spend quality time with your loved ones. A well-planned journey offers opportunities for you and your children to explore a new culture, create long-lasting memories, and even learn something about yourselves. Unfortunately, the actual “travelling” part of a family adventure can be something of an odyssey in itself. That’s why you need some family travel hacks to help you make the most of your investment in fun, and relaxation.
While the following tips to improve your vacation may not guarantee that you don’t have to deal with the sudden problem of bad weather, temper tantrums, and unexpected delays, they can help you to prepare as best you can for an experience that remains at least somewhat smooth. When it comes to travelling with kids, any chance of peace is worth grabbing with both hands, so let’s get started withpreparing for your journey.
1. Plan Your Packing in Advance
Organizing your luggage before you head out on your next vacation is one of the most important family travel hacks you can encounter, next to using a waist money belt to secure your valuables (we’ll cover that later). Although most of us try to pack light, when you have little kids to think about, there are plenty of extra items that you can’t forget about if you want to improve your vacation and bypass disasters. Start creating your packing list a week before you leave and make sure you include the essentials such as:
- Extra wipes, diapers, and tissues
- Spare clothing
- A waist money belt for your valuables
- A universal charging plug
- Medications and emergency items
While you’re packing, remember to roll your clothes instead of folding them, as this helps to save additional space – and use packing cubes and sectioning accessories wherever possible. When it comes to family travel hacks, you might even choose to ship a few items ahead of time, thanks to the cheaper shipping prices that are offered around the globe today. A little research ahead of time should give you a better insight into which options are available to you.
2. Choose Your Destination Carefully
Next in our list of family travel hacks, is picking a place to visit. If you’re travelling with children, then you open yourself up to a range of great opportunities to visit magical places designed specifically to offer experiences to younger people. While you might hope for your child to become an adventurer like you when they grow up, there are some places that they should see before they get older, and other areas that you may be better off avoiding.
Choosing the perfect destination is essential to improve your vacation, as you’ll need to consider your children’s needs, as well as your own. Many destinations, even if not specifically designed for children, will have plenty of family-friendly attractions to check out if you’re willing to search for them in advance. If you still travel with a stroller, make sure you pick a place that has proper streets and sidewalks for getting around. What’s more, look for places that you can fly to directly if you want to avoid the stress of exhausting layover periods.
3. Invest in Good Gear and Accessories
When travelling with children, the truth is that the accessories and tools that you take with you can be essential in terms of family travel hacks. For example, while crayons and magazines can keep younger children entertained on flights, a tablet computer or smartphone can provide hours of distraction for kids that easily get bored. On the other hand, paying for lightweight travel strollers and cribs can help you to avoid some of the agony involved with lugging hefty items through the airport at last minute.
To improve your vacation, look up the latest gear and accessories available specifically for families who want to make their travel experiences easier. For example, a waist money belt is a crucial investment when it comes to keeping your money safe, as the chances are you won’t have time to keep an eye on your backpack or purse when chasing after your kids.
4. Prep Your Tech
There’s a reason why most people are completely obsessed with today’s technology. In fact, studies have shown that the average person spends more time on their laptop, phone, and tablet, than they do sleeping.
We spend more time than ever on our smartphones and tablets, and that’s because these nifty devices can do everything from offering up entertainment, to giving us directions to the hotel when we’re blankly staring at unfamiliar streets. One of the easiest family travel hacks to take advantage of, is to store your technology full of apps and information designed to make your journey simpler.
If you have a reliable smartphone, improve your vacation by downloading maps from Google directly onto the phone memory card so that you can access routes even when you don’t have an internet connection. You can also store your trip itinerary in your documents, or use an internet connection to find out information about certain places whenever you visit a Wi-Fi spot. On your tablet, you can download games to keep the kids entertained, movies for rainy days, and even cartoons for when you and your partner need some quiet time.
5. Slow Down
Finally, this might not seem like much in the way of family travel hacks, but it’s essential if you want to improve your vacation, and get some actual relaxation on your next trip. Slow down.
You’re probably not going to have the same experience travelling with children as you did when you were young and backpacking through Europe with your friends. Your kids need time to rest, take bathroom breaks, and absorb the world around them, so try not to squeeze too many activities into a single day. The more you allow yourself to be flexible, and take your time through the vacation experience, the more likely it is that both you, and your young ones will enjoy it.
Improve Your Vacations
The above family travel hacks should help to ensure that your next group journey isn’t too much of a daunting experience. With a little planning and a good attitude, you can make sure that your family adventures provide memories that leave you smiling for years to come.