Traveling is often said to be among the most pleasurable pursuits. Parents traveling with kids might beg to differ, though, as taking kids—especially little ones—on long trips are often fraught. Tantrums can occur at any moment, triggered by anything from boredom to discomfort, which is sure to put a damper on what should be a fun adventure. Factor in the higher cost of traveling with the entire household in tow, and you definitely have a huge undertaking on your hands.
Despite these challenges, there’s no question that kids can benefit greatly from traveling. Not only does it open their eyes to the ways of the world beyond your own backyard, but it also teaches them important life skills like empathy and encourages a greater appreciation for nature. Furthermore, it’s a great way to bond with family and create memories that will be cherished for life.
Needless to say, traveling is never wasted on kids. Thankfully, there are ways to make the adventure easier on them, as well as yourself and even your finances. Consider the following tips from SkyITL.com:
Book through discount travel sites
Give careful consideration to how you book flights, accommodations, and car rentals. When you book these things together through sites like Priceline, you could be in line for substantial savings. And if you dig a little deeper, you may be able to save even more through Priceline coupons and promo codes.
Stay in a vacation home.
A vacation home can be a great, cost-effective alternative to a hotel stay. The main way you’ll save is by choosing a home with a full-size kitchen, where you can cook family meals and avoid the hassle of trying to find and paying for restaurant meals every day. Vacation homes can also be quieter than hotels, and many vacation home rental sites make it easy for you to find a home near the local attractions you’ll want to see on your visit.
Pack with purpose.
When it comes to traveling with kids, you need to make their comfort a priority as this alone will spare you from a lot of potential drama. Naturally, what you pack can make or break the harmony of your trip. This runs the gamut from climate-appropriate clothing to comforting items like beloved stuffed animals or blankets. It’s a good idea, therefore, to have a packing list on hand to ensure that you’ve got everything covered, which, in turn, guarantees that you don’t have to dip into your travel budget just to buy essentials that may have been left behind.
Of course, having to pack for so many people is its own challenge in so many ways. Not only do you need to make sure that your luggage is sturdy enough to carry everything that your family needs, but they also need to withstand the inevitable rough handling. Moreover, it can be troublesome to carry and keep track of so many bags. So consider getting new rolling suitcases to make it easier for even the smallest family member to wheel around and relieve some of your burden. Coordinating by color is also smart, making it easier to spot your belongings among the multitudes. But do make sure to do your research and scour the internet for luggage deals and promotions, so you don’t make a huge dent on your budget.
Arguably, one thing that really deserves focus is addressing boredom. This is particularly important when traveling with younger kids and you have long-haul flights or hours and hours of the open road ahead of you. Nothing causes mayhem as effectively as bored and cranky children, after all, which is why you need to be armed to the teeth with boredom-busting activities.
Gadgets like smartphones and tablets chock full of apps and media content are, of course, the obvious choices. But if you prefer to cut down screen time and spend less, you can also opt for toys, games, and books. You can even go for fun educational activities to keep them engaged while sneaking in some learning. Best of all, you can already make use of the toys and activities that your kids already enjoy at home to avoid additional costs.
Secure home safety.
Of course, you also have to think about the home that you’re leaving behind, albeit temporarily. No doubt, you will want to make sure that it’s completely safe to give yourself the peace of mind to fully enjoy your vacation. It’s important, therefore, to have a good home security system in place to keep your home protected. And while a home security system is a necessary expense, you can actually keep costs low by comparing the best providers in your area.
Indeed, traveling with kids will require plenty of due diligence, smart preparation, and patience on your part. But with the potential rewards and wonderful memories that it offers, it’s definitely well worth heeding these tips and working to make your trip a fun and drama-free adventure.