Where the Kids Roam

20 Best Family Travel Tips

Embarking on a family adventure is a thrilling experience, but it comes with its own set of challenges. From keeping the little ones entertained to managing logistics and staying sane amidst the chaos, family travel requires careful planning and a touch of creativity. But fear not, intrepid travelers – we’ve got you covered with our top 20 family travel tips to ensure smooth sailing on your next adventure.

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1. Embrace the Power of Packing Cubes: Stay organized and maximize suitcase space with packing cubes – a game-changer for family travel.

2. Pack Light, Pack Right: Resist the urge to overpack and stick to essentials. Remember, you can always pick up items along the way if needed. Note how this contrasts with the picture, above. But I promise you this picture is from when we were moving to Spain. For a two-week vacation we’d take a bag or two less. 😉 

3. Choose Family-Friendly Accommodations: Look for hotels or vacation rentals with kid-friendly amenities like pools, play areas, and kitchenettes for added convenience. As a family of five, this means we usually have to settle for Airbnb or somthing similar. 

4. Involve Kids in Trip Planning: Get kids excited about the adventure by involving them in trip planning. Let them choose activities or attractions they’d like to experience. Swimming in Greece or working in a coal mine are usually the only options we give. 

5. Pack Snacks Galore: Hungry kids equal cranky kids. Be sure to pack plenty of snacks to keep hunger at bay during long travel days or sightseeing excursions. This is one step that my wife understands way better than I do. 

6. Schedule Downtime: While it’s tempting to cram every moment with activities, don’t forget to schedule downtime for rest and relaxation – for both kids and parents. For example, I like to take a nap from 14:00 until 19:00 after a day out with the kids. 

7. Keep Essentials Handy: Pack a small bag with essentials like wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, band-aids, and antiseptic for easy access on the go. 

8. Make Safety a Priority: This is obvious, but you should probably take that car seat or stroller with you. 

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9. Embrace Technology (in Moderation): From tablets loaded with games and movies to travel apps for navigation and language translation, technology can be a lifesaver for keeping kids entertained and informed.

10. Take Advantage of Kid-Friendly Attractions: Seek out destinations with attractions specifically geared towards families, such as amusement parks, zoos, 26-mile hikes, ice climbing, survival training on a deserted island, and interactive museums. Ok, maybe not all of those. 

11. Capture Memories: Encourage kids to document their adventures with disposable cameras or travel journals. Create lasting memories together and reminisce about your travels for years to come. Some of our favorite photos were taken by the kids on a Polaroid camera. 

12. Plan for Jet Lag: Adjust to new time zones gradually and prioritize sleep. Encourage naps and early bedtimes to help combat jet lag and ensure everyone stays well-rested. Here is a handy calculator you can use to combat jet lag. 

13. Be Flexible: Flexibility is key when traveling with kids. Be prepared to roll with the punches and adjust plans as needed to accommodate changing moods or unforeseen circumstances.

14. Teach Kids About Local Culture: Use travel as an opportunity to teach kids about different cultures, customs, and languages. Encourage them to try new foods and engage with locals for a richer cultural experience.

15. Pack Entertainment for the Journey: Keep kids entertained during long flights or road trips with books, games, coloring books, and travel-friendly toys.

16. Plan Ahead for Meals: Research family-friendly restaurants or pack picnic supplies for meals on the go. Consider dietary restrictions and preferences when planning meals to keep everyone happy and satisfied.

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17. Prioritize Sleep: Ensure kids get plenty of rest during travel to prevent meltdowns and keep everyone in good spirits. Stick to bedtime routines as much as possible to promote quality sleep.

18. Stay Hydrated: Keep everyone hydrated during travel, especially in hot or dry climates. Pack refillable water bottles and encourage frequent water breaks throughout the day. 

19. Be Patient and Positive: Traveling with kids can be challenging at times, but maintaining a positive attitude and practicing patience will go a long way in keeping stress levels low and spirits high. Admittedly, I struggle with this one. 

20. Enjoy the Journey: Finally, remember to enjoy the journey – the laughter, the adventures, and the unforgettable moments shared as a family. Cherish these precious moments and savor every second of your family travel adventures. This is why we do these crazy trips, right? 

Embarking on family travel adventures can be both exhilarating and challenging, but with these 20 tips in your arsenal, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the globe with ease. So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime – happy travels!