Travelling with your children is a fabulous experience, as enriching as ever. Travel is a way to strengthen family ties while exploring the world. Whether you are going to France or abroad, be sure that these trips will leave an unforgettable memory for your children! But it can quickly turn into a nightmare without a minimum of preparation.
We’ve gathered the best tips for a successful family trip, so take notes, the holidays are coming up!
Choose a destination that suits everyone
Of course, there are hotels or campsites with children’s clubs, but you are not forced to choose this solution. Choose a destination according to the activities it offers, the ideal is for young and old to find something for them.
Are you more interested in culture and museums? No problem, your children can accompany you, just make sure you punctuate these outings with something more kid-friendly, like a walk in a park where there are children’s games for example.
Don’t take more things with you than you can carry
Before the birth, you only swore by your great 60-litre backpack in which you would fit everything. Yes, but here it is, since Junior’s birth, it’s quite the opposite: you’re afraid you’re missing something, so you take… everything. Just think that you will have to take it to the airport, then to get to your accommodation, and that in addition, you will certainly have to carry your toddler tired from the flight (and jet lag). Then lighten the suitcase!
Book a cot at the hotel, and think that it is sometimes possible to rent baby equipment at destination. And if there isn’t, there isn’t! Learn to do without it, you’ll be surprised at how much all this baby stuff finally turns out… um, useless?
But take a stroller with you!
A stroller or baby carrier if your baby can still be carried like this. Yes, even if he has refused to sit in it for a long time, you will see that a cane stroller can save your life during your vacation.
There is a good chance that you will walk a lot, a lot more than usual. Junior may therefore quickly get tired, especially if he has not yet digested the jet lag. Nothing is more painful than continuing the visit with a child who is crying or tired… A stroller, quickly!
Prepare your flight
Is this your first family flight? First point: make sure that everyone has a valid passport or identity document, which is essential for travel. Yes, even for your little one after 3 months! Then, anticipate as much as possible everything that could happen during the flight: hunger, thirst, boredom, peeing, pain… Once the safety check is done, buy bottled water. Bring snacks, compotes and drinking yoghurts. If you are travelling with a baby, you will be allowed to carry food for consumption during the flight (potty, mashed potatoes).
For older children, it is sometimes possible to book a special children’s menu, check with your company. In your carry-on baggage, put a full change of clothes, as well as wipes, small toys and books. Distribute these gradually, as you feel boredom coming on! Finally, a tablet in which you have downloaded some children’s applications will be your best friend…
Make longer stops
Without children, you used to look for the shortest stops, to get to your destination faster. But a child changes the game. A 15 or 20-hour trip in a row is certainly tiring. So travel more slowly and take advantage of a stopover to discover a new country.
Change your habits: take a taxi
We know, there is nothing better than public transport when travelling alone, just to get to the heart of local life. Yes, but again, it’s not always compatible with Junior’s mood (which, let’s remember, is in full jet lag), not to mention those huge suitcases you took with you (you didn’t follow point number 2!).
In short, everyone is tired and looking for their destination in such a context can quickly become torture. Take a taxi! Okay, it’s a budget violation, but it can save morale. And that’s priceless.
Choose the location of your accommodation carefully
In the past, you were looking for the cheapest hotel or hostel to keep costs down, even if it meant crossing the city to get there. When travelling with your family, you think rather practical. It is better to stay in the city centre, or close to places of interest, in order to limit travel. Are you travelling with a baby? Remember that you will probably have to plan nap times, so you may as well choose a pleasant place to stay because you will spend time there.
Is it better to rent an apartment, or to take a room in a hotel? Each has its advantages and disadvantages! In an apartment, you can cook, and in a hotel, you can’t cook (= holidays!!!!!). It all depends on the length of your stay.
And don’t change it too often
Of course, it is always possible to travel on the road when you are with your family. Just think that it requires a (very small) little more organization that it can be a (very small) little tiring and that it may be worth staying in one place and gravitating around it, especially if you leave less than ten days.
Respect the schedules of the smallest (but not too much)
The little ones will need to rest, especially after a flight. They are real emotional sponges, they take all the changes around them, and it wears them out. And then, at home, we take a nap in the afternoon! Don’t try to break the rhythm, give them the rest time they need.
Take the opportunity to rest too; after all, it’s a holiday! But nothing prevents you from arranging these rest periods differently, depending on the activities planned. It’s all about dosage.
Lighten the planning
When travelling with your family, you must accept that you will not be able to do or see everything from a destination. No more obstacle course, no more endless list of activities or minister’s schedule. Remember that everyone is on holiday and that holidays are all about resting, relaxing and having a good time with the family. Running right and left will eventually piss everyone off, and no one will benefit. So select the activities, and if your children are old enough to choose, let them tell you what they would like to do!