My Nicaraguan mother met my Italian father over cocktails at a bar in Rome. I have called both Italy and France home but am settled, for now, back in my hometown of Washington, D.C. I, too, met my husband at a bar. We have two young children and are adamant about passing down our love of travel to them.
Why Travel With Kids?
The idea of traveling with children makes many parents anxious yet there are a lot of great reasons as to why you should travel with kids. While it’s true that you might encounter a unique set of challenges, it’s also true that the rewards of family travel far outweigh the inconveniences. Because when it comes to building strong, smart, independent children and creating powerful family bonds that will last you a lifetime, the world is one of the best classrooms available. Every destination, every experience has helped our family grow. Each new thing we do has helped our children gain confidence and trust in themselves. And they helped us gain confidence and trust in them.
Tips on Traveling With Children:
Make sure to download movies and TV shows on tablets before your trip in case Wi-Fi is not available to you. Most importantly, don’t forget to charge devices in the event you won’t have access to electricity!
Allow For Splurges
Allow unexpected treats like candy or ice cream for good behavior. You might encounter jetlag or unfamiliar environments. Be sympathetic and allow little rewards.
Whether you have a baby or not, bring baby wipes for public bathrooms or any surface you might need to clean. And aim to pack light, rather than over pack. When you over pack it will become a burden to carry luggage around. Also, packing light gives you a little wiggle room for purchasing things on the trip to take home!
Make hotel reservations ahead of time so, if driving, you have a set goal as to where you’re stopping and to guarantee you have a place to rest. When choosing hotel locations, try to choose centrally located yet quaint neighborhoods that allow for outdoor play, affordable and family friendly restaurants, and interaction with locals.
Take in the Scenery
Once you arrive to your destination, become familiar with your environment so everyone feels at home. When sightseeing, don’t try to pack too much in! Hit one or two major sites per day and then indulge in something fun. Most importantly, create memories by enjoying spontaneous unplanned moments. Those are the best!
Mentally and physically prepare yourself for everything from traffic to major delays. Your family might get cranky, including YOU, but try to take it all in stride and support each other. And remember to pack lots of patience!