Traveling With Kids: Top Tips
Traveling With Kids: Top Tips
Traveling with Kids: Tops Tips – Start Rested and Physically Ready.
This advice is useful for anyone who travels. Do you usually run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off the 2 days before a trip – s0 crazy busy you sound like this guy?
Stay up all night packing? Not good. Why? When you are sleep deprived and stressed you leave yourself open to germs. Airplane seat pockets are full of germs. Want to cut back on the germs you encounter and fly healthy? Read about that here.)
Heading where jet-lag is an issue? Adjust your schedule for a week or two BEFORE you go. Yes, get up way early and go to bed early – getting closer to the schedule you will have on vacation. It will seem a bit weird to have the kids up and early doing homework before school, but it will make wasted time at your destination due to jet lag – next to nothing.
Train those muscles! A little incentive is always good when it comes to getting in shape and it is true with the kids, too. I am a firm believer in walking and walking to build up stamina before a big trip. It is good for everyone’s health AND when you get there you won’t hear “My feet hurt….I’m tired of walking…” which will be music to your ears indeed. Read more here about my favorite incentive plan for getting kiddos to walk and walk and walk!
Traveling with Kids: Top Tips – Electronics Free Pass
Limit electronics time with your kids? Good for you! But, all bets are off for time constraints on the trip for us. It helps them pass the time on airplanes and trains in a way that you might use a book to do the same. It also serves as something familiar and comforting. A little extra mine craft for a week never hurt anyone. 😉
If it extra screen time really bothers you, then offer the ‘every other plan’. Have you child play a little math practice game in exchange for a just for fun game. Every other! This game (cool math.com) is one of our favorites.
*****Remember the chargers and if you are traveling internationally, pack the adapters/convertors.*****
Traveling with Kids: Top Tips – Let them pack their carryon/daypack.
Let each kid pack their own carryon/daypack. I promise they will fill it with stuff that doesn’t make any sense to you. 15 stuffed animals? A backscratcher? 3 leggos and a Barbie witch’s hat? Whatever. Somehow these things are important to your young traveler. It is amazing how much entertainment you can get out of them. Look at GI Joe hanging upside down in Madrid!
Have them leave a little room for you and for a souvenir. Use ‘your’ room for a favorite snack treat and a small notebook and pencil.
Use the notebook for games and notes of all kinds. Let the kids lead the way. Hangman? Tic-tac-toe? Goofy doodles? Tally how many pomegranates can you find in Granada, Spain?
Traveling with Kids: Top Tips – Bring Food!
Yes, you can buy food in the airport. Yes, they will feed you on the plane.
Sometimes there isn’t time to stop and buy food in the airport. It might be too early in the morning or people might be on strike. You never know when a flight will be delayed and you will be running at break neck speed to catch the next one. The shops that are open might not sell food that is ‘acceptable’ to your young traveler. Don’t count on being able to purchase something.
As for plane food….well…have you ever eaten plane food? When plane food is even available anymore it isn’t very good. In the defense it would be hard to have really good food for so many come out of such a tiny kitchen. The last few flights I’ve been on they handed out pretzels which are normally a kid friendly food, but even my 10 year old (who has recently lost several molars) wouldn’t eat something hard and crunchy. Always pack your own food!
Traveling with Kids: Top Tips – Prepare before you go.
Layering is good. Cake with layers is good…
Layering the learning is even better!! Yes, even better than chocolate. It is an important part of making memories and solidifying them.
The bottom layer of learning is to read about your trip. Where will you go? What will you see? What will you eat? I’ve created reading lists for specific destinations: Italy, London, New York, Hawaii, Paris, and Canada.
Watch movies about your destination. The movie Paddington is a new way to get talking about England.
Include songs and poems in your vacation preparation. Remember Frere Jacques (France) and London Bridges Falling Down? What about Song like Welcome to New York by Taylor Swift! Get a flavor of the country like Italy with the Italian Tenors and Morocco!
Layer with food! Try scones before England. Try baguettes before France. Eat spaghetti before Italy. Cookies shaped like Spain! (See how I nailed that pinterest activity???? The bottom 2 blobs are supposed to be Spain shaped. 😉
Traveling with Kids: Top Tips – LEARN while you travel.
Curious, interested, engaged kiddos are the complete OPPOSITE of bored and whiny.
You need the kids to know WHY you are looking at this church/castle/building/winery.
You need the kids to know something INTERESTING (mind you – something they will find interesting) about your destination.
You need the kids to WANT to see the museum/chapel/crown jewels so give them a reason!
My ebooks answer ALL the above questions for kids and then some! They serve as a type of cliff notes for adults. Choose from the following titles: Canada, Austin, France, Nassau, Vatican City, Galleria Borghese, London, New York, Spain, Canada, Louvre, Prado, and Rome.
One of my favorite moments regarding the ebooks was in the cathedral in Seville. I was explaining to my group all about the church and Christopher Columbus who is buried there. I sensed a group of young ladies behind me and moved my group over so they could get by. A few minutes later I noticed them again and moved my group so as not to be in the way. That is when my MIL pulled me aside and whispered that they were following us to listen in! So, we welcomed these US college students into our group.
Enjoy your adventures with the kids!
Natalie, The Educational Tourist