Traveling can be an educational and eye-opening experience for children of all ages: there are new foods, new experiences and new points of view, not to mention quality family time. But traveling with kids can also be an overwhelming proposition – unpredictable schedules, long packing lists and grumpy kids are just some of the challenges you might encounter along the way. But here, we’ll help you travel with kids in no time. After all, you and your kids should take advantage of every moment to see the world and create a lifetime of memories along the way. Isn’t this the starting point of the journey?
Keep children engaged at any age
You are looking forward to the next family vacation, but you want to make sure that the youngest members of the family will have fun too.
The specific strategies you can use to help children have a good time on the road depend on their age: A baby’s needs are very different from those of a toddler or teenager. But no matter what your child’s age, be sure to research before the trip about child-friendly activities in your destination that you and your family can enjoy. A little preparation will go a long way.
According to Marie, author of the Monblogdebebe.fr website, children aged 2 and under are the easiest to transport. “Children this age are portable,” he says. « You can take them anywhere and keep them happy as long as you create a comfortable environment for them and keep them in their routine. »
Amanda Norcross, editor of the online travel magazine Family Vacation Critic, agrees that schedules are extremely important for babies. “If your infant has a meal or sleep schedule, try to stay as close to that as possible on vacation and plan your days accordingly,” she says.
Be sure to bring your baby’s favorite toys, books and bottles on your adventures, and don’t keep her strapped in a carrier or stroller all day – give her a chance to walk and play. exercise ; if your baby isn’t walking yet, he or she can still lie on a mat or roll over.
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The best diaper bag
Having a fully loaded bag ready to go can definitely help you get out and about more easily and change your child on the go.
Toddlers are a fun age because they’ll start to engage with the different sights around them, Ms. Norcross said. “Destinations are fun for them to explore,” she says. But when you’re building your itinerary, be sure to allow plenty of free time for them to release and re-energize by heading to a playground or your hotel pool.
Mr. Jenss is also a fan of spending time in local parks with toddlers. « The more open space your little one has, the happier they’ll be, » he says. As a bonus, you’ll likely meet local parents who can advise on other activities for your little one in town and give you the names of kid-friendly restaurants to eat.
The key to keeping kids ages 5 and up engaged in a family trip is to involve them in the planning, even in a small way, Jenss said. « The more you empower kids at this age to choose what they want to do, whether it’s seeing a cool site or trying to surf, the more engaged they’ll be, » he says.
Trick : Let your children choose between several activities instead of giving them no direction. In a beach destination, for example, the options might be a half-day snorkeling trip or a fishing trip. In urban areas, share interesting hiking choices and let them choose the one or ones that interest them the most.
Eric Stoen, founder of online family travel site Travel Babbo, says choosing the right guides goes a long way to keeping your kids excited about where they are. When researching tours and activities, he says, read online reviews to find out which guides have taken good care of children in the past. A good guide can have a profound effect on your children: Mr. Stoen’s son, for example, became an excellent draughtsman thanks to a London artist who led the family on an art tour of the city. « It was a tour that literally changed his life, » he says.
Ms. Norcross says the best way to keep teens engaged is to involve them in planning part of your trip. She suggests you have them choose attractions they’re interested in seeing and even let them design a two-day itinerary for you.
Additionally, Mr Jenss, a father of two teenagers, said parents could consider giving older teenagers the chance to spend an hour or two exploring the destination on their own – maybe they’ll want to visit. a certain neighborhood or go to certain stores.
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