Monday, 17 February 2014

Travelling with Kids

This time of year, my Facebook Newsfeed is littered with pictures of People going on trips! Friends and family posing beside Mickey Mouse, laying on the beach, in front of a ski slope and packed up at the airport ready to hop a plane somewhere!

I'm very jealous.

We travel frequently with the kids and usually take a mid-winter trip. However, we stay within our budget, which means staying within a few hours drive of our house.  This year we're forcing ourselves to stay put so that we can save our money for one of those big trips everyone is going on this time of year!

Traveling with kids is always a challenge, whether you're just driving a short distance, or hopping a plane for a foreign destination.

Here are a few tips I think are worth sharing.

1. Hotels
When booking a hotel, check for family rates or if breakfast is included in the price. I rarely stay at a hotel that doesn't offer a complimentary breakfast. We're a cereal and toast type of a family who love buffet style meals.
If you're traveling with a baby, check ahead to make sure they have proper baby sleeping essentials available so you don't have to lug along yours.

2. Sticking Together
My biggest fear on trips is that I'll lose a kid. In a new place, we always designate a meeting point in case anyone gets separated and make sure the kids repeat the plan back to us to make sure they understand. It's a good idea to have them wear bright colored shirts, or similar colors so you can spot them in a crowd.

3. Snacks
We always pack a cooler of snacks whether it's for a long drive, or if we're headed to an Amusement Park. Park food can be abnormally expensive and not very healthy. If my kids want to survive a full day of fun, they need fruit and water, not french fries and Pepsi.

4. Entertainment
Whether you're waiting at the airport, on a plane or driving a long distance, your brain could use a break from entertaining. Pack some books, games or a gaming device. A few minutes of silence can be golden.


5. Get Along Bag
I always have a small bag of essentials with me like it's my 3rd leg. It can be a long walk back to the van and a huge waste of family time just for a new pair of underwear.

6. Easy Pack-Up
When you're packing to come home, do your best to make the unpacking as smooth as possible. Put all the dirty clothes together in a bag so they're ready for the wash and pack everyone's clothes separately so clean clothes are easier to put back in drawers. I've been guilty of just tossing everything in the suitcase and telling myself I'll worry about it when I get home. I've discovered that when I get home is NOT when I want to worry about organizing clothes, garbage and laundry.

Happy Traveling !!

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