10 travel tips for family vacations with kids

If you want to give your kids the best childhood and open up many doors for them, regularly organize family vacations. Although family trips may need to be postponed right now, there are things you can do from home that will make your next trip spectacular. If you are afraid to forget or overlook something important, this article will be a small and quick guide through the intricacies of family vacation planning. 

1: Check your passport

Make sure everyone in your family has a valid passport. This means that it will not expire for at least another six months from the date of your departure. Start the passport changing process at least four to six weeks in advance to avoid extra charges if you need it to be issued faster. 

2: Choose your destination

Brainstorm together with your family members where you want to go. How far are you ready to travel? What kind of activities would you like to do? Which climate would fit the best? If you are flexible on the dates, check out services like Skyscanner to receive alerts about upcoming cheap flights. 

3: Prepare Visa photos

If you are traveling with children, especially, small children, consider taking your own passport and visa photos. Instead of taking your little ones through the hell of the trip to the photo studio and interacting with strangers, you can as easily make them feel comfortable at home and take as many pictures as you need until you get a good result. Use a professional program to access the suitable passport photo template and print out the images on your home printer or at a local photo studio. 

4: Take care of the traveling documents

Visit the official embassy page of the country of your destination to learn information about visa requirements. Some countries offer visa-free entry, however, expect you to have a filled-out application at the border, a set of pictures, and some cash. In order to avoid the stress of preparing these documents at the airport, familiarize yourself with the requirements, and come prepared. 

5: Buy an insurance and get vaccinated

Especially when traveling with infants, acquiring travel health insurance is a very important step. It will save you tons of money in case of any emergency, from unexpected medical bills to losing your luggage or flight cancellation. Additionally, visit the online sources with official information on required or advised vaccinations before traveling to the country of the destination, and get vaccinated if necessary. 

6: Book accommodation

Instead of booking a hotel, take a look at other options like Airbnb or HomeAway. Staying at an actual local’s apartment will enable you to immerse yourself into the local culture, cuisine, and lifestyle. It also gives you an opportunity to cook food by yourself and save a significant amount of money on eating out.

7: Ask for family discounts

Many tourist attractions, hotels, and homestays offer a range of family discounts. Don’t be shy and ask your travel agent for it, look for the information online, or ask a reception worker. You can also acquire a family travel pass that will reduce transportation costs and museum tickets. 

8. Pack smart

First of all, always pack light and take only the essentials. However, if you travel with small children, don’t forget a light stroller or a sling for taking walks. Finally, pack a kit of necessities into the carry-on, so in case of a delay, you have got extra diapers, baby wipes, and toys. 

9. Bring snacks

If you would like to avoid noisy cranky children at the airport, never forget about the snacks for the road. But make sure you get healthy snacks like nuts, raisins, crackers, apple slices, and other fruit. 

10. Rent a car

Unless you are traveling to a city with good infrastructure and transportation system, consider renting a car. It will save you a lot of trouble: no need to look for a ticket machine and spend money on the fare, you can stop at any time to have a break or use a restroom, finally, a car ride always offers comfort. But what about a car seat for little ones? While they are safe and necessary, they are way too heavy and bulky for traveling. Consider purchasing a Ride Safer travel vest – a much more mobile alternative to a car seat.

Finally, keep calm and enjoy your trip. Don’t overthink every detail, take a deep breath, make a to-do list, and follow it. Vacations are supposed to be fun and relaxing, so don’t let it go into your head and make you stressed out. Have a great family trip!

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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