Traveling with our boys began early and often, by taking trips out of state to visit our families, we primed them for a life of getting up and going. Their lives began as city kids in Brooklyn, without a car, with lots walking and riding public transportation. I attribute these factors to part of our success with traveling, but mostly our attitudes. Children tend to be exhausting no matter what, and going into travel thinking anything else has proved to be a letdown. We decided waiting for our children to be older and “easier” for travel would rob us of some great opportunities in the past and present. Traveling BEFORE required fare for air travel is such a sweet spot. This gives you the chance to see and do more for half the cost. A snuggly baby in a carrier is contained and portable, I can’t think of a more ideal time to travel.
We tend to be inspired to travel to interesting places, not ones that are all about the kids. One trip we took was at a family resort with everything included. As much as this seems wonderful, it was a bit of a bust and we’ve said we probably wouldn’t go this route again. Having a plan helps, through trial and error we have learned some solid tips over the past five years;
1.Take them out of their comfort zone and have them try new things.
2. Pad in time for a nap or quiet time everyday for everyone.
3. Bring a toy from home (mine chose magnatiles) for the plane and hotel. Building pillow forts was one of the highlights for them, kids will come up with games on their own, with what they have available.
4. Get a room with some sort of separation, either a door on the bedroom, a balcony you can sit on, Anything that enables you to stay up, have drinks, talk or whatever else 😉 after the kids go to bed.
5. Always stay at a hotel that has a pool either indoor or outdoor. This trip we hit the town and sites in the morning focusing on things we wanted to do, with the promise of ice cream after nap and swimming till dinner. Works.every.time.
6. Pack light, you don’t need to recreate home in another location
7. Bring one back up snack if the kids aren’t liking the food, I brought a box of Lara bars.
8. Teach them something about the place or people you visit and let them pick a souvenir.
9. Keep the trip to five days. One day on each end for travel and three days to go all out. This amount of time also helps with getting a nicer room.
10 Spilt up on the plane. Kyle and I pick a “travel buddy” whenever we go anywhere. That way you never think the other parent has one of your kids, when they actually go missing. Sitting with JUST your travel buddy on the plane gives your child one on one attention and zero opportunity for bickering with their sibling.
Traveling is expensive for a family of four. It takes planning, budgeting and some sacrifices to make it happen. With so many places on our list, we’ve begun to make decisions on when and where, so when the opportunity arrises we are ready.