4 Bloggers Advice On How To Travel With Kids
We have interviewed a handful of adventure enthusiasts that have families in our podcast but our latest guest, Leyla Brooke, has made it very clear the importance of sharing that love of adventure with her children. She’s a blogger, runner, and most importantly a Mom. She appreciates the immense amount of education that comes with exploring the world. She melted our hearts knowing that she passionately wanted to instill travel and adventure in her kids.
When we talk to acquaintances that state they just can’t travel due to children, we understand that it may not be the easiest to plan, afford, and stress gets the best of them. But the product and appreciation of making even the smallest adventures happen, have to be far more rewarding.
We don’t have children, we have fur babies. They can be a pain in the butt when it comes to jumping on a last minute adventure, so the tips we have for them will not translate for those tiny humans. Imagine if we said….
Litter your house in toys, throw catnip in every corner, set the spotify playlist to bird sounds, your kids should be just fine!
So I decided to ask some experts for you. I reached out to 4 family travel bloggers, that I personally love and respect, and they’ve provided you with some great tips to consider before your next adventure.
INTRODUCING TRAVEL TO KIDS
By: Cassie Pearse
For my family, the one thing that ensures (am I tempting fate?) us a smooth travel is talk. We talk to our kids all the time about what we're doing and where we're going, how we'll get there, what to expect, and what we'll do on holiday. Maybe our kids get bored with the sound of our voices but they never struggle with travel plans.
From the moment something is booked we talk about it and we never, ever, spring anything on them. Because the kids see us full of excitement for our adventures, that's how they are too: they look forward to exploring the world even if they know it means having to try new foods and accepting different cultural norms when it comes to interactions with adults.
We also try hard to manage everyone's interests: for example, living in Mexico we regularly visit archaeological sites. Because we never overload the kids with facts, they love these trips and see them as a treat. Same with visiting stately homes or religious buildings; we don't overburden with facts, we tell them stories, explaining a little of the historical context and then move on. We don't want them to end up resenting their early adventures.
My kids certainly don't love that in some cultures people feel free to touch their heads or even grab their cheeks (they're both blonde so stand out in many countries) but they do love that many of these locations are the same ones that freely offer sweets to kids and are far more tolerant of kid behaviour than their own home country, the UK. They know they're lucky to be able to see so much of the world and they regularly tell us how lucky we are to be an adventuring family. At the moment they are beyond excited for our upcoming adventure in Mexico's Copper Canyon.
PACKING TIPS FOR KIDS
By: Kyla Hunter
I love family travel. I think the travel experiences I have are so much richer when I bring my kids along. Not only do I connect more with the locals, but I also get to see everything through my kid’s eyes as well as my own. It’s pretty incredible, and worth the hassle in my opinion! However, if you do it right, it doesn’t have to be a hassle!!
A few of my top tips for making family travel a breeze have to do with packing. Actual travel days are always the most stressful, and if I can decrease the stress on those days, everything else seems to be more enjoyable!
1. Pack light – I know this seems difficult with kids, but it’s totally possible. The benefit of packing light is obviously that there’s less stuff to move around, but there’s more! You’ll have a hand free to hold onto a child or push a stroller, you’re less likely to lose things, and you’ll save money on extra baggage fees! And as an added bonus, there’s less stuff to spread all over the hotel room, and repacking will take a fraction of the time. Packing light takes a bit of practice, but it’s worth struggling through to get to the point where you’ve mastered it.
2. Have the kids pack and carry their own things – What the kids carry will change with their age, but even at the age of 2 they can carry a tiny little pack with a toy and a snack. By the age of 4, kids are able to carry all their toys at a minimum. Learning what to pack has been a work in progress, but it provides such a sense of responsibility and independence. In my mind travel is about raising independent, compassionate, global citizens. Packing and carrying their own bag is an integral part of this!
You can receive some sample packing lists on a more indepth post here.
TAKING A PLANE WITH KIDS
By: Shweta Singhal
Air Travel can be a bit stressful with babies and toddlers, especially on long haul flights. Here are some tips to ease the pain
Spend a bit extra to book direct flights as far out as possible. Trust me, you wont regret it.
Tiring kids out at the airport is a good way to ensure that they sleep on flights. At times, walking the aisles and watching airplanes take off or land works.
For infants (less than 2 years), book the bassinet seat in advance. Your baby has a safe, secure place to rest and you can be hands-free for a bit. Plus these are located close to the WCs for those last minute emergencies.
Book child meals– these special meal requests are served prior to the meal service and more suited to kids’ palette.
There are many more tips to keep in mind on choosing accommodation, food options, car and train travel, planning an itinerary that can make family travel enjoyable for everyone. You can read some more in depth ideas on my post about International Travel with a Toddler.
OUTDOOR ADVENTURE WITH KIDS
By: Catherine Ryan Gregory
When planning an outdoor adventure with your kids, scale back your expectations.
Hiking with a cranky kid is no one's idea of a good time—you'll need to go at their pace. That means you may end up stopping at a river while your child throws rocks into the water for 15 minutes. You may not hike as far as you did pre-kids, but look at your new lifestyle as a chance to see the world through their eyes.
For kids, outdoor adventures isn't about the destination—the summit, the waterfall, the whatever—but rather about the journey. So pause to check out an interesting rock or unfamiliar flower. Go slowly. Look up at the clouds. You'll be surprised at how much you'll notice—and how much you'll appreciate.
Also, never underestimate the power of snacks! Kids are like hummingbirds, burning through calories at astounding rates, so bring along more food than you think you'll need. Variety is key, too. Some of my go-to kid snacks when we travel: fruit leather, squeezie pouches, graham crackers, peanut butter tortilla sandwiches (since they don't get smashed like bread), fig bars, goldfish crackers, tofu dogs and peeled apple slices.
I also bring one snack that's special, like a chocolate granola bar, for when I really need to motivate them—like when we've reached a steep part of the trail. When we're hiking or exploring a new destination, my two kids always perk up after they eat.
Moms, Dads, what do you think?
Are you going to start planning your next adventure even if its whipping out the tent in your own backyard?
Share with us a dream destination you would love to go to with the family in the comments below.
Step one is always putting it out there, then the implementation steps will soon follow!