Travelling with kids is a big change. It can be a bit stressful. You need to rethink the way of planning your vacation so that it benefits the whole family. So here are a few tips to make your trip easier. The first step is obviously the choice of destination: taking a 2 year old to visit NY where you walk 10 hours a day or to a safari where you need to be in the car at 5am to ensure you will see as many animals as possible will be slightly ... challenging. Life shouldn’t stop with kids, we just all need to adapt ! Fortunately, there are plenty of websites and blogs to get advices on where to go and where to stay with children of different ages. I particularly like the Little Guest Collections website (www.littleguestcollections.com) and the Mumday Morning blog (www.mumdaymornings.com).
Packing can also be stressful as you will think of a thousand things that you will need for your baby or kids. Remember that almost everything can be bought abroad ! You will do your best when packing and try to think of all the little things that will make your babies and kids feel at home wherever you’re going. Even thought I am pretty organized (because this is how you have to be with kids) I always forget something. Too much to think .... as always ;)
What you really really really need is : your passports, your travel tickets, a credit card and most important of all : THE DOUDOU (this can’t be find somewhere else and cannot be replaced). When traveling with babies or young kids, one good tip that my friend gave me is to always have bottles, baby formula, baby food, pampers and additional outfits in your carry-on. So in case your luggage get lost or stolen, you will have the essential until said luggage arrives.
When you finally arrive (usually you feel like you haven’t slept for 72h), you want to relax but they don’t ! What I like to do is go with them and explore our new “home” for the next week, find the pool and the restaurants if we are staying in a hotel or check out the house and its surroundings if we are renting a place. Then, I like to unpack very quickly so I can find our new routine and give a place for everything. It is very reassuring and it helps to appreciate the place and feel better.
When traveling with kids, I find you cannot plan as much daily activities as you used to. I usually list one single thing to do each day so we can all enjoy. Then if we can do more, great ! but if we can’t, nobody is frustrated. You need to think in terms of quality and not quantity. The same rule is to apply if you plan on changing locations. No need to overload your itinerary, or everybody is going to be in a really bad mood.
As time passes, I feel more and more anxious about travelling to a new place, even more now that I have my two kids and that I want all of us to feel well. Stress should go away and be replaced by fun ! If you feel like it, you can be more relax on timing to go to bed and on the food diet. It is always make me smile how you can make a kid so happy with an ice cream, French fries or by telling him that he can stay longer awake for the “apéro” because we are on vacation !