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16 tips on how to have an epic holiday with kids in tow

16 tips on how to have an epic holiday with kids in tow

MainPhoto. Photo Juan Cruz Mountford

Traveling with young children need not be stressful. We’ve listed down 16 travel tips on how to make vacation with your kids as stress-free as possible.

Summer is here! It is finally time for that much-needed break from school and work, and just relax and bask in the warmth of the sun for several weeks. And so we are painstakingly planning for this summer’s big holiday.

While each family is different, we will try to draw a list that will attempt to ease the stress of vacationing…with kids in tow.

Have a plan

Decide when you are going on vacation, where you are heading, how long will the vacation take, and what mode/s of transportation you will use to get there and back. From this, make an itinerary.

Check your travel and relevant documents

Make sure that passports and visas are valid. Check your tickets and print your boarding passes. Check if the country you will be visiting requires additional documents to cross borders with children. Keep an abridged version of your medical records as this might come in handy in case of emergencies.

Travel checklist with kids

Take the more convenient travel option

Children do not do well with long layovers and non-stop travel. Avoid options that will make them restless. If your travel demands long hours, choose routes that will allow you to take those much-needed breaks.

Choose family-friendly destinations and accommodation

When with family, always consider every member’s interests, because, despite
the many differences, there’s bound to be a common ground and compromise. The beach is almost always a safe bet, there are a lot of activities that can be enjoyed by both parents and children. Check accommodations too, some hotels offer family-friendly facilities for everyone.

Don’t overcrowd your schedule

Remember that even if you have a game plan, don’t overcrowd your schedule. Choose a slower pace and devote some downtime to just lay on the sand and enjoy the beach instead of hopping from one place to another.

Pack smart

Consider the number of days you will be on the road, pack smartly, but do not over-pack. Bring only the essentials. Packing cubes work wonders for organizing clothes and belongings per family member. It also makes it easier to go through airport checks, when asked to put out our carry-on contents.

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The author with her husband Jomar and their three kids during their spring holiday.

Stock up on your favorite snacks and toys

To pass the idle time like waiting at the airport or during long drives, put the children’s favorite snacks and toys in their own bags so they could easily reach for them when bored.

Travel with basic medicines

We do not want any of our family members to get sick during the trip, but if they do, we want to be prepared. Bring essential medicines for allergies, upset stomach, motion sickness, headaches, and fever, as well as prescription medication.

Learn your special needs in the local language

Your special requirements might be easier to explain at home but can be hard and tricky if you’re traveling to another country and don’t speak the local language. Be prepared to explain about allergies, special diets, and special physical or mental needs. Print important information in the local language so it will be easier to show at establishments. Or download an online translation tool to aid you.

Pre-book as much as you can

If you are planning to visit theme parks and museums, purchase tickets ahead
of time. Anything you can book in advance is one less thing to worry about. It might also be cheaper than buying onsite.

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Check for discounts

You’d be surprised at how much you can save from discounts that many places offer for children. From transportation to entrance tickets to hotel and restaurant rates. Do a little research prior to the trip.

Bring some cash

While most establishments accept cards, it’s better to have enough cash with you, especially when traveling with kids. Some local stores may only just accept cash so it is best to be prepared.

Be mindful of your kids’ whereabouts

This can never be said enough. One can easily lose track of their child in crowded places such as airports and tourist spots, or while paying for tickets or asking for directions. Consider putting a tracking device in the child’s clothing or belongings that would alert you if they wander off. Better to be safe than sorry.

Give your children your contact information

Ask them to memorize this and/or put everything on a piece of paper that is always in your children’s keep.

Expect the worst, hope of the best

Traveling with kids is unpredictable. Prepare your hearts that although it may seem that you have everything under control, things may suddenly just take a turn for the worst, depending on the situation or the mood of the kids. Be prepared to adjust travel plans to accommodate these last- minute changes.

Take lots of photos but know when to stop

Given ample time to focus on the beauty around you and just enjoy the moment with your loved ones. Before you even know it, vacation is over and once again, you will have to start planning for the next bigger and more epic adventure!

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