Posted by: gardner310 | April 27, 2012

Tips for Traveling with Kids

Top Ten Family Travel Secrets

from Ensemble Travel Group

  1. Play the Family Card – Ask for all-inclusive resorts, family specials, play area supervision (kid’s club), babysitters, and extra amenities.  Choose non-stop flights and a room with a fridge and microwave.
  1.  Planning & Packing Panache – Ask questions about your destination prior to departure.  Print out packing lists so you remember essentials such as: spray sun block, baby powder for removing sand, first aid kit, wet wipes, etc.
  1.  Look Mom, No Hands – Backpacks and rolling carry-ons encourage kids to carry their own stuff.  Inside every bag, include a copy of your itinerary and use Ziplocks and mesh laundry bags to contain things.
  1.  Go Light on Entertainment – Opt for 2 or 3 versatile toys and lightweight electronic devices pre-loaded with books, music, puzzles, games and movies.  Being along some surprise items to distract little ones if they get antsy.
  1.  Master Supply & Demand – When calculating snacks, formula and diapers plan for 5 more hours than your itinerary demands so you don’t get caught short if there’s a delay.
  1.   Use Your Digital Know-How – Instead of paper, carry hotel details and other information on your smart phone.  Supply younger kids with digital cameras and older kids with journals and cameras so they can document the trip.
  1. Aim for an Outcome – Start each day with a specific outcome in mind.  What do you want your children to learn, experience, do?  For total buy-in, be sure to involve your kids by asking what they would like to do.
  1. Keep It Together – In crowded areas remember the sandwich rule: parent, child, parent.  If the group gets separated (by a closing elevator, for example) there’s a parent on either side.
  1. Come On, Get Happy – To sidestep tantrums and sibling squabbles factor in naps and downtime for little ones.  Older kids and teens may need time alone to explore.  Be sure to talk about where they’ll be going and use cell phones and walkie-talkies for periodic check-ins.
  1.   Make Learning Fun – To make adult-oriented tours fun, turn them into treasure hunts in which kids look for specifics, like a “lady with a red hat” or a “baby in the clouds”.

BONUS

With older children, think about doing some geocaching in places where you can combine exploring with exercise and learning.  It is electronic treasure hunting that takes you through cities and some beautiful outdoor spaces all around the world.  Go to http://www.geocaching.com and check it out.  My personal recommendation!

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Responses

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