6 Tips for Traveling with Young Kids

Traveling with children

Here are some tips, tricks and tools to help you navigate the world of family vacations.

Any parent can tell you that traveling with kids can be difficult, especially if you have young children. There is a lot that goes into family travel, from planning the trip and getting your kids excited for it, to actually getting there and visiting all the sites.

To help reduce your stress and make the most of your family vacation, AAA has provided some practical pieces of advice for traveling with little ones.

  1. Plan a trip with everyone in mind
    This may seem pretty obvious, but many families make the mistake of picking a destination that caters to either the parents or the kids. The best vacations are ones that have activities and attractions that everyone can enjoy.
  2. Take some extra time everywhere
    Young kids don’t typically operate on schedules quite as well as adults do (and even some of us adults aren’t great at it). Plan for some extra time just about everywhere you go on your travels for the kids to explore, dawdle, and dink around. We’re not just talking about your destinations, but also places like the airport, hotel, and restaurants, too. Planning for extra time should help you keep your cool when that 20 minute food stop turns into 45.
  3. Keep them clean, keep them healthy
    Nothing puts a damper on a family vacation quite like a sick child. To help prevent this, be sure to keep plenty of hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes with you. Kids like to put their hands on everything so when you’re stopping for those quick meals, be sure to use the wipes and sanitize those hands first to prevent your little ones from getting sick.
  4. Say no to sweets
    A bag of M&M’s is a convenient snack for toddlers to keep them going on a busy sight-seeing day, but a resultant sugar rush, or a sugar crash, as you arrive in an unfamiliar area may be less welcome. Plan ahead and pack some healthier snack options like nuts, cheese cubes, and fruit to keep their energy up without going overboard.
  5. Public transportation is your friend
    Many little kids love the big engines of modern day public transportation. They are crazy for buses, trains, subways, and boats, so consider making those daily treks across major cities part of the fun experience for your little ones. It’s a cheaper option than rental cars and taxis, plus it will keep them entertained as you travel to your next destination.
  6. Let them be shutterbugs
    This may sound crazy, but many young kids want to emulate mom and dad who are often taking pictures like crazy on vacation. Give them a creative outlet with a durable, kid-friendly camera of their own. You might be surprised to see what vacation highlights they found worthy of trying to preserve with a picture, plus it’s always interesting to see how the world looks from knee-high.