Traveling with young family members can appear daunting as they often require additional assistance. From ensuring they receive the proper care to establishing child-friendly activities, traveling abroad can seem an impossible task. Tony Freudmann, the Director of RiverOak Strategic Partners, has over thirty years of aviation experience and states that despite several organizational challenges, vacationing with young family members can still be an enjoyable experience. He provides some valuable insight on how to make traveling with young ones stress-free.
1. Schedule Extra Time For Every Step
If you have ever traveled alone, you may have an idea of how to organize your days. However, Tony Freudmann advises you to plan for extra time when traveling with young children. Adding extra padding to your schedule will allow for unplanned events, such as the time required to get a stroller through security.
You can also schedule longer layover time to allow for breaks between flights to take care of your family and deal with the following:
- Frequent bathroom breaks
- Making sure everyone is properly fed
Also make sure to schedule downtime between more strenuous activities, such as:
- Resting at a park
- Going to the movies at a local theater
- Taking a break at a local café
2. Get Your Kids Familiar With An Airport And Prepare Them For Flying
The best way to prepare your child for a long flight is to familiarize them with an airport setting as crowded environments can often be overwhelming. Tony Freudmann suggests downloading a collection of children’s app to help them adjust to the sounds and procedures.
Similarly, depending on the length of a flight, parents may want to come prepared with various games or movies to watch.
Check out these resources for children here
3. Pre-Book Whenever Possible
When traveling alone, it is easy to find a place to stay once you arrive and get a feel for your destination. However, pre-booking all of your accommodations in advance will save you the frustration of needing to search after a long day of traveling. Similarly, keep in mind your child’s specific requirements when reserving a place to stay. For example, if your loved one requires a special diet, perhaps a hotel for away from local amenities is not an optimal choice.
4. Avoid Overpacking
Many parents have the reflex of packing everything their children use at home when traveling. Although this helps with keeping a consistent routine, this is not beneficial when traveling to new locations.
Remember that you will likely end up carrying at least one of your young children at the end of a long day. The last thing you want is to be carrying extra luggage as well. In any case, if you under pack for certain essentials, you can always purchase these at your destination.
5. Remember Snacks
Although adults can tolerate hunger when necessary, Tony Freudmann reminds travelers that hungry children can make a trip quite difficult. This is especially important when you consider that many things can go wrong during a trip, and the time between meals is often extended. To be prepared in any situation, always carry enough snacks to keep your children satisfied.
6. Give Your Children Your Contact Information
Always make sure your children have the following information on them in case of emergency:
- Your name
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Your local accommodations
Likewise, take the time to explain the importance of staying close despite the excitement of a new location as children are often tempted to wander off.
7. Try Out Different Public Transit Options
When traveling to new cities, you will also gain access to new types of public transit. This can be a fun learning experience in itself for your children. Schedule your transit using as many different modes of public transportation to amuse your kids.
It is imperative that individuals perform the necessary research before booking a vacation. By following all of these tips, Tony Freudmann states that you will make traveling as a family safer, less stressful, and overall more fun for everyone.