Sanity Savers :: Tips For Enjoyable Family Vacations With Kids

Sanity Savers :: Tips For Enjoyable Family Vacations With Kids

Let’s be honest parents, traveling with children can be a nightmare! Car rides can “take so long and are so boring.” They may not like sleeping in a new place because they don’t have their favorite nightlight or blanket. Don’t even get me started on the picky eaters that I have living with me! I’ve learned that traveling with kids can be fun if you take some time to plan your upcoming trip, and remember that no one knows your kids like you do so plan accordingly.

Below are a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned throughout my parenting journey, I hope they help.

  1. If this is a family trip, it’s really a children’s trip. I’ve learned over the years that family vacations go much smoother if we keep it kid centered. We try to locate activities that they will enjoy so that they stay engaged. If my husband and I want to take an adult centered trip, we do that and leave the kids behind. Sanity Savers :: Tips For Enjoyable Family Vacations With Kids
  2. You know if your kid is a good car rider or does great on air planes, so remember that when you book a trip! Our kids were horrible car riders, if we took a road trip, we knew that 3 hours was the max they’d last in the car without severe meltdowns. Anything over 3 hours and I’d want to jump out the window. As they get older that time increases so we are able to take longer road trips comfortably. I’d also suggest loading tablets with shows they like the day before. They’re allowed them to take one stuffed animal so they have a pal in the car and to sleep with at night. You can stock up on snacks, lunch, and water for the car ride too; the fewer the trips the better. I also bring a cold bag stocked with lunch meat and fruit, all things last a good amount of time if the trip is short.
  3. If you’re driving or flying, pack things that make your child feel comfortable. For us it was packing a night light, a favorite blanket (also helps in the car in case they get cold), a favorite stuffed animal, and their tablet. All of these things come in handy in the car as well as during sleep routines.
  4. I usually pack food and/or snacks that they like and that travels well. This helps me with the daunting task of feeding them and saves us some money. Mine can be picky eaters so I always bring pop tarts, bread, PB&J, and their favorite snack foods. You can also buy these things when you arrive at your destination. We do eat out locally once we arrive at our destination, but having food they like on hand helps when they are being a bit difficult when it comes to food. Sanity Savers :: Tips For Enjoyable Family Vacations With Kids
  5. Once you pick your destination start searching for activities your kids will actually enjoy. I’ve learned that planning ahead helps to decrease stress! I don’t plan for every minute but I will select the top 2 activities we can do for the day. This allows us to plan around those activities and it helps the day to run smoothly. You can also find good deals if you plan ahead. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found a free museum day or a half the rate special because I planned ahead.
  6. If you can, book a home to stay in instead of a hotel! We’ve learned that staying in a hotel stresses everyone out. The kids can’t really run around and burn energy in a hotel, and it’s hard for parents to get quiet time at a hotel with the kids in the same room. Booking a house or condo allows everyone to have a space of their own. We usually use Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) or AirBnB. Don’t let cost deter you from this option, the price between a home and a hotel are usually in the same price range. Again, plan and search ahead and read reviews before booking!
  7. Lastly, try to have fun with the kids! Join in on what they’re doing, if they see you are having fun they’ll have more fun too.

I hope these tips help to make your next family trip a success. Remember, as the kids get older the way you plan will change and adapt too. Have fun!

Vivian Winters
Vivian is a true country girl, having grown up in the small town of Loreauville, where her family owned a farm. She moved to Oakland for several years, where she discovered her passion for travel and seeking new adventures. As a proud Ragin Cajun, she earned her bachelor's degree from UL-Lafayette and later completed her master's degree at UL-Monroe. Vivian and her husband have been happily married for 13 years, residing in the Lafayette area with their two delightful and funny children and two large dogs. Their son is 9, their daughter is 8, and their furry companions, a brother and sister pair, are 3. Vivian and her husband often find themselves playing the role of "Uber" for their kids, chauffeuring them to numerous extracurricular activities. As a self-proclaimed foodie, Vivian cherishes living in an area with fantastic food choices. Whenever she can find a moment to herself, you'll likely find her enjoying music, catching up on TV shows, and savoring those precious moments of peace and quiet.


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