Helpful Tips For Traveling With Family

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Many people are surprised to learn how much my family travels, even with young children. They often ask me for tips on traveling with kids since parenting can be so time-consuming. However, I’ve found that traveling provides lots of fun activities for bonding with children and is a great learning opportunity. Of course, family trips also come with challenges that could potentially ruin your vacation if you’re not careful. Things like overpriced restaurants, unsafe lodging, tourist traps, and cramped flights can quickly turn a dream trip into a nightmare. Here are 51 tried and tested tips to make traveling with family easy and enjoyable.

Make Traveling With Family Easier Using These Experienced-Based Tips

Traveling together strengthens family bonds through shared experiences and quality time focused on each other. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next family adventure, think about what excites you most about travel. For me, it’s the chance to break routine and try new things. For others, it may be visiting a special destination or theme park. Identify what will make you happiest, and your kids will likely enjoy it too. You don’t need to be a professional travel blogger to savor life as a traveling family. Anyone can do it!

Planning Your Family Vacation

The key to a great trip is starting with realistic expectations. If this is your first time traveling as a family, you may not want to jump into a world tour or international destination right away. The best option is probably a direct flight somewhere close by. But truly, you can have a fun family vacation anywhere if you plan well and get the details right. Good preparation and thorough research are the foundation of a smooth travel experience.

1. Read customer reviews of key destination services on sites like Citysearch, Yahoo Travel, TripAdvisor, Yelp, FourSquare.

2. Join discussion forums like those on Fodors, TripAdvisor, LonelyPlanet, Frommers.

3. Consult travel books about your destination or check out travel blogs and reach out to family travel bloggers for personalized recommendations.

4. Stay on top of hotel deals, attractions, budget options via Facebook, Twitter.

5. Get a sizable travel insurance policy covering medical, baggage, cancellation costs.

6. Check foreign exchange rates online beforehand.

7. Exchange currency at post offices to avoid fees.

8. Break down package prices into components on sites like DealBase, Kayak.

Choosing Transportation For Your Family Getaway

One of the best parts of road tripping in the U.S. is the quality bonding time spent traveling together. Being cooped up in a car can actually be a good thing if you come prepared with snacks, games, podcasts or music. Likewise, even young kids can be great little jet-setters if you plan ahead. A little extra effort preparing for your trip will make the vacation itself much more enjoyable for the whole family. Use these tips for your chosen mode of transportation:

Air Travel Tips

9. Scan data from various sites on Kayak to find deals.

10. Check foreign flight options on DoHop, Momondo, Mobissimo.

11. Research ideal seats on SeatExpert, FlyerTalk, SeatGuru.

12. Aim for Boeing 767s with fewer middle seats.

13. Check-in online ahead of time to avoid fees.

Car Travel Tips

14. Get a thorough inspection if road tripping.

15. Bring copies of key documents like licenses, insurance.

16. Confirm spare tire, manual, tools if renting.

17. Check safety reports from NHTSA, DOT.

18. Get free maps and destination info from visitor centers or auto clubs.

19. Find sights and events along your route on sites like myfamilytravels.

Bus and Train Tips

20. Opt for front seats on buses for legroom.

21. Bring earplugs or noise-canceling headphones.

22. Schedule overnight train trips to avoid disturbances.

23. Book direct trains in major hubs to reduce transfers.

24. Select new buses over old, creaky ones prone to breakdowns.

Travel With A Family

Packing Tips

Clothing Tips

25. Make a list for each person and stick to it.

26. Choose outfits that are versatile, lightweight, easy to hand wash.

27. Skip bulky items if going somewhere cool; opt for layers.

28. Pack only wrinkle-free fabrics.

29. Put socks and such inside shoes to conserve space.

30. Limit to two pairs of shoes per person, ideally packable styles.

Travel Gear Tips

31. Put toiletries in clear plastic bags for easy airport screening.

32. Limit luggage to one durable, lightweight wheelie plus a backpack and daypack per person.

33. Use cell phone cameras instead of multiple bulky cameras.

34. Always pack duct tape for emergency repairs.

35. Carry copies of key documents in luggage.

36. Pack spare plastic bags and trash bags for myriad uses.

Other Packing Tips

37. Put a first aid kit, wipes, tissues, toilet paper, soap, paper towels in your glove compartment in case of dirty restrooms.

38. Pack a flashlight, matches, tarp, spare tire, blankets, water in your trunk.

39. If flying, bring your own entertainment, snacks, blankets, neck pillows, portable car seat.

family travel bloggers

Choosing Cost-Effective Accommodations

40. Join hotel loyalty programs for free perks even on one-night stays.

41. Ask about complimentary packages when negotiating room rates.

42. Consider lodging alternatives like Airbnbs, hostels, farm stays, vacation rentals, depending on your trip duration and needs.

43. Opt for hotels renovated in the last 5 years to avoid issues like leaky faucets.

44. Be wary of too-good-to-be-true discounts that require prepayment and prohibit changes.

45. Inspect beds thoroughly for bloodstains or bedbugs before settling in.

46. Don’t put luggage on beds before checking for bedbugs.

family adventures

General Tips For Traveling With Children

47. Expect tantrums, delays and disappointments. Stay flexible; you don’t have to be perfect to have fun!

48. Don’t force kids to stick to rigid schedules; vacation routines will naturally be different.

49. Chat up airline crews for special treatment if you have fussy flyers.

50. Let each child bring a personalized “vacation bag” with toys, books, treats.

51. Wear cargo shorts or pants with large pockets to easily store essentials while out and about.

I hope these family travel tips help you feel prepared and answer some of your questions about traveling with kids. The most important thing is to go ahead and plan a small family trip. Then you’ll see just how fun and doable it can be! After that first successful vacation, you’ll likely be hooked on traveling together and creating priceless memories. Where will you go for your dream family getaway? Do you have a bucket list started?

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