Summer is the quintessential holiday season, the time when most people take the opportunity to travel and explore new places or simply enjoy relaxing days by the sea. However, this concept can significantly change when it comes to vacations with children.
When traveling with little ones, there are many factors to consider. Choosing a destination, ensuring there are plenty of entertainment options, making sure it’s suitable for kids, and avoiding establishments that don’t allow children are just a few essential things to prepare a vacation with kids. To make things a little easier for you, we’re here to provide some pointers on what matters most.
Choose the Right Destination for Family Vacations
It might be obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. When planning a vacation with kids, the chosen destination is a crucial consideration. While you might be eager to travel to places like Bali or Thailand, the long flight hours or the type of activities available there might not be the best for them.
Therefore, it’s better to opt for a closer destination. Beach? Countryside? City? The best plan is one that allows you to go at your own pace. Beach and mountain destinations offer a more relaxed trip and make it easier to find activities for the little ones.
European capitals also offer a plethora of options for families and involve shorter and more manageable journeys with children. In many cases, these trips don’t even require air travel, making them an excellent choice for a family vacation.
Research About the Destination
This step goes hand in hand with the previous one. You can create a shortlist of potential family vacation destinations and then research them to make the best decision. This will help you determine whether it’s worth spending your vacation within the country or considering an international destination.
In summer, you’ll likely seek a refreshing destination, enjoying long hours at the beach or pool. If you have young children, don’t forget to pack baby flip-flops, especially if they’re taking their first steps. You’ll also need to assess the attractions and activities to better organize your luggage. Look into the average accommodation prices, family-friendly hotels, local entertainment options such as fairs, museums, and local festivals – basically, anything you can plan to do with the little ones during the vacation.
Plan the Itinerary Flexibly
While we all want to make the most of our time when travelling, there are many factors to consider during family vacations. For instance, if you plan cultural activities, they should be engaging enough for the kids or include age-appropriate activities. Otherwise, you risk them getting bored and becoming restless and irritable.
It’s also advisable to identify convenient places for children, like play areas or parks where they can have leisure time beyond planned activities. Flexibility is crucial during these trips, allowing space for the little ones to unwind. Spending an hour in the park can save a lot of stress.
Pack the Right Essentials
Once you’ve chosen the destination and planned the itinerary, it’s time to pack. When vacationing with kids, you can’t afford to bring too many “just in case” items. It’s important to pack lightly and only bring the necessary clothing. Oh, and if the suitcases have wheels, even better – it will make maneuvering with the kids easier.
Don’t forget essential items like comfortable footwear such as espadrilles to keep up with the kids’ pace, sunscreen, a small travel first aid kit... And what you must not pack under any circumstances are things you can buy at your destination, such as diapers or wipes. Just carry what’s necessary for the journey.
Anticipate Children’s Needs
If you think that being prepared for anything with kids is a must – you’re absolutely right. As mentioned earlier, carrying a small first aid kit is highly recommended, especially if your children require any medication.
Another essential for family vacations is to bring some of their toys or favourite books so they can use them during the journey and easily adjust to the destination. Also, don’t forget to pack some snacks and water to have on hand during the trip, especially if it’s a long one. In hot summers, including kids’ flip-flops in your suitcase can be very useful – you never know where you might need to cool off, be it a river or a pebbly beach.
Finally, remember that even though you’re on vacation, it’s advisable for the little ones to maintain some of their routines to enjoy the trip as much as you do.