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Family Travel Destinations > Family Travel Tips

Family Travel Tips - from our family to yours

Any parent who has ever traveled with their children knows that it can be a harrowing experience for both parent and child. Unforeseen delays and unfamiliar environments can quickly turn a happy child into a human noisemaker. Each child is different and has different needs and expectations. These tips are useful and relevant but may need to be modified to fit your child’s needs and dispositions. These tips may work wonders for one adventure but be completely outmoded on the next excursion. Expectations grow and change with every trip and the mercurial nature of children. But used wisely these ideas can hedge your bets and help produce a savvy child who sees travel as an adventurous learning experience. Without further ado, here are three useful travel tips to keep your family sane and safe.

The first family travel tip you should keep in mind is to always have baby wipes. Regardless if your children have long since needed a diaper or had an accident, baby wipes can help your child feel safe and clean even in the most remote circumstances. They can be used to clean toilet seats, hands, and faces in exotic locales. They are especially useful for international travel in countries whose personal hygiene and etiquette differ from the United States.

The second family travel trip is to keep your child well entertained. Short of keeping them entertained, try to schedule flights and driving to correspond with their nap/bedtimes. Hopefully their bio-rhythms will kick in and allow them to sleep for most of the time spent traveling. If this is not an option, you must keep them entertained. Creative activities serve best by exercising their imagination and taking long tracts of time to complete. For this reason, coloring books and other art supplies are a must. You might even suggest they document one of your experiences while traveling, this may also provide a release for unexamined emotions associated with the rigors of travel. Toys with many parts tend to be a nuisance and a distraction especially when, as is likely, one of the pieces goes missing. One invaluable idea parents can use to their advantage is to bring a few coveted new toys along without the child’s knowledge. If the child begins to exhibit signs of a meltdown, a new toy might be just the ticket to stave of that fury until you get to your destination or hotel.

The last and perhaps most important family travel tip is to you, yourself, remain calm collected and even excited despite the circumstances. Your children look to you to determine how to act and react and form opinions about the world. Even if your to you boiling point over being lost, delayed, or otherwise inconvenienced, keeping a positive front for your children to emulate will save everybody a lot of misery. If you get delayed encourage your children to experience a new environment more fully, If your lost, don’t use that word, which is scary, but rather suggest that you’re simply exploring your temporary home. It’s a tall order certainly, when plagued by your own desires and uncertainties, but by providing a positive model for your children everyone wins.

We hope you have found these tip useful and informative. But remember how smart your child is and their capacity to work you any which way they can. One parent reported that their child responded wonderfully to the surprise toy technique the first time it was used. But on a subsequent trip, the child staged meltdowns with the expectation of receiving a new toy. Traveling with your children can be a wonderfully rewarding experience or it can seem a nightmare. Attitude is everything. We wish you fun and safe travels and encourage you to be flexible to ensure your adventure is all that it can be.

Travel story from our family trip to China. "It doesn't taste like chicken."

by Michael

When my wife, Jennifer, announced her brother Scooter was getting married and we were all invited to the wedding, the thought of a spending a few days in Manhattan didn’t fill me with anxiety as it had in the past. Our children, Hannah and Liam, had already taken a few bites out of The Big Apple on previous trips, so I even toyed with the idea we might even have fun this time.

“Oh the wedding is not in New York,” she informed me. “It’s at someplace called The Good View Resort.”

Good View? Didn’t exactly conjure up the most inspiring of locations. Why not Great View?

“Where’s that, upstate New York?” My fleeting expectation of a fun week in Manhattan was quickly fading. “No. China.”
Read about our international family trip to China.