Some parents may feel that having a kid means they can no longer live the jet-setting lifestyle they once had; not true at all! All it takes is for some adjustment and preparation, and travelling with kids may turn out to be more fun than you think!
Take your time
If this is your first trip with your children, plan for a slower pace than you usually would take. If you want to see more than one place, be realistic about what you can cover with little ones in tow. The less you feel you have to pack in, the more enjoyable and stress-free the holiday.
It would be helpful to split the baby-sitting tasks with other adult travelling members as well. Before you go, discuss what each person wants to do, agree on how to take turns minding the children and talk about the balance of spending time together and apart.
Trying to retain the spontaneity of travelling without children might not pay off if you arrive at your destination to find you can’t secure a room or have to hit the road again with tired, hungry toddlers making a din on your back.
Even if you want to keep things flexible, it's worth pre-booking the first few nights as this will allow you to look for other places at a more leisurely pace. If you're booking a hotel, always check for special family deals, from discounted rates to free meals for children.
Have a family travel insurance ready
A travel insurance is almost mandatory; and travelling with children makes it even more important to have coverage. Taking a family coverage is usually more cost-effective and it is not uncommon for insurers to give discounts on premiums for children, with some even offering free coverage!
On the road
For safety reasons, always use child car seats when you are driving. Extra rear-view mirrors facing the back seat is also a good idea as it allows you to keep an eye on the children without having to turn around.
If you plan on walking a lot during your trip, remember that young children may not have the focus of staying on route and may get bored easily. Physically, they may not have the strength to walk on for several hours like adults can as well. Consider planning your route around the capacity of your youngest child and your ability to carry them. It's also a good idea to combine walks with another activity such as swimming or having short play time at a playground to break the monotony.
Keeping it fun
Encourage older kids to keep a travel journal so that they can focus on the trip. Encourage them to draw and list down things they see and eat; they could also collect photographs and postcards from people they meet as well as ticket stubs and labels to stick in. If there are simple maps of the places you visit, get them for your children to stick into their journal and help them circle the places you've been.