8 Tips to Travel Well With Your Family16/06/2022, Scott, full-time RV traveller in the United States
Traveling together as a family is an amazing way to make lasting memories. Stepping away from your daily routine is always quality time well spent. These adventures and experiences can last a lifetime!
As incredible as family travel is, it can also be a little bit more work and stress than a couples or solo trip. A little advance planning can make the trip so much more enjoyable for everyone. Below are some tips to prepare for and get the most out of your family trip.
1. Get the Whole Family Excited Before the Trip
Your vacation memories can begin well before the trip starts! Involve your kids in planning the trip, or present the trip as a gift or surprise in a fun way.
Make a fun countdown calendar to build more excitement leading up to it. Consider getting the kids a book to learn more about the destination you will be traveling to. If the kids don’t have cameras already, consider gifting each child an inexpensive camera to take along on the trip to document their experiences.
2. Bring Fun Car/Airplane Activities
Help keep the peace on your travel days by bringing along engaging travel activities. Some favourites are travel games like license plate bingo, movie player with movies, books, colouring books, magazines, and activity books (mazes, word searches, crossword puzzles, stickers, etc.).
Also, don’t forget the snacks! Make sure to pack drinks and snacks that your family can enjoy that also minimize the mess. Some of our favorites are applesauce squeeze packets, trail mix, jerky, and granola bars. We stick to only water on travel days to minimize bathroom breaks. We also bring these snacks along on all of our sightseeing days. It’s amazing how quickly a snack can turn things around for a cranky child or even an adult!
3. Pack for Comfort
Everyone loves to look great and feel great on vacation. After all, you are taking lots of photos. But this often leads to wanting to bring new clothes and shoes along. As great as this temptation is, stick to comfortable shoes that are already broken in. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than blisters on the feet.
The other thing that ruins a vacation quickly is bad sunburn. Remember to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and possibly a hat to avoid this situation. We like to bring floppy sunhats that roll up easily into a bag.
A tip to save space when packing is to roll your clothes. We also like to use zip lock bags or Space Bags to separate clothing and removes the air to save space. Packing cubes are another great option. Consider bringing an empty bag along that folds flat in case you come home with extra souvenirs.
4. Avoid Trying to See or Do Too Much
The number one mistake parents make when traveling with kids is to try to include either too many destinations or too many activities. Adults often fall into the trap of wanting to see and do it all to maximize their vacation time.
Trying to cover a large area as a destination with lots of travel time involved, or planning too many activities in a destination, can really wear kids out quickly. No one enjoys any of it when you are dragging tired whining kids around. Consider keeping your trip in one general location and not overdoing it on scheduled activities.
If you have small children, consider booking a hotel near the heart of many of your planned activities so you can come back and take an afternoon nap or have some downtime to recharge.
5. Make Time for Simple Fun
Did you ever take a family trip as a child? What do you remember most from that trip? Adults often think that the big experiences or activities are what kids will remember most. The funny thing is that kids often remember the simple times you spent together.
They remember going to get ice cream every afternoon, swimming in the hotel pool, or a card game played on the airplane. Sometimes it’s the simplest fun that kids remember most so make sure to include some of those activities on your trip.
6. Keep Kids Engaged During the Trip
A great way to keep kids engaged ion your trip is to give each child an inexpensive camera and have them take lots of pictures. Not only does this keep kids interested, but their photos will give your family tons of memories and laughs to look back on. It’s always incredible to view something from your child’s perspective.
7. Have a Souvenir Plan
Consider giving each child a small souvenir budget for the whole trip. This way the kids can pick something out and then be finished instead of bugging you in every gift shop along the way. A memorable and inexpensive souvenir that we like to buy is postcards. Have each child and adult pick out 1 postcard for each place you visit or activity on your trip. Then in the evening while waiting at dinner or in the hotel, have each person write one thing on the back of the card that they want to remember from the place or from the day. It could be something that surprised them, a favourite part of the activity or place, or a funny story.
8. Keep the Fun Going Once You Get Home
The fun doesn’t have to be over once you get home. Develop the unique and funny photos your children took of the trip, gather all the trip brochures you picked up, and snag the postcards that you purchased. Have a fun project with the kids where you put it all together in a scrapbook. The kids will love the project, make a great keepsake, and give you a great excuse to relive your trip.
I hope this inspires you to not only travel with your family but to travel well. With a little extra planning, you can make some amazing memories together that last a lifetime. Time with our children is the most precious resource we have. It is something that we will never get back again. I hope you can enjoy it to the full!
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|About The Author|
Scott, Van, and their 12-year-old daughter Sissy are full-time RV travelers in the United States. They have worked and homeschooled on the road for the past 7 years. They write about amazing travel destinations, RV tips, and the full-time RV lifestyle on their website TheAdventureDetour.com. They love to connect with other travelers so please reach out and say hello!