Travel can be extra fun and eye-opening experience for children to see the world, but it can also be challenging. Unpredictable schedules just because your children suddenly don’t want to visit a place, or they become cranky, or they cry for some toys from home are just a few of the challenges you may face along the way. But knowledge of what makes a destination kid-friendly and a little understanding of the need of different ages will go a long way.
Babies are the easiest to travel with in many respects because most of them are adaptable. They sleep and eat on the go. They go where you go and when you go. You can take them anywhere and keep them happy as long as you provide them with a comfortable environment, their favorite toys, and books, and keep them in their routine. And one thing to remember, give your kids an opportunity to walk or stretch, don’t keep them in a baby carrier or stroller all day.
Although babies are the easiest company, they need a lot of care and attention since they can’t tell you what’s wrong so a small problem can be a big one. You also have to pack extra for everything such as diapers, wipes, and clothes, and don’t forget a carrier or stroller. So traveling to the city may be a good option as you easily find childcare systems and supermarkets to buy items for your babies.
These little guys are at the age of discovering the world so traveling with them has always been so much fun. They are curious about everything around them and love to experiment with different sights and sounds making every trip a happy memory for them. Add more open spaces in your itinerary for your toddler to run around but be sure to give enough time for them to relax. A beautiful hotel with a pool, playground, and garden, or near the beach would be a perfect place for them. Always prepare some healthy convenience food because toddlers, with their seemingly boundless energy, seem never to be hungry at mealtimes.
Children at this age are really building memories. They travel lighter, do more walking, get ready to try new food, and are easy to bribe with ice creams or snacks. But traveling with them can be hard as they reach the point when they like to make their own decisions and have a strong opinion about what they want to do. You don’t need to ask a baby to go to the museum. Your toddler might find an art gallery a new place to run. But your school-age kid needs a lot of compromises to have their agreement on leaving what they are doing to join you.
The good news is, children at this age are open to negotiating so let them get involved in making the plan. Giving them options to choose which appeals to them the most from several activities instead will encourage them to engage more in the activities.
Traveling with teenagers, honesty, is better than traveling with toddlers or school-aged children because they are grown up enough for some adventures and they eat almost everything. Family journeys such as Thailand vacations with exotic food and adrenaline activities are what your teens love. Know their interest and don’t force them to do anything they don’t like and you will be fine.
Give your teens opportunities to choose some activities or attractions which they are interested in doing ad seeing, and even let them spend a couple of hours exploring the destination on their own, as long as you both feel safe.
Soaking in the culture and living like locals wouldn’t be something necessary for teens. They prefer hotels with good WiFi to hotels with pools or beaches. They need more sleep than us, their parents. And it seems they consume about twice the amount of their weight in food. They tent to eat extra meals, maybe five a day. Feed them well. Let them eat well. And plan a food tour or a cooking class into your travel plan. They would love it.
So is it worth traveling with children? My answer is: It really is. Sure, traveling with kids can test your patience and give you a lot of discomfort along the way, but it’s one of the most rewarding gifts you can get as a parent. I think it’s an amazing experience that somehow imprints in your children’s memory. From early childhood, they are introduced to new ways of living and a new culture that help them to get ready to try new things, shaping them into smart and interesting citizens of the world.