Tips for traveling with children and making it the best experience of your life
Traveling is one of life's best experiences. You are renewed and rejuvenated. You bring with you not only your personal belongings and the souvenirs you buy in each place you visit. But the experience of other cultures and the memories are priceless. Traveling with children, then, is something that brings immense satisfaction! Firstly, because we don't stop doing what we love so much: getting on the road. Secondly, because every dazzled reaction from our children gives us unparalleled satisfaction.
Traveling with children is very possible! But it does have some limitations, which must be observed. Despite their energy, they have their own interests. And they often can't cope with such a fast pace. Tiredness hits, and if we don't pay attention to this, the mood can end up getting in the way of a program that would be very nice.
To help with the planning, we suggest some measures that can and should be taken to make the trip unforgettable and full of joyful moments! These are our eight golden tips for traveling with children:
1. DEFINE THE ITINERARY IN ADVANCE AND TRY TO INCLUDE PROGRAMS THAT ARE ALSO INTERESTING FOR CHILDREN
Traveling is a verb that is practiced in different phases. The first is planning. We spend days looking at information about itineraries, accommodation, flights, etc.
Including children in this planning is something we do around here and it has produced great results. This is because they take part in choosing the programs we're going to do together and they become aware that there will be activities other than those they want to do.
So, when traveling with children, we always intersperse Mama Fernanda's programs with those chosen by Felipe and Letícia. The trip is a delight and we manage to please both Greeks and Trojans.
If your child is not yet old enough to make these choices, choose some places yourself. Look for places where they can have fun, such as squares, parks, children's museums, ice-cream parlors, toy shops, among others. Not to mention beaches: where, as well as making the famous castles, the little ones can burn off energy and have fun in the sea.
A good script planned, it is sure to guarantee fun for the whole family!
2. PROVIDE THE DOCUMENTATION CORRECTLY
Birth certificates, identity cards, passports and the like are documents that we always need to pay extra attention to before traveling with children. Checking that they are valid and in good condition are measures that can prevent a lot of headaches when traveling. If the destination is abroad, getting a visa in good time is also a must.
It's worth remembering that in some parts of the world, vaccinations are required and must be taken and certified on international cards, which can be obtained from health centers in your city.
In the case of my little ones, there was a time when, because I was traveling alone with the children, I also took the death certificate of their father, to avoid any setbacks when boarding, since in some cases the authorization to travel alone with the child needs to be authorized by the father. In their new passports, I asked the Federal Police to register the death, and that was unnecessary.
For greater security, it is recommended that you make a copy of all the documentation, including vouchers and credit cards that you will be taking, so that in the event of loss you have all the information you need to protect yourself. Putting together a folder or envelope with these copies helps a lot with organization for those who want to travel with children.
And if you lose or forget your child's original documents while you're in the country, go to the civil police at the airport, file a police report and you'll be able to board the plane with your child.
3. TAKE OUT TRAVEL INSURANCE
Since my first international trips as a teenager, I've usually taken out travel insurance. In many places it's compulsory, in others it's not.
Although I've never taken out insurance (thank goodness!!), this guarantee gives me a lot of peace of mind when traveling with the kids. Regardless of the destination, I always take out a policy for the three of us, as the two of us are very active around here.
4. PROPERLY IDENTIFY CHILDREN
Another very important measure is to identify the little ones. Around here we always make little bracelets for both of them. We put their name, contact details, the address of where we are staying and all the necessary information in case we lose our treasures.
We're lucky never to have had anything like this happen, but it doesn't hurt to be on the safe side, does it? Traveling with children means thinking about preventive measures all the time...
As Felipe and Letícia are already older, the bracelet works well and it is recommended that it is even written in the local language. There was a time when I used to play at getting tattoos on both of them: I would write the dice on their tummies, because it was more playful and they didn't mind having them on their arms.
Another good option is to identify them on the clothes they are wearing by writing or embroidering the child's full details.
5. FIND GOOD ACCOMMODATION
When we talk about good accommodation, we don't necessarily think of fancy, luxurious hotels. Every family and trip has its own budget. And this must also be taken into account when choosing accommodation.
Resorts are a great option for families who want to enjoy the facilities of the establishment, letting the children run around a bit more freely with the help of monitors. However, many people, due to the convenience that this type of accommodation provides, end up missing out on the local beauty and attractions and are only tied to what the resort offers.
Smaller hotels and hostels are not only interesting if you only want to stay for a short time. The more affordable costs are also a big draw. Remember that many offer the comfort needed for a good night's sleep, a refreshing shower and other important amenities to recover your energy and continue discovering your destination.
Renting apartments or houses is also a good option. As well as giving us more freedom with the children, who can play more freely, it also gives us greater flexibility in terms of timetables, such as breakfast, for example.
When deciding which accommodation to choose, check the purpose of your trip, research well and once you've chosen, make the most of your stay!
6. LOOK FOR FLIGHTS WITH FEWER STOPOVERS AND CONNECTIONS
When they were babies, Felipe and Letícia suffered a lot during take-off and landing because of the pressure in their ears. When the captain warned of these moments, I would either breastfeed them or, a little older, take a bottle of milk for them to suck on to relieve the discomfort.
Today, I always take something for them to chew, because that way they feel less sick.
Flying is something they love, but when it's too long, they end up getting tired, even if they sleep in the seats (and on top of mom, of course!). Therefore, trying to reduce travel time by reducing stopovers and connections can be a very favorable measure.
Of course, this can affect ticket prices, but by looking in advance, it's possible to reconcile costs and shorter ground and flight times.
7. ALWAYS HAVE FOOD AND LIQUIDS ON HAND FOR THE LITTLE ONES TO HYDRATE THEMSELVES
Water, juices, chocolate milk... all this makes a difference throughout the trip. Likewise, fruit and a few biscuits can help when the kids get hungry and there isn't a good snack bar or restaurant nearby.
Give preference to healthy foods and, if the hotel doesn't provide them, stop by the supermarket to buy a banana, grapes or whatever fruit your little one prefers.
Remembering that whether it's cold or sunny, hydrating children is essential for the trip to go well. After all, nobody wants to be upset in the middle of the journey, right?
8. TAKE BOOKS AND SMALLER TOYS TO DISTRACT THE CHILDREN ON THE TRIP
In our family of three, we always stay in the same room. And that's sometimes a source of annoyance. The two around here wake up very early and, usually, on vacation, I want to sleep a little longer. That's why books and toys are a good idea when traveling with children.
These objects are also very interesting when it comes to flying and waiting at airports. An extra distraction for children that helps to combat the famous anxiety about the journey to or from the airport.
When they are older, as mine are, using tablets and the like is interesting, but only sparingly. I always set times when electronic devices can be used, so as not to detract from the enjoyment of the place we are visiting.
Having followed the golden tips, it's now time to enjoy!
Have a good trip!
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