Family travel is supposed to be fun, even relaxing, for kids and parents alike. Whether it’s a short trip to Grandma’s house or your child’s first airplane ride, our tips for traveling with kids can help everyone have a good time.
Infants and Toddlers
Obviously, infants and toddlers will require different preparations than tweens or teens. Keep the basics at the top of your mind—food, clothing, shelter—and poop. One practical tip for traveling with kids is to pack as light as possible. Consider purchasing diapers, wipes, and pull-up training pants at your destination rather than packing them. Spills and accidents are inevitable, though, so bring a spare outfit for your child and yourself as well. Keep a change available in carry-ons and accessible in baby bags and toddler roller bags.
For nursing moms and their infants, don’t forget our multi-use nursing cover! These versatile, stretchy car seat covers double as nursing covers. Infants tend to feel soothed when cuddled into a car seat wrapped in one of these covers. They accommodate standard infant car seats and carrier handles, so they should be a perfect fit! They allow you to peek at your baby, while also admitting fresh air and offering shade. Nursing moms can pop them on pullover style to provide privacy when feeding their infant.
Toddlers need room to move—and constant parental attention! Plan ahead who is going to keep an eye on your little runner at what time, especially in crowded, noisy, or otherwise distracting environments.
Elementary School Age and Tweens
School-age kids like to have a say in planning family activities. Make it easier by offering a few options and letting them choose a family activity that everyone will do together on the trip. Bring a few portable games and pack snacks. Some families opt to stay consistent with schedules and boundaries for meals, healthy snacks, and screen time, while others treat vacations as time off from the standard rules.
Involve Teens in Planning and Documenting Your Trip
Teenagers appreciate respect for their opinions. Offer meaningful opportunities for input on vacation planning. Your teen may not get to decide where you’re going, but they might be able to choose an activity or specific place to visit once you get there. Your teen may be interested in a particular museum, park, shopping district, or local landmark. Offer teens the chance to be the family historian for the trip, creating a video or photo portfolio of your adventures.
Take Your Time
Traveling with children always takes more time and planning than your average business trip. Factoring in extra time and expecting the occasional hiccup—like extra trips to the bathroom or picky eating—pays off at airports, train stations, and food courts. Flexibility will help build lasting family memories of happy trips and even make the mistakes and mishaps something fun to remember.