Kids & Company Blog

Tips for Stress-Free Travel with Children!

March/Spring Break is a highly anticipated time of year for families, especially those with school-age children who get to have a whole week off. It is offering the perfect opportunity to go on adventures and make memories together. Whether you're planning a sunny beach getaway, a ski trip, or an exciting city escape, traveling with children, younger or older, requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. 

In this blog, we'll explore tips and strategies for family travels during March/Spring Break, from planning your trip to keeping children occupied on flights and making the most of your destination.

Planning Your Trip

A great trip begins with careful planning. Start by choosing a destination that offers family-friendly activities and attractions, taking into account factors like weather, travel restrictions, and budget.

When opting for a traditional hotel room, bedtime for the children might mean lights out for everyone. Consider the convenience of Airbnb or a suite-type accommodation, where you can tuck your children in early and have a peaceful evening for yourself.

Consider mentally preparing for a more relaxed approach to routines, especially sleep schedules. Easing into the idea of trial stroller naps or even a few "sleeping out" nights before your trip can help your child adjust better to new surroundings.

Research accommodations that cater to families, such as hotels with child-friendly amenities such as cots, cribs or adjoining rooms, or vacation rentals with ample space for everyone to relax and unwind. Don't forget to pack age-appropriate essentials for both children and parents, including clothing, toiletries, and any necessary medications.


Preparing for Flights

Flying with children can be challenging, but with the right preparation, it can also be a more smooth and stress-free experience. When booking flights, try to choose departure times that align with your child's sleep schedule and consider booking seats together to ensure everyone stays together during the flight. 

If traveling with younger children, make sure to look up the airline's rules for traveling with strollers or other gear. You’ll also want to arrive at the airport early to allow plenty of time for check-in, security, and boarding for your entire family.

Hot Tip: Checking car seats is usually free on most airlines. And don't forget to empty the bottom of your strollers ahead of time if you plan to check them at the gate and take them through security. Bring a plastic bag for any loose items in the stroller, as there will inevitably be some spillage.


Preparing for Road Trips

For families opting for a road trip adventure, start with the basics: making sure your vehicle is in good working condition! Schedule a maintenance check-up to address any potential issues before hitting the road and pack a roadside emergency kit with essentials like jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, water, and non-perishable snacks in case of unexpected breakdowns or delays. 

To plan your route in advance, map out rest stops, gas stations, and attractions along the way to break up the journey and keep children entertained. While you’ll need to balance suitcases with travel essentials, consider making room for a cooler with drinks and snacks to keep hunger (and tantrums) at bay, as well as activities and supplies to keep children entertained during rest stops, such as balls, frisbees, and coloring books. 


Keeping Children Occupied During Travel

Long flights and road trips can be tedious for children, but with a little creativity, you can keep them entertained and engaged throughout the journey. Pack a travel kit filled with mentally-simulating activities such as stickers, books, coloring books, puzzles, and other quiet activities like this free the animals activity using small animal figurines and elastic bands to encourage their fine motor skills and imagination.

Our perk partner, Love Powered Co., has recently launched a Affirmation Coloring Book, which is perfect not only for coloring, but practicing positive affirmation while traveling. Canadian and American Kidco families can enjoy 15% off their products by using the promo code KIDCO at checkout.

For longer hauls, consider downloading movies, games, and educational apps on electronic devices to provide hours of entertainment. And if possible, encourage children to observe and learn from their surroundings during travel, pointing out interesting landmarks, wildlife, and cultural differences along the way. 

Did you know? Canadian Kidco families have access to MarcoPolo Learning, a child-safe, award-winning learning app with hundreds of educational videos and games designed to nurture children's curiosity - and perfect for entertaining and learning while on the go!

While family travels can be incredibly rewarding, they can also come with their fair share of challenges. Be prepared to deal with common issues like jet lag, homesickness, and tantrums with patience and understanding. 

You can also plan for hiccups by ensuring your itinerary has a balance of rest and relaxation as well as fun-filled adventures, and by setting realistic expectations and communicating openly with your children about what to expect during the trip.

Worried about adjusting your child’s sleep routine? Check out this blog, written by a sleep consultant on navigating your child’s sleep while traveling, here.

Family travels during March/Spring Break offer a wonderful opportunity to create unforgettable memories and strengthen bonds with your loved ones. By planning carefully, staying organized, and maintaining a positive attitude, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for the whole family. Remember to focus on the journey as much as the destination, embracing the adventure and making the most of every moment together! 

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