We were avid travelers before we had a kid, and that hasn’t changed much.
We just have changed our modus operandi for traveling. Here are some of our tips to be able to travel, and enjoy ourselves, and make the kid happy too!
- Destinations closer to home, preferably by plane. This has several advantages. Short flight time, that’s quite self explanatory. After experiencing several 14 hours long flights with a kid in different ages of life, I really enjoy short ones.There are many places worth exploring near home I did not consider before. If unexpected transport home is needed, it’s faster and way cheaper, with alternative means of transport if suitable flight is not available. And, if the trip becomes terrible, it’s not a long suffering 🙂
- Small target areas to explore. This always gives certain feeling of accomplishment, as opposed to, let’s say, coming to Thailand and wanting to see sights on the north as well as south without making the trip quite logistically challenging. Set up a base and make short trips to places around. Suggestion: a small island!
- Having less expectations. Closely related to point #2, but also meant in general. I have learned to be more satisfied ( not entirely of course : )) just soaking up the different air, smells, sound, food, and seeing some sights. Be realistic about what can be achieved – do not expect you will be able to lay down and suntan, if your kid normally runs around tirelessly.
- Good planning is essential. And surprisingly, that enables having some room for adventure, if a plan fails somehow. But step by step planning proved very useful. Knowing how long it takes from airport to hotel, selecting time slots of travel or sightseeing that do not interfere with the usual routine ( e.g. sleeping, pooping, being too active, etc ). We do adhere to flight time when selecting a flight, to have the calmest and most cooperative kid. It sounds complicated, but it pays off a lot and soon you will do it naturally, without thinking.
- Vacation rentals / apartments instead of hotels. Having the kitchen and separate bedroom or two gives a feeling of home, there is a lot of space for everyone. This type of accommodation usually allows having food at times when restaurants are closed or cook something quick and familiar. You will get the chance to buy and taste local food, speak to locals. Also amenities as microwave oven, dishwasher, washing machine are handy. That does not prevent going to restaurants at all and using any kind of service! 🙂
- Lots of games and toys proven to entertain for long. This is especially needed on long plane trips, when running around is not much of an option. I leave my secret weapons for the last moment and provide “less interesting” toys first. So books first, then coloring books, then cars / dolls ,etc… and at the end, the obvious, watching cartoons. That provides a rest time for parents. Large SD card and extra battery are a must.
My advice: If traveling is a natural thing for you, it will be for your kids too.
These pictures are from a recent weekend getaway to a wine region, where we enjoyed the wine and Ema enjoyed walking free through a village where we stayed, saw and soothed animals, and admired an awesome lake with boats. She also learned a bit by finding small grapes in the vineyard.
Have a great day!