Some of the best memories in life are the vacations we take as children. They are looked back on later in life as a "golden" time when family let go of responsibilities and cares and just enjoyed each other in a special place. The value of creating those memories with our children that they will reflect on as they grow older is priceless. In the fast-paced and highly technological world that we live in, unplugging and connecting face to face for a while is essential to build deep relationships. However, traveling with children can also be a daunting task.
Smoothly planning and managing this sometimes chaotic ordeal can drive some people to forgo vacations completely. There are some tips and tricks that wise and inventive parents use to make traveling with children more enjoyable. The first consideration is in the initial vacation planning. Choosing a destination that is child-friendly is a very good idea. One of the worst dampers on a fun vacation is to have hotel, cruise, or tourist destination staff and fellow travelers frowning at you and your children all the time. Family friendly resorts, destinations, and modes of travel go a long way toward making sure that people are ready for the ordinary activity level and noise level of children. In addition, these places usually have something for everyone to enjoy, rather than just adult-focused activities.
In traveling with children, setting the expectation for the child's behavior before the trip begins is also important. Letting them know the boundaries and guidelines as soon as you enter a new place can meet your expectations more easily. One of the most difficult places to corral your children is in an airplane. The small space, normally uncomfortable conditions, and proximity of other passengers make this a potential nightmare start or end to the vacation.
For very young children, planning the flight during nap time can help immensely. When the plane is taking off and landing, babies should suck on a bottle or pacifier to ease the pressure on the ears. For the same reason, having a drink, snack, or candy on hand for older children can prevent discomfort. A favorite stuffed animal or blanket often put children at ease in this very strange environment. Traveling with extras of just about everything, including change of clothes, diapers, wipes, food, and a few toys (perhaps wrapped in bright paper), can make traveling with children easier too. The memories you build are worth all the time and effort.