How to travel with kids: top tips for a comfortable family trip

Traveling with the family is never as idyllic as it seems in the photographs. The reality of family travel can be quite overwhelming and can convince even the most travel-loving parents to stay home for the next decade of their lives.

However, you can enjoy a trip with the whole family with careful planning and organization.

Traveling with kids can be stressful. These professional travel tips for parents will help you throughout your trip and ensure you have a comfortable family trip.

Top tips for a relaxing family trip

The package is light and smart

Although children need a lot of things, the more things you bring, the more things you will need to carry with you. This means the more items you can potentially scatter during your travels. Prepare for your trip by writing down exactly what you need and what items can do double duty so you don’t have to carry extra stuff.

For example, instead of packing extra clothes for the kids, pack easy-maintenance items like leggings and T-shirts that they can wear to different situations.

You can invest in some good travel products that you don’t already have, just to cut down on the amount of gear you need to take with you. For example, the Doona car seat can be used as both a car seat and a stroller, eliminating the need for two items. Baby gear like this can cost you money, but will help you pack lighter and smarter.

Basics: bathroom, food and so on

When traveling with children, you should pay special attention to basic needs.

Make sure your kids have a toilet and food wherever you go. Consider taking snacks and baby food with you as a backup if you are traveling by road or traveling through airports.

Bring a change of clothes and plenty of diapers and wipes if you have small children. When you first arrive in a new place, finding a bathroom and showing it to your kids is a good idea.

get ready

Overpreparation is the way to go.

While relaxed family travel is still possible with young children, spontaneous family travel is less likely. Be prepared for all situations.

Pack extra clothes, diapers, tissues, and food. Know where you are going and what you are doing. Be prepared for the inevitable delays and loss of luggage that are part of traveling today.

Remember to take everything you need in your hand luggage so that it does not get lost along with your luggage. Book as many things as possible in advance so you have more confidence in your trip. Make an advance payment for any goods and services you can, such as plane seats together, a car seat for a rental car, etc.

Arrive early

If you are traveling by plane, give yourself enough time to arrive at the airport before your flight departs.

Check-in and security lines are longer than ever, and children often move slowly and have to stop at the toilet at the wrong time. Arriving early will help you avoid stress at the airport by leaving enough time for unforeseen circumstances.

Choose the right attractions

If you want to have a positive ride with your kids, you have to choose the right rides. Even if an art museum is on your must-see list, your kids may not like what you like. Plan your rides around the needs of your children.

This does not mean that you should only choose activities that are child-friendly, but that you should choose attractions and activities that are suitable for children so that all family members are happy. Choose places to walk with children that have many bathrooms and dining areas, as well as places where children can play. For example, here is a list of things to do in Dallas with kids. Although it is city specific, many of the ideas can be used anywhere in the world.

If you must go to an attraction that is not intended for children, schedule it in between the activities for children and bring entertainment such as a tablet and headphones or a book for restless children.

Read Ratings

Always research and read the ratings before planning a trip. Look for reviews that specifically mention family travel or kids. Remember that a 5-star rating from a childless traveler doesn’t mean it’s a good place for you to go with kids.

Check ahead

Always check the current situation in advance, preferably by calling all directions.

The websites of many attractions and tourist areas are not updated and may not have current Covid protocols or regulations. Make sure the places you want to visit are open at the time you want to go.

Use apps for a comfortable family trip

Apps are your friend! Use travel planning apps to keep your itineraries and information in one place.

Download parking, airline and car rental apps to make check-in easier. Use attention grabbing apps to get the most out of your experience. The more work you can do on your phone, the less work you’ll have to do while standing in line (and we all know how kids are when they have to stand in line)!

Stick to your regular routine

Vacation and travel is a time to relax and enjoy. However, when traveling with children, it is extremely important to stick to the daily routine as much as possible.

This means scheduling meals around the same time you usually eat at home and bedtime around the same time you sleep at home. For example, if your child always has lunch at noon, he will not be happy when he has to wait until 2:00 pm.

However, if you absolutely cannot avoid it, be prepared for snack breaks. The same idea applies to bedtime. While going to bed early may not be the best way to spend the evening, it’s better than the alternative!

How to avoid jet lag

If you’re traveling to a different time zone, be prepared for the dreaded jet lag. Jet lag with kids is the worst, but there are things you can do to prepare for it.

First, drink plenty of water and spend a lot of time outdoors. This will allow your body to naturally adjust to the current time zone. Try to wake up in the morning and go to bed according to the clock of the time zone you are in.

Finally, be prepared for young children to wake up in the middle of the night to play, with activities and ideas to pass the time or help them fall asleep again.


The debate about a big hotel or Airbnb escalates when you’re traveling with kids.

Hotels offer many amenities and are generally safer. However, a good Airbnb can come in handy when you’re traveling as a family to get more space. If you can find a kid-friendly Airbnb with good ratings, this might be your best bet.

Airbnbs usually have more space to run and play, but they also have kitchens (great for preparing meals for the kids) and may be a better option for parents who put their kids to bed early.

As always, do your research before choosing accommodation.

Safety and security

We all want our children to be safe. Prepare your kids by reviewing basic travel safety information. All children must memorize the names and phone numbers of their parents. Discuss with the children what to do if they get lost, where to go and who to contact.

Prepare a basic first aid kit and information about emergency services at your destination (especially if you are traveling outside the country). Always take your medicines with you and keep in your phone or write down the phone numbers of doctors.

Of course, you must also follow all safety rules while traveling. Keep your wallet, ID and money securely with you. Never get into an unmarked car or follow an unknown person anywhere. Be careful where you drink and with whom. Know the name of your hotel and the address of your Airbnb in case of an emergency.

Smooth family travel

Traveling with kids is not for the faint of heart! But with good preparation and planning, you can have a great trip that everyone will remember fondly.

This post originally appeared on Savoteur.

Robin is a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. She holds an MBA and has been self-taught in personal finance for as long as she can remember. She has always been into personal finance, but decided to start her own blog after a period of extended unemployment. She says the experience really changed her attitude towards money and the importance of affordable personal finance education. Read more in the Dime Saved section.

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