Traveling with kids can be a real challenge which puts many parents under a lot of stress, which can result in some big-time family travel mistakes. You’re constantly worrying if everything will go according to the set plan: will you be late, what if something unforeseen happens, did you pack all the essential stuff, how are the children going to react to the trip and new surroundings, etc.
All of this can be rather overwhelming – so much so that many parents decide not to travel at all – at least until their children grow older. But we’d recommend you not to fall for this. Not traveling with the kids when they’re still young is actually the first mistake you can make, and it’s a huge one! So, let’s begin our countdown of 5 typical mistakes you can make as a parent in regards to (not) traveling with your children.
Travel As Often As You Can (Even It the Kids Are Still Small)
This is just one of the many mistakes you can make being a parent with young children – not traveling with them because you want to avoid any hassle, troubles, or inconvenience. All of a sudden you start remembering the good old days when it was just the two of you. Everything was so easy, you could run around all day visiting cool places, restaurants, bars, and at the same time, you could be up all night long. The next day you just repeat the action of sightseeing and staying late without any worries or problems.
Now you realize that things have dramatically changed and that you can’t actually do even a half or a quarter of the things you did back in the day when there were just the two of you. But this is not the reason to just plainly give up on traveling altogether. Even if you can’t do all the things you did when you were just a spring chicken yourself, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy beautiful moments with your family. Relax and take things as they come. Soon you’ll realize that it’s totally worth it.
Book Separate Rooms, If Possible
If there’s even the slightest possibility to take separate rooms, we’d strongly advise you to do this. This way you and your partner can have some quality ’just-the-two-of-us’ time together, while the children are sleeping. Remember that it’s your vacation as well, so make sure to enjoy yourselves as much as you can.
Having separate rooms can give you this flexibility. When children go to bed, you can have a nice conversation with your partner, watch a movie, and loosen up a bit. With only one room there literally won’t be any room for these things, as you’ll probably have to switch off the lights and go to sleep whenever your children do so. This can spoil many things, so always opt for separate rooms whenever you have a chance.
Make Thorough Preparations For the Road
Before you even get to the destination of your choice, you should prepare for the trip the right way. This includes things like packing enough food and snacks and bringing entertainment for the road. Have packages of instant food that only requires hot water, to go along with the fruit and snacks. You might also want to bring things like tablets and toys in case the children become restless or antsy. Their favorite games, TV shows, or toys should keep them distracted long enough until you reach the destination.
On top of this, you should also do your due diligence to make this trip go as smooth as possible. We’d strongly recommend you to visit the auto repair service and make sure you’re not stuck with your partner and children in the middle of nowhere with a broken car. As they say, you should hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. Try to avoid or minimize any unforeseen problems and troubles that can occur while you’re on the road.
It’s not just about the food and snacks – overpacking or underpacking your things can be proven to be a big mistake and a very common travel problem.
That’s why you need to have everything planned in advance. Check what’s the weather going to be like over there.
If it’s too hot, consider bringing less bulky clothes that you’ll just end up tossing around anyway, when you get to the destination.
It’s always good to bring some extra layers in case the weather goes bad, but keep in mind that this is going to cost you some extra space.
You might also want to ask around whether you’ll have a laundry service at your disposal. In case you will, this might save you from overpacking. Remember that it’s much easier to move around with less stuff, but at the same time be cautious and make sure to pack everything you need.
Speaking of doing things accordingly, the last mistake you want to avoid on our list concerns ’underbudgeting’. We get the idea that you don’t want to spend your entire savings on a single trip, but you should calculate unexpected mishaps into your budget. This will save you a lot of nerves if things don’t go exactly as planned, financially-wise.
This means that even if you’ve paid for an ’all-inclusive’, you can expect various other expenses like ATM fees, hotel service charges, internet charges, local payments, car rental fees, and so on. Being prepared for these expenses will help you relax more and enjoy the trip.
The Bottom Line – Family Travel Mistakes
Traveling with the family can be an overwhelming experience for a lot of couples. Even though it’s true that this can be a demanding and frustrating adventure, we’d still strongly recommend you not to refrain from doing this. Family travels can be a lot of fun, especially if you avoid making these five mistakes that we’ve mentioned in the article.
Just make sure to book separate rooms whenever it’s possible, pack accordingly (food and clothes), don’t miscalculate the budget, and make thorough preparations for the road. All of this should be a good start for having the time of your lives as a family.
Do you have any tips on how to avoid family travel mistakes?
More on family travel:
- Portugal Delights: 10 Kid-Approved Activities!
- East Coast Escapades: Family-Friendly Hotspots
- Nomadic Living Handbook: Embracing Alternative Education
- SF Family Frolic: 12 Kid-Friendly Adventures
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