1. Bring a relative or friends. Bringing other adults with you, allows you to have more adult conversation. Plus, it’s nice to have extra helping hands to trade off with. You can rotate who goes on the lake or to the pool. We brought my sister-in-law with us before and it was so fun to trade off spending one-on-one time with her. She also was kind to watch our then one son at the time one night so my husband and I could go on a date together. If you can afford to bring a nanny, then do it. I always thought it was so great how Alice from the show “The Brady Bunch” would go on vacation with the Brady family.
2. Go to a destination to visit family or friends. If you cannot travel with other adults, visit a destination where you will see other adults. We visited my relatives in CA and it was so nice to be able to spend time with them. They sure loved spending time with our kids. And our kids loved the extra love and attention. This allowed my husband and I to go on walks together around the block without the kids. Renting a cabin with another family is a great way to have everyone together. It also allows a chance for kids to play together and the adults to play games together.
3. Special needs-notify the airport/hotel. Let the airline know if you have special needs. They will direct you on who you need to contact if necessary to receive reasonable accommodations. This can apply when it comes to needing assistance with boarding on the airplane. Bring noise cancelling headphones. Airports can be very noisy which makes it difficult for kids who have sensory issues. Even if kids do not have sensory issues, babies have a hard time napping with loud noises and overstimulation. The headphones have been a lifesaver for us!
4. Pack light but still bring toys, games, and activities. Bring 2-3 toys per kid and activities to keep kids entertained. You don’t want to bring too much. If you do, the chances of things getting lost increases. It’s better to pack light. Collect something from the place you visit such as rocks or seashells to create a memory. Some vacation spots will have a washer and dryer. If they do, this makes it easier to pack light. The less stuff you have to manage, the less stress!
5. Do your research and make plans. Call the hotel or the place where you will stay and ask them about available family friendly activities in the area. Come up with some specific plans that way you are not spending all day trying to figure out what to do. This helps to create a somewhat of a routine and provide structure. Some family friendly destinations include places with bodies of water, swimming pools, zoos, and amusement parks. Cruises are known for having activities planned for kids. For more family friendly destination ideas, see the list down below.
6. Give yourself an extra day to recover when you arrive home. If possible, give yourself an extra day when you come back from your trip. This allows time to unwind, unpack, do laundry, and go to the grocery store. If you can squeeze in a dinner date with your partner that night, even better.
What helps you to enjoy traveling with kids?
Best wishes to you all! Thanks for reading and please share!
Heather Severn Callister, LMFT & Coach
Family Friendly Destination Ideas Whether You’re A Single or 2 Parent Family
I compiled this list together from people who have traveled successfully with their kids. Thanks to all those who gave recommendations! :)
- San Diego, CA has Sea World, beaches, and great Mexican food.
- Renting a cabin at Lake Tahoe or Bear Lake.
- Camping at Yosemite or other National Parks.
- Cruises that have activities for kids.
- Maui has fun hikes, zip lines, and an aquarium.
- Renting a beach house.
- Staycation in Park City or Midway, UT. They have outdoor concerts and fun resorts.
- Great Wolfe Lodges
- Stay at a Motel with a pool and visit the zoo.
- Sun Valley, ID has something for everyone. Gorgeous place with swimming, biking and hiking, ice skating, and the ice skating show with world famous skaters.
- https://www.downatahotsprings.com in Idaho.
- Jackson Hole, WY
Please feel free to add to the list with your comments. It’s so nice to learn from each other! Thanks!