If you’re used to traveling alone, you should know that things will change when you have kids in tow. It can be even more fun when you get to enjoy vacations as a family, bu here is Why Traveling With Your Children Brings Unforeseen Challenges.
Don’t let this stand in your way, though. As long as you know which challenges you’re likely to encounter, you can prepare.
Here are a few challenges you may encounter while traveling with your children.
You may need extra gear
The younger your kids are, the more gear you’ll need. For an infant, you’ll need an infant seat, stroller, diapers, a diaper bag, and maybe a pack ‘n play. You’ll also need endless changes of clothes.
As your kids get older, you may need to bring swimmies, goggles and toys to keep them entertained. Think about what your child needs at home and make a list of what you’ll need to bring on vacation.
Plan for tantrums
Regardless of your child’s age, expect at least one tantrum. Sometimes, it can feel like teenagers throw more tantrums than toddlers. But at least if you’re prepared, you’ll be less likely to let it get in your way. Bring toys and lots of snacks to keep your kids happy and tantrum-free. It can also help to plan your events around everyone’s nap schedule. No one wants to trek around an amusement park with a 2-year old who desperately needs a nap.
Your kids may have other ideas
From the time they learn to talk, our children are trying to exert their independence. This is a good thing for their personal development, but it can really sidetrack your vacation plans. Your toddler may wake up with plans to go to the pool on your museum day. The same may happen with your teen. How will handle it? Will you change your plans to appease the children? Maybe you’ll offer them an incentive to follow your schedule or just force them to join “whether they like it or not.” There isn’t necessarily a wrong way to handle these situations, but you should be prepared and know what you’re going to do.
In an effort to avoid conflicts, involve the kids in planning your vacation days before you get there. This way, you’ve already agreed on everything and made your concessions before it’s time to take action. This tip works well with children five or older.
You’ll need more space
When you have kids, not only will you need room for them in the car, but you’ll also need space for their stuff (and kids can have a lot of stuff). If you’re planning a car purchase soon, consider anything that’s the size of a new compact crossover or larger. Smaller cars may be fuel efficient, but you will feel cramped when you pack more than three people into the car.
Murphy’s Law is multiplied
When you’re on vacation alone, Murphy’s Law may apply to you. With a family of four, it can be multiplied by that many. As a refresher, Murphy’s Law mandates that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Make sure you’re as prepared for the trip as possible. This means getting super organized and getting your car ready if you’re going on a road trip. To avoid the inevitable hiccups, professional service is always best. This way, you can be sure everything is done right.
Now that you’re aware of the common mishaps parents experience when traveling with kids, you can take measures to avoid them. This doesn’t mean everything will run smoothly, but it can run smoother than if you were flying by the seat of your pants.