If you’ve never travelled with your children, you might be scared of the idea, but let me tell you something – you need to be prepared for anything.
I’ve been on many vacations with my kids, and I have to say that every holiday is a challenge for itself.
But, it’s crucial to know that you are in charge and that you have to set a few ground rules from the beginning. Look, I know it sounds like utopia, especially if you have toddlers, but here are a few tips that you might find useful.
- Teach them necessary information – It’s not enough for your kids to know only their name; they have to memorize their last name and preferably your name and address or at least the name of the hotel. This is, of course if they are old enough (three or four years of age and above). Now, if your kid is too young to memorize all these things make sure you write it all on a piece of paper and slip it in their pocket (or at least write it on their hand with a pen). A parent has to do what he/she has to do.
- 2. Take pictures of them – Sure, you will take photos of them on vacation, but I suggest you photograph your kids before you take off (face and full body). In case of emergency you could show these pics to people or even the police. I have a habit of taking pics of them right before we go out, so if they get lost, I can show what exactly they were wearing. Trust me, it can be a life-saver.
- Pick clothes in vibrant colors – Kids are unpredictable; they can just let go of your hand and run away in the blink of an eye. And while you panic and seek for them, it would be so much easier to spot a lime green or hot pink t-shirt. Also, pick something vibrant for yourself, so if the kid gets lost can spot you or tell someone what you’re wearing.
- Book a tour – I cannot imagine going on a vacation without booking a tour in advance. It saves us from wandering around and wasting time, and it’s a smart way to see the most important locations. This way I know how long we will stay, how we’ll get there, whether my kids will like it and so on. For our last trip to Spain, I booked Barcelona private tour and had a lovely and peaceful vacation.
- Know where to go – Some places will be fantastic for kids (parks, amusement parks, zoos) but others (wine tour, cooking classes, snorkeling) not so much. It’s not just about safety (although this is a priority of course) but, kids simply won’t hesitate to show their boredom, and you won’t enjoy at all. Why investing money in something that will turn out in a nightmare for everyone.
- Travel insurance – This is a must for my family. Although nothing terrible has happened so far, we don’t want to take the risk. Before you buy your travel insurance, read it, and see what it covers in case of accidents. Most people look at me as if I’m crazy, but I buy travel insurance even when we travel within the country; anything can happen.
- Food – I know you will want to try the local cuisine and enjoy the drinks, but my advice is to keep it safe when it comes to your kids’ menu. Don’t risk with letting them try meals with too many spices or drink water from fountains. Although it might be completely safe, I usually don’t risk.
- Sunscreen – Kids’ skin is especially gentle and can easily burn even on the colder days. Apply sunscreen before you go out, even if you are only going for a walk through the city. If going at the beach, apply sunscreen, put on hats and drink plenty of liquids.