Traveling with kids – especially for the first time or on an extended trip – can be a nerve-wracking experience. Will the youngest have a total meltdown in unfamiliar surroundings? Will jetlag throw everyone off their sleep schedule? Or will what should have been a relaxing vacation turn into a week-long whine fest? While you never really know how your family will react until you try, there are things you can do to prepare your kids for travel.
Depending on the age of your children, you can help prepare them for the disruption to their routine and the unfamiliar sites and sounds they’re about to encounter. If you can, start small, with outings and overnights to nearby cities before embarking on a long trip to Europe. Choose resorts that offer family-friendly travel services , like kids clubs, nannies, or babysitting services. This way not only do the kids feel like they’re being catered to (and can play with kids their own ages in kids clubs) but mom and dad can have some time to do the things they want to do as well.
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Once you’re ready to tackle a bigger adventure, you don’t have to spend thousands to see the world with kids. In fact, traveling with kids on a budget can force you to be more creative and put you closer to an authentic experience, ensuring that your kids get more from the trip than if you stayed in a luxury hotel. Hosteling with kids is surprisingly easy (and affordable) thanks to hostels that offer private rooms with 2, 3, 4 or more beds.
Before setting out on your trip with kids, it’s always wise to look into travel insurance, which can help with everything from weather-related cancellations to emergency evacuations should someone get sick or injured. Family insurance for a trip doesn’t cost much, and it can help protect both your investment and the people you love.
Photo by: Ryan Ozawa