As a family that travels together, we have been asked with many questions and the most notable question we received was “How do you two travel with your kids? How do you do it?”
Nike said it best, just do it. Our two kids started to understand the routine of travel when they were still infants. At their present age, Nico who is now 7 years old and David five years older at 12, both of them have already adjusted in waking up as early as 4:30 AM so we can get a Lyft driver at 5:15 AM to fight traffic on highway 405 just to make it in time to LAX by 6:00 AM, check in and make a 7:30 AM non-stop flight to Cancun, Mexico (CUN). My wife and I already prepared them the night before by telling them about the early waking hours, putting their bags near the door, charging all electronic devices, and even having their travel clothes ready to put on.
Below are the things we do when we travel with our kids:
- Prepare them the day before regarding the things that will happen on the day of travel. Inform them about the place and also the activities that they can do before traveling, during the travel period, and upon arriving at the place.
- Let them feel the spirit of traveling by letting them pack their bags and carrying them so that their minds are already set up for the trip. They must check all the necessary things that they need to bring including charged electronic devices, packed crayons, puzzles, workbooks, and other important things.
- Older children can also contribute to the success of the trip by letting them research places that they may want to see. It would be better to sit with them while doing the research and asking them about expenses that can be incurred. You can also ask them about the importance of visiting landmarks or tourist spots by letting them tell you at least 5 facts about it.
- When you reached the airport, make sure to explain airport security measures and telling them how important it is to follow such rules and regulations before your adventure begins. Let them know where to wait ahead of time in case you have to wait for bags being opened up by TSA.
- Bring empty water bottles and let them fill them up after passing the security area. Let them know the value of water which is expensive at the airport aside from your family contributing something good to the environment.
- Pack snacks for your kids ahead of time. You can pack them in clear baggies or ziplocked plastics so you can easily identify what you are looking for when you open up that huge dark hole of a bag.
- Always bring extra underwear, socks, toothbrushes, and shirts in case you get bumped or delayed. You never know what will happen. Remember Murphy’s Law? If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong.
- If there is going to be a huge time difference, make them sleep on the plane to help lessen the chances of experiencing a bad jet lag. Getting them used to the time zone changes while inside the plane is a good habit. For us adults, we are capable of handling jet lag but not our children. You do not want to spoil your day with cranky tired children while walking around the beautiful streets of Amsterdam.
- Teach your kids how to say a few phrases in a foreign language. It will be a proud moment for them if they can speak even a little bit of foreign words in the country or place that they will be visiting.
- Remind your kids traveling is supposed to be fun. Take them to the local parks and let them run around while having fun with other children. They can burn out pretty fast from looking at Van Goghs and Picassos unless they are serious art fanatics.
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