When Katja had her first child, traveling the globe started becoming a bit more difficult despite the fact that she had the travel bug and therefore determined to embark on adventures to Cuba, California, Prague, Budapest, Thailand, and many other countries with little Alessia! Though, when they started travelling together, Katja noticed that she could never find guides that were able to talk to little curious Alessia in a way she would understand and learn! That’s how Rome4KidsTours and Europe4Kidstours were born! Katja founded the family travel site Europe4Kidstours.com to serve jet-setting families looking for solutions to make their European family travel, the most important time a year, an amazing and memorable experience!
Here are some ideas to make your family trip more smooth and enjoyable!
IDEA 1: Do your travel homework together – include the kids even in the planning phase!
Spend time with the entire family talking about your favorite destination and researching the destination you wish to go to online. (Your kids will love the fact that they are included in the decision making) You look at the key attractions and get a feel of the history of the place before you start putting the puzzle of booking an accommodation, air fare, family friendly tours and activities. Do a general scope-out of the must-see sites and hands on activities.
IDEA 2: When it comes to packing, have the kids help decide what to bring
When we get ready for a trip, we look at the weather reports, have a packing list and talk about what is useful to bring! Our children do their own packing for the flight and get to pack their favorite clothes. We buy them a new book, or app related to the country we travel to, in order to prepare them for the trip! We also may put new movies on the iPad, and add a new sticker book or two. Bring a change of clothes and pack the tooth brushes in the hand luggage! Many times luggage gets lots along the way! Organization is key!
IDEA 3: Once you arrive, beat the jet lag and keep everyone busy!
Especially when traveling overseas, it is recommendable to keep the family busy with a light orientation tour, snacks, and maybe fun activities. Make sure you will not take long naps, as that will through you off the local time entirely for days! Cat naps are fine! The sooner you acclimate to local time, the better and easier! Make sure you expose your kids to natural daylight as much as you can to reset body clocks. Generally, the kids adjust to the new time rather quickly!
IDEA 4: Research unusual experiences in the different destinations!
Our children are 7, 10 and 16 and we have always tried looking for culturally enriching experiences, like cooking and Pizza classes in Italy, Exploration games in Greece, A scavenger hunts in Paris, Tours with Actors in Rome and many others. Beach vacations can be fun but city vacations are highly enriching and open horizons if done the right way! There are many sites that can help with this! Europe4KidsTours offers tours and activities, a baby sitter service and many other things.
Does travel figure in your list of priorities? How do you go about making travel a reality while keeping your day job? What have you learned as you travel with kids?