Travel changes when you have kids, the same goes for city trips. Family city trips really aren’t the same as couple’s trips, especially when you have young kids. Regular breaks for food, play and relaxation are requirements for a fun city trips with Kids.
So here are some tips on how to handle this new challenge with ease.
Choose your city wisely. Get your kids excited before you go. Find something that you know they would be interested in and focus on that perhaps there is a famous landmark, a football stadium, a theme park or an aquarium that you know they would be excited to see.
Plan ahead: Travelling with kids means giving up on improvisation. Good planning requires travel experience, plenty of time and sometimes even language skill. Before you go, be clear about when and how you’ll get there. When you’ll sleep how you’re going to move around on the ground, and what you want to experience.
Keep it fun: Try making the kid’s trip entertaining and informative without having to give in to their every whim. Buy them a Polaroid camera or sacrifice an old phone. Let them do what they like with it on the road. Get them a log book where they can write and draw everything they see and learn.
Choose your hotel wisely: Ideally one that is centrally located so you can walk to the restaurant in the evening and sightseeing during the day. Kids get tired on buses and trains, so avoid these where possible. If you can try to get a hotel with a pool, it will be a great incentive to kids when walking all day, to reward them with a swim in the evening before you head out to dinner.
It is not necessary to go for a holiday only in summer. Always plan your trip during spring or autumn holiday. The advantage is that there are fewer queues during sightseeing, more capacity and lower prices. Kids will also enjoy their holidays during the cool season.
Check the set up of a hotel room: Hotels are exciting for children but aren’t always the most family friendly option. A lot depends on the age of your children. But some key things to consider when booking hotel rooms are, is the rooms connected or adjoining? If you have a suite, is there a separate space where you can sit and chat when the kids are sleeping? Is there a bath? What time does the restaurant start serving food and are kids welcome? Are children allowed in the pool?
Encourage all sorts of carry-on: asking children to pack and carry their own small piece of carry- on luggage can minimise the weight burden if you are travelling solo with more than one child, as well as it builds up their excitement. Just make sure they don’t fill their bag with their entire dinosaur collection- slip in a change of clothes and snacks instead.
Give them a good treat: You can take your little ones up the Eiffel Tower, sailing in the Mediterranean or to gaze into the Grand Canyon, but their favourite part of the day is guaranteed to be the ice cream. Not the incredible views, swimming in Balmy seas or glimpsing a geological masterpiece. Nope Ice-cream really is the trump card. Make sure you’ve always got spare change and keep your eyes peeled for vans, huts or parlours.
Manage your expectation: summiting Everest or walking the Great Wall of China may be in your bucket list. But there’s a time and a place for everything and it’s not when you’ve got two preschoolers in tow. Adjust your expectations to your family situation. You might have to downscale your epic hike to a gentle amble for now. But at least you’ll minimise the collective moaning. Try to plan a reward for the end of your hike to keep the kids interested.
Check out for child care options: Many hotels, resorts and villas offer babysitting services and children’s clubs. If they’re reputed and you’re happy that they keep your kids entertained, take the opportunity to enjoy some well earned grown up time. If you’ve only one child and your budget allows, consider letting them bring a friend to play with and keep them company.
Go where other kids go. Choose somewhere to stay where you know there’ll be kids of a similar age. If they buddy up with someone, you won’t need to pay for a kids club or lots of activities. They‘ll be happy to entertain themselves while you can sink into that sun lounger and get stuck in a book. You never know if they make friends with children from another country they may even pick up a few new language skills while they’re at it.
Follow these tips while you take your kids for a break.