Traveling with Kids: Essential Tips for Exploring and Enjoying Together

Basic adjustments make traveling with kids easy and beneficial for both kids and parents.

Reasons to Travel with Kids

Family travel is special and not a spectator sport, so it’s important. You spend more time with your kids, learn to rely on each other, and share interesting, unusual, and sometimes scary or difficult experiences. A mythical family story emerges.

On our beach trip, our pickup truck veered off the road and nearly flipped. Our kids’ memories will last. They tell of a scorpion falling from our palapa roof and sleeping on my leg at night. Our family felt isolated while travelling. It was beautiful when we turned to each other and shook our heads at the mystery. Our family story grows with each adventure.

Traveling abroad teaches kids a new language and culture. Even if you don’t learn a second language in six months, you’ll hear foreign speech’s sounds, rhythms, patterns, and intonations when you travel. Your kids may learn languages faster and speak with less of an American accent as their brains become more sensitive to these subtleties. If your child’s passport is expiring, you should know how to renew it. Child passport renewal is slightly different from adult passport renewal, so be aware of the requirements.

Vacations teach kids global citizenship, which is vital to our futures. Different people think and act differently, which is confusing. Travelling with kids gently introduces diverse perspectives without the implicit threats of domestic news coverage of world events.

Children are universal diplomats, so travelling with them will enrich your trip. American children open doors in countries that distrust or hate us. Truthful, innocent, spontaneous kids greet the world. Despite language, cultural, and political differences, they quickly meet other kids and help parents find common ground. To smile, play kickball, and talk to strangers, kids cross boundaries. A second playdate, dinner, and the key to someone’s heart and home can result from these conversations.

Kids can have fun travelling if you accept some realities.

I’d lie if I said family travel was easy. Treats, souvenirs, and bathroom breaks can disappoint. Visits to museums, churches, restaurants, and stores you have to leave early or abandon due to your children’s whining may frustrate you. We only saw Queretaro’s beautiful plazas and Spanish colonial architecture by convincing our kids that the best ice cream shop was across two plazas, a historic church, and Francisco Eduardo Tresguerras’ Neptune fountain. Thankfully, Mexico has ice cream shops on every block.

Travelling with kids takes practise. Everyone improves with practise. Adjusting expectations improves travel for everyone. No traveller can do everything. Sometimes you and your kids must compromise to meet needs. The following suggestions may help your family learn faster and have more fun from the start.

Enjoying travel with kids requires remembering their uniqueness. Taking and giving are inevitable. Kids and adults can’t have everything. Planning trips with kids helps you relax. Visit that important museum and monument with your kids. Visit the bakery, laugh at the sidewalk clowns, and take the streetcar. Your headaches will be reduced and your trip more enjoyable despite not spending enough time in that museum.