Think about your favorite childhood memories. Chances are, at least one of them involves taking a trip with your family. Travel is a great way to broaden your children’s experiences and enhance your bond as a family. But keeping travel fun and minimizing stress for your family does take some planning. Whether you are planning your first family trip or trying to make your next one easier, here are some basic truths you should know.
Children of All Ages Benefit From Travel
You may already know that taking family vacations can have long-term positive impacts on your happiness. Creating these happy memories together can help anchor your children throughout their lives and aid in emotional development. But even if you have young children, who may be too young to remember it all, travel is never wasted on your family. Children who travel with their parents may not remember the details, but they will experience developmental boons, increased abilities to adapt to change, and a greater appreciation for other cultures and people. As an added consideration, children under seven tend to pick up on foreign languages with more ease, making travel a great learning opportunity. So don’t be afraid to bring your children along. Let them begin experiencing the world early, so they will have a greater appreciation for it as they get older.
Home Security is a Must for Stress-Free Travel
From delayed flights to fussy toddlers, you have enough to worry about when you are traveling as a family. So make sure your home isn’t another item on your stress list. Before you leave, spend a little time tidying up so that you are not returning to a stressful mess. Check off small, but impactful, tasks such as emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash and making sure you have clean towels.
Security is also important. You shouldn’t have to worry about a break-in while you are away. Installing a home security system is a good first step in protecting your home, but a home security camera can provide even more peace of mind. Use this guide to look for features such as motion detection, night vision and weather resistance. Setting up a security camera is a simple way to monitor your home from afar.
Tablets Can Be Great Tools for Long Trips
If you have children, having tablets and smartphones can save you all a lot of stress when it comes to traveling. With an age-appropriate tablet, you can easily bring your children's favorite books, music and movies on plane rides, car trips and long commutes. You can use WiFi or your phone’s hotspot to access Netflix and Hulu, or download some movies from Amazon Prime ahead of time. Tablets are so useful for killing time on the way to your destinations. Just be sure to pick up some noise-cancelling headphones to keep their entertainment from disturbing others, and shut those screens off once you arrive.
Prefer to keep your entire trip screen free? Then try these tips for keeping kids entertained without handing them an iPad. You can also bring some toys along for the ride. Just make sure to disinfect them to prevent your kids from getting ill.
Family Trips Are Rarely Perfect, But They Can Always Be Fun
The most beneficial thing parents can do when planning a trip with children is to let go of their idea of a picture-perfect family vacation. Travel is full of uncertainties. Your kids may have a meltdown in the airport, despite your best efforts, or the weather may be worse than expected. But you can’t let the mere possibility of these minor problems prevent you from creating happy, meaningful memories as a family. Prepare for every possibility. Pack layers and a variety of clothing and gear options in case of sudden weather shifts. Plan some activities and pack some healthy snacks to help curtail tired, hungry children. Make family trips fun and try to focus on the positive no matter what happens along the way.
Family vacations don’t have to be filled with stress. With a little planning, travel can be full of adventure, education and a lifetime of happy memories for your entire family. So get out there and explore the world together.
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