Sri Lanka tuk tuk travel with kids
Family Life,  Planning,  Travel Tips

From Epic Tantrums to Treasured Memories -Family Travel Tips

We have been travelling full time for over a year and know full well the highs and lows of travelling with kids. Here are our tips for ‘surviving and thriving when travelling the world with children.


Surviving Family Travel

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Oh great, another travel blog. How exciting.” But stick with me, because we’re going to take a look at the pros and cons of family travel – from the inevitable tantrums to the treasured memories.

As a seasoned traveler and mother of two, I’ve had my fair share of both highs and lows when it comes to traveling with little ones. And let’s face it, sometimes it feels like the lows far outweigh the highs.

From lost luggage to delayed flights, navigating unfamiliar territory with children in tow can be a daunting task. But do not worry, because I’m here to provide some insight into the wild world of family travel.

So, if you’re ready to laugh, cry, and maybe even learn a thing or two about traveling with your mini-me’s, then let’s dive into the pros and cons of family travel. It’s sure to be a bumpy ride, but I promise it’ll be worth it in the end.

The Pros: Making Memories That Last a Lifetime

Let’s be real: family travel can be a nightmare. From the endless packing to the inevitable squabbles over who gets the window seat, it’s enough to make any parent want to book a solo trip to a deserted island. But despite all the challenges, there’s one thing that makes it all worth it: the memories.

Yes, that’s right – memories. Because while you may want to strangle your children when they’re fighting over the last bag of crisps, you’ll also cherish the moments when they’re giggling over a shared joke or marveling at a new experience together. It’s those memories that will last a lifetime, or at least until your kids get old enough to claim they don’t remember any of it.

exploring Egyptian temples with kids

But it’s not just the big moments that make family travel memorable – it’s the little things too. Like the time your kid decided they knew the route down the mountain and you ended up on a additional three hour walk zigzagging your way down, or the time your youngest decided they only like plain white rice and decided to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These are the moments that make family travel unique and unforgettable.

And let’s not forget the fact that family travel can be downright hilarious. Whether it’s getting lost in a foreign city and accidentally stumbling upon a bizarre local festival or attempting to communicate with a non-English-speaking taxi driver using only hand gestures and charades, there’s always a chance for some good old-fashioned family bonding through laughter.

So, while family travel may have its downsides, there’s no denying that it’s the memories that make it all worth it. Whether it’s the good, the bad, or the downright ridiculous, these are the moments that will stick with you and your family for a lifetime. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll look back on that time your child spilled spaghetti all over a fancy restaurant and laugh instead of cringing in horror. Or maybe not. But hey, at least you’ll have a good story to tell.

The Cons: Tantrums, Meltdowns, and Other Fun Surprises

Truth – family travel isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. In fact, it’s more like a rollercoaster ride of emotions that can leave even the most patient parent questioning their sanity. 

But one of the biggest challenges of family travel? Finding time alone. Sure, spending time with your family is great and all, but sometimes you just need a break. A few minutes of peace and quiet to collect your thoughts, maybe even take a nap or two. But with kids around, that’s easier said than done.

First, you have to navigate the logistics of getting some alone time. You could try sneaking away while the kids are distracted, but that usually results in them hunting you down like a pack of bloodthirsty wolves. You could also try bribing them with snacks or screen time, but that only works for so long before they catch on.

And even if you do manage to escape for a little while, you’re never truly alone. There’s always the lingering fear that one of your children will sense you are trying to relax and come find you. It’s like being a secret agent, but with a lot more crying and a lot less cool gadgets.

But despite the challenges, there’s one thing that makes it all worth it – the knowledge that you’re creating memories that will last a lifetime. Even if those memories include hiding in the bathroom for ten minutes of peace or sprinting to the hotel lobby for a solo coffee break.

So, while finding time alone may be difficult when you’re traveling with kids, it’s not impossible. Just remember to pack some noise-cancelling headphones and a good book, and maybe bribe the kids with some extra ice cream to get a few minutes of peace. And who knows, maybe someday you’ll look back on those chaotic family vacations with fondness instead of dread. Or maybe not. But at least you tried.

happy kids in the swimming pool travel kids

Preparation is Key: Tips for Smooth Family Travel

Ah, family travel, it’s a recipe for disaster if you’re not prepared. From packing the wrong socks to forgetting your child’s favorite toy, there are countless ways to mess up a family trip. 

First things first: sketch a packing list, then ask your partner and then ask the kids. Did you remember to pack extra snacks for the car ride? What about sunscreen for the beach? And don’t forget the emergency backup battery for your phone, because let’s face it, you’re going to need it.

Next, research your destination thoroughly. You don’t want to show up at Mount Kota Kinabulu only to realize you’re wearing flip flops and have no water (this may seem obvious but this may have been a scenario the Boston’s have found themselves in several times!). If you haven’t pinned every public toilet and park on your map, are you even a parent?

Speaking of entertainment, make sure to pack plenty of activities to keep your kids occupied, but only off they are small and lightweight. Challenging? I know. Books, coloring books, and puzzles are great options, as are travel-sized board games and card games, yoyo’s and rope (it is amazing what they will come up with).

meditation in Brunei jungle

And last but not least, don’t forget to take care of yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of family travel, but remember that you’re travelling too. Take a few minutes each day to do something for yourself, whether it’s a quick workout or a solo walk around the block. Your sanity will thank you. (Good luck figuring out his one, or read our post for tips on Time Flies When You’re Having Fun: Tips for Managing Time as a Full-Time Travelling Family (Without Losing Your Sanity or Sense of Humor)

So, there you have it – the key to smooth family travel is preparation. Easy! HA HA HA!

Embracing the Unexpected: Why Flexibility is Key to Enjoying Family Travel

When it comes to family travel, flexibility is key. Why? Because let’s face it, things never go exactly as planned. You might have meticulously planned out your itinerary, but there’s always that one family member who decides they need to stop and use the toilet every five minutes. Or maybe the weather turns bad and suddenly your beach day turns into a movie day. And let’s not forget the classic “I forgot my toothbrush” scenario (or shoes! Seriously, how do you forget shoes?). But fear not, because embracing the unexpected can lead to some of the best memories. Who knew getting lost in a foreign city could lead to stumbling upon a hidden gem of a restaurant? Or that a rainstorm could turn into a hilarious game of charades in your hotel room? So go ahead, embrace the unexpected and let go of your rigid plans. 

Being flexible alleviates the stress from the situation, because we all know that family travel is stressful enough!

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