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Traveling as a family is on your lifetime wish list and it's one of the biggest dreams of many parents and children. But what happens when your children are still toddlers or babies? Will expectations correspond to realities?
As parents, we have many concerns when traveling with children: the most critical ages for traveling, appropriate destinations, recommended plans, daycare, food, and children's behavior are some of the questions to be resolved before calling the travel agency.
We'd like to give you 5 tips to achieve the dream of traveling with your children. Fill the album with good memories that will be your children's best tools for life.
• Choose an appropriate destination: Each family is unique and what it seems like a very attractive destination for some, could represent a "meh" one for others. What do your children like to do? Do you like the ocean? Are they good walkers? Do you prefer the mountains? You know them better than anyone and you are the best person to define the climate, the accommodation and investigate the plans offered by these destinations for your family.
• Documents up to date: Passports, civil registries, vaccines, and visas, if necessary, must be up to date before setting a date. Many of these procedures are not immediate and take time in planning, so check very well that everything is up to date, before getting a bad surprise.
• A cool attitude: Once you've chosen the destination and organized the necessary documents, it is important that you cultivate in the whole family (starting with you) a "Tourist walk attitude" which implies being open to new experiences, preparing to be tired sometimes and homesickness, prepare to have a plan that is not going to be always on track. With children, talking about the possible scenarios they will face always works, as this will reduce their anxiety and they will know that everything is part of the plan.
• What to pack: It is common for mothers, regardless of the destination and the number of days that the trip will last, to take everything "just in case". Keep in mind that with each experience you are teaching your children and that you are cultivating a family philosophy to take on to future trips. Suitable clothing according to the climate, the basic first aid kit and specific medications in case of any particular health condition, bugs repellent, and sunscreen are some of the essentials in a family's suitcase. If the destination is rugged, distant and with little access to basic resources, it will be necessary to think of more "just in case things", but if the destination is commercial and with all the services at hand, it may be better to travel with what is necessary and get what is needed according to the case.
• Always at hand: Once in place, with that cool attitude, it is important to think about what to have always at hand, in a backpack or a diaper bag, especially when you're leaving the hotel or whatever you're staying. Always works: change of clothing, easy to carry fruit, water, and a snack. It is also important a sunscreen, a hat, camera or cell phone with enough battery, shows tickets if you previously purchased for something like that, and pocket money.
Sounds simple, doesn't it? And it is possible that in "real life" you regret it, or do not find the "travel mood", and it's also possible that you will definitely consider that traveling with children is not your thing. But what is certain is that traveling with children is more than possible and it's a great learning opportunity for all. You do not have to pack as if you were traveling to the end of the world, a more adventurous attitude is advisable and you will always have to be cautious with some issues to guarantee the success of the trip.
Do you have other tips to travel with children and not die trying?