How to Enjoy Traveling With Kids
Taking a family vacation can be one of the best ways to connect with your kids, make special memories, and experience a new destination together. It can also feel daunting – but it doesn’t have to be!
We’ve compiled our favorite tips for taking a great family vacation to help make the planning easier, set realistic expectations, and help you prepare for a fantastic, unforgettable adventure together.
Make bookings in advance.
Ask 10 parents about the most stressful part of traveling with children, and you’ll likely hear 10 people say “waiting in line”! Long waits and delays can make even the most good-natured kiddo melt down. You can’t control a long line at the airport, but you can book dinner reservations and tickets to attractions in advance for minimal wait times when you arrive. Before your trip, sit down and figure out the must-do activities, restaurants, and sites you’d like to visit, and book as much as you can ahead of time.
Ask for a quiet room.
When children are trying to get to sleep in a new place, noises can be a big disruption. During booking, ask the hotel concierge if it’s possible for you and your family to have a room located on a quiet floor or at the end of the hall away from elevators. White noise can be a great way to camouflage noises at bedtime, too – try a white noise app on your smartphone, pick out a white noise playlist on Spotify, or turn on an in-room fan to lull everyone to sleep.
Or, consider an apartment!
Lots of families like the convenience, privacy, and flexibility of residential-style accommodations on vacation. Not only does staying in a suite give the whole family plenty of space to stretch out, it also makes preparing your own food and enjoying your own space a little easier. Check out options in Nassau Paradise Island such as Bay View Suites, Harborside Resort at Atlantis Paradise Island, Paradise Island Beach Club, and The Reef at Atlantis to enjoy the comforts of home-away-from-home combined with the sun and fun of Paradise.
Stick to their schedule.
For small children and toddlers especially, changing time zones can be tricky. In general, most children adjust to the time change in about three days, so there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! But for shorter trips, it might be helpful to stick to the same sleep schedule you follow at home. If you’re traveling east, this might mean sleeping in late in the morning and staying up way past bedtime at night – but a moonlit stroll on the beach can become a special memory for you and your kids.
And don’t forget nap time! It can be tempting to fit in every minute of vacation fun during your holiday, but skipping naps will result in cranky kids and unhappy parents. Take turns relaxing in your room with your little one while they snooze – even if it means an hour or two of downtime midday, it’ll pay off when the rest of the day goes smoothly.
When you’re traveling, the unexpected can happen: your child can get carsick or seasick, bug bites happen, tummies become upset, knees get scraped. If you’re in a place like The Bahamas, your local pharmacy or resort convenience store is generally well stocked with first-aid items, but it’s easier to bring everything with you – you can use brands you know and trust and have experience administering to your kids.
Bring along baby or children’s pain reliever (Tylenol, Advil, Motrin) to deal with everything from unexpected fevers to teething emergencies. Children’s Gravol is a good idea if your child has a sensitive stomach. Pack Band-Aids and antiseptic cream to deal with any minor cuts and scrapes, and if you’re traveling to a place where bugs are plentiful, some anti-itch treatment is also a great idea. Of course, you’ll want to stock up on sunscreen too!
Beyond illness, travel can be full of other unknowns, like delayed flights. Make sure you pack plenty of snacks, books, and toys to keep kids busy and entertained in case your waits are longer than anticipated.
Don’t forget snacks!
Speaking of snacks…just like naps, you don’t want to skimp on snacks on vacation! Bring along granola bars, fruit snacks, crackers and hummus, or string cheese wherever you go for a quick hit of energy between meals. Staying hydrated is also important especially if you’re visiting a warm location like The Bahamas. Bring along a full water bottle when you head out for the day and be sure to drink lots!
Plan for less.
When you’re visiting a new place or long overdue for a trip, our natural instinct is to fit in as much fun as we can every day. But when kids are involved, overplanning can lead to everybody feeling tired, rushed – exactly the opposite of how you want to be feeling on vacation! Try limiting your scheduled activities to one or two things each day. If you have a lot of downtime in between, that’s great! In Nassau Paradise Island, one of our beautiful beaches is never far away – just plop down in the nearest stretch of sand for some quality time building sandcastles and splashing around. Make it a laid-back pool afternoon, or enjoy a leisurely stroll with no particular destination in mind.
One great idea to keep kids busy is to go for a “rainbow walk” – everyone has to point out something in each of the colors of the rainbow. With The Bahamas’ brilliant blue waters and colorful buildings and flowers, it’ll be a breeze, and a fun break, too.
Comfort is key.
Kids love to feel comfortable (who doesn’t!) and especially when visiting a new place, they’ll crave soft, comfy clothes, shoes that feel great to run around in, and familiar items like a special stuffy or blanket. If your vacation requires buying new items of clothing – like new sandals – be sure to let kids wear them around the house to break them in before your trip. Let children pick out some small, soothing items to bring along on the plane like a soft blanket or a stuffed toy.
Let them help.
Being “the boss” makes kids feel special, so give them some responsibility when it comes to planning your trip. Consider letting them choose one activity for everybody to try or let them choose your dinner restaurant for one night of the trip. They will love being in charge, especially when everyone enjoys their expert recommendation! And when they’re part of the planning and feel some ownership over the vacation, they’ll be much more likely to go along with other people’s choices, too.
Traveling with kids doesn’t need to mean a weeklong diet of chicken fingers and French fries! There are plenty of family-friendly restaurants in Nassau Paradise Island offering up delicious fare that everyone will enjoy. For a special dinner out, consider making an early reservation – sure, that might mean eating at 5pm, but your night out will be more enjoyable without anyone feeling overtired. And it just leaves more time for some after-dinner fun, like grabbing an ice cream cone at Marina Village and checking out the yachts.
Take a ton of photos.
Vacations are all about making memories, after all. Don’t be shy about asking your family to pose for lots of photos and capturing candid moments, too. Kids love to look back on photos of special times and they’ll enjoy seeing your pics for years to come. Get inspired by taking a peek at our Instagram!
Don’t sweat it!
Our most important bit of advice when it comes to traveling with kids? Don’t sweat the small stuff! Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to create the perfect vacation. Instead, make the focus on having fun and spending time together. Is everyone safe, clean, and accounted for? Great! You’ve got all the fundamentals for a wonderful family getaway. Now, soak up some Bahamian sunshine and check out those big smiles.
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