A recent survey by Hilton found that family travel is both a) really important for broadening kids’ horizons and b) not always easy.
To help families travel easier, they asked moms and dads from all walks of life at Hilton, from C-Suite to front desk staff, for their advice. These parents in the travel industry offered some really helpful tips to make traveling with kids easier.
- Pack a small bottle of dish soap – soap bars won’t work for washing everything (and definitely don’t work for any kind of kids cups, be it bottles, sippy cups or water bottles).
- Traveling with several kids? You’re going to need a bigger room. All Suite hotels are more ideal for this reason, as well as being able to put your older ones in a different room to settle.
- Check that your room will have a fridge and microwave (great for when your tweens and teens want to eat leftovers for a late night snack), and consider a hotel that has on-site laundry available/nearby for inevitable messes.
- Reach out to your concierge ahead of time to map out kid-friendly restaurants and activities like local parks and museums.
- Need extra pillows for support or fort building? Or maybe extra towels for messy kiddos? You can request these items and more ahead of time (via the Hilton Honors app) so you’re ready to relax upon arrival.
While I’m not in the travel industry, I have traveled with my family. I’ve learned a few things along the way. Here are my tips:
- If you can let your older kids sleep in one day, do so. Their circadian rhythms wire them to sleep later. When kids are better rested, they’re a whole lot more pleasant. That morning can be a chance to enjoy special time with a spouse or younger kids.
- To that end, plan some one-on-one time if you can, be it a breakfast or a lunch with each kid. The individual attention can go a long way.
- When traveling somewhere warm, you can often pack a whole outfit – underwear, shirt, shorts, socks – in a sealable gallon bag. Doing that can make it easy to get dressed – grab a bag and you have what you need. It also helps kids when packing to make sure they have what they need for each day – no miscounting. I also find that I’m glad to have the bags for transporting things like wet bathing suits.
- One trip my daughter forgot a nightgown. If you are staying at a friend’s house where that could get tricky, like we were, double check to make sure they have the essentials.
- Give kids some say on where you go or where you stay. Involving them in the planning process will not only make them more invested in the trip, it will give you some insight into their thoughts that you may not otherwise have.
- Travel can be a great time to learn about budgeting, too, so include them in those discussions and accountings.
- Put down the devices. Really. Even when I disconnect from email, I still have my phone close because I love taking photos on my iPhone. Love, love, love them. And yet when I can bring myself to put down the phone, that’s when the fun really happens. My mantra when traveling is “make memories, not photos.” Remember, kids aren’t going to put down their devices if you don’t.
What are your favorite tips to make traveling with kids easier?
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