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Kids, Travel and You, Part 1: Planning A Trip With Kids

Updated: Nov 22, 2023


PLANNING A TRIP WITH KIDS (see disclaimer at the end of the article)

5 Fun Facts To Consider

kids and travel
Anchor Clock, Vienna

1. Be the adults When you plan a family trip, take charge as the adults. Traveling with your children is not taking a vacation from being a parent, nor is it the time to start being a parent, if you have be very lenient. Your children are not adults, but they are not unintelligent. They know when you are deviating from your normal parenting style. Allow your children to participate in the planning but ultimately, since the parents are legally responsible for their children, all final decisions should be with the adults. Although each activity optimistically should appeal to everyone, realistically, that may not be possible. Remind kids, "We did something you liked last night, tonight is your brother's choice and we will all be fair and participate." If this is standard procedure in your family lifestyle, this should not be a problem. But if this is something new, then you have to start this policy months before the actual trip. Establish your standards, rules, guidelines and boundaries long before you are on the road.

2. Prep and Plan with the Kids Prepare your children about the destination. Prep them by eating at a restaurant locally that serves the food you will find; visit a museum exhibit, watch travel shows; watch a popular movie that has the locations you are going to see. Start with a local fair or amusement park before spending thousands of dollars at a major theme park.

Emphasize the financial part of planning a trip. For the big dream trips, remind them that a few sacrifices have to be made so that you can get there. Let them start their own fund. Then they can manage their own spending money on the trip. Set boundaries before they get there: "everyone will get one souvenir in this price range and one treat."

kids and travel
Doctor's Cave Beach, Jamaica

3. Plan with the Kids in Mind... I have found out that kids will embrace new experiences if you are excited about them. Try to plan activities with a kid slant. Even so-called adult excursions may have something for the children at the location. For example, many wineries have now added play areas. This calls for doing a little homework and research in advance. If the child is not your own, spend time with the child on day trips before venturing out on overnight jaunts. This way, you will know in advance what will be appealing. 4. ...Plan for some Grown-Up Time Kids should also know that at some point there will be grown-up time. Sometimes, they may sit at their own table near you in a restaurant, or play in a certain section at the hotel. Resorts might arrange for a child caregiver for an evening. Let the children know that they might spend some time in kid activities without you. Plan your fun around the kids activities on cruises or at resorts. If you are traveling with more than one family, take turns watching the kids.

kids and travel
Adults only deck, Carnival Magic cruise ship

5. Pay attention to the lodging In the USA, it seems as if the entire vacation industry understands you may have children with you. Resorts and hotels have pools, water slides, miniature golf, video games and references for child sitters. Cruise ships have kids’ clubs and adult only areas. Other countries are a different story. For one thing, some European hotels call a child someone under 10, meaning everyone else is a paying adult! They might require a separate room and they may not have connecting rooms. One solution is for an adult to be in each room. Some hotels do not have elevators. A great option is to rent an apartment while in Europe. You will have the space at a decent price and the option to prepare meals. However, daily maid service is not an option (sorry!). For more information, set up a personal conference with us for some options.

kids and travel
All Star Resort, Disney World, Florida


The NYC Traveler is a certified New York State educator. This is information is based on personal and professional experience and is not intended as legal advice, counseling or therapy. Happy Travels!

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Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

All photos and videos created and copyrighted by Marcia Crayton, unless otherwise noted.


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