How To Make Any Destination Family Friendly
As you’ve probably guessed from my many travel articles written for Parfait, I travel a fair bit, mostly with my family.
Throughout my experience traveling with a child, I’ve found that you don’t always need to go to destinations that are considered family-friendly, like Disney World for example.
It is possible to travel just about anywhere with your kids and find ways to entertain them while still enjoying the destination yourself.
1. Seek out parks and playgrounds
In between museums and sightseeing, stop at parks and playgrounds to allow your little ones plenty of time to run free. Not only does this wear them out a bit, it gives you all the downtime needed to connect and have fun together.
2. Look for kid-friendly activities
While you don’t need to only do kid-focused activities, a trip will be much more pleasant for you and your family if you take your kids’ interests and ages into consideration. Maybe your daughter is really into animals, so look for a zoo or aquarium. If your son is obsessed with cars, then look for a transportation museum or car show. Or, if you have a pre-toddler who needs some time to crawl around, try to look for a children’s museum or kid-focused restaurant or café with a play area. It is easy to take your children’s needs into consideration in countless destinations around the world.
3. Consider staying in a private rental apartment
Rental apartments, such as those through Airbnb or VRBO, often provide a lot more privacy and space than a traditional hotel room. Having the freedom to prepare breakfast or dinner for yourself and your family not only saves you a ton of money while on vacation, it also allows you to avoid the late dining times that countries like Spain and Italy adhere to. Additionally, having separate bedrooms for you and your children or a living room to retreat to really helps if you need a bit of “me time” at the end of the day.
4. Bring entertainment
Little kids have short attention spans, so sometimes providing a bit of a distraction in the form of a book, toy, or tablet is absolutely necessary. Entertainment will give you a bit of extra time enjoying a museum or savoring a leisurely meal before a little one starts to protest.
5. Remember that kids have little legs
Depending on the age of your child, traveling with a stroller or carrier can give those little legs a break from walks around the city or countryside. A stroller or carrier may also double as a place for a child to take a nap without you needing to return to your accommodation, which is a win-win in my book.
6. Carry snacks and drinks
When your child gets hungry, do they need to eat immediately like my son? Just like when you are at home, having a few snacks handy can help prevent a hangry crying child.
7. Leave space in your itinerary
One of the most important things to do when making any destination family-friendly is to not completely fill your itinerary with activities from dawn till dusk. Kids need downtime to run through parks, count ants, or simply play with toys. Let your itinerary be flexible enough to take your children’s typical routine into mind when planning a day out. And also, try not to feel guilty if you have to skip seeing a major site to avoid a meltdown; just enjoy relaxing and being together.