In this episode of Family Travels with Laura, Yahoo Travel’s Laura Begley Bloom interviews experts about the best tips for traveling with kids.
Photo by iStock. Design by Lauren DeLuca for Yahoo Travel.
I recently took my daughter to the Azul Sensatori Mexico on the Riviera Maya to check out the new Nickelodeon Experience, which is like one big long playdate with Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, and friends. While Lucy loved meeting the characters, I was excited to meet an amazing bunch of family bloggers and writers, who shared their insider tips for how to travel with kids. Here’s what you need to know:
Tip 1: Ditch the Rules
“Managing your expectations is key to traveling with a young child,” advises Nicole Blades, a journalist and author who is the family editor of BlogHer and an editor at Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Tech. “Sometimes they go to bed much later than they normally would, and that’s ok. Sometimes they eat the chocolate before the broccoli, and that’s ok. You have to keep that zen vibe of ‘Relax, it’s all fine, it’s going to be balanced out.’ You’re not ruining your child.”
Dora knows how to pack light. (Photo: Laura Begley Bloom)
Tip 2: Pack Light
“We bring minimal diapers, minimal diapers, minimal snacks, minimal toys,” says Erin Feher, the Bay Area editor of Red Tricycle. “We have found a way to get everything we need where we go, and we realize that we don’t actually need that much. When I have brought my daughter’s favorite toys from home, once we’re in a new location she doesn’t care about them at all.”
It’s important to give your kids time to relax on vacation. Here, Lucy and a friend play at the Azul Sensatori’s kids’ club. (Photo: Laura Begley Bloom)
Tip 3: Chill Out!
“I think you’ve got to remember to keep your kids’ schedules; it makes it a lot easier for your families,” says Lissa Poirot, editor in chief of FamilyVacationCritic.com, a TripAdvisor family site. “I used to be go go go constantly when I went on a trip, and the kids can’t keep up with that. You have to let go, let them have pool time, let them relax, let them take naps, and not try to cram everything in. It makes for a better vacation. The kids are happy, you’re happy, everybody has a good time.”
Tip 4: Surprise Them
“I always bring a few surprises that they don’t know about at all,” says Jacinda Boneau, co-founder of Pretty Prudent. “In my bag, I might have a new chapter book for my eight-year-old, a new coloring book for my six-year-old, and maybe a new toy for my four-year-old. It’s something they’re never seen before that I can pull out and delight them with for awhile. It’s the same thing with snacks; it’s all about having a few surprises that you can pull out one at a time.”
A view of the Azul Sensatori’s pool. (Photo: Laura Begley Bloom)
Tip 5: Bring Some Comforts of Home
“When my son was younger, we would always fly with his car seat,” says Tina Buell, the social media and marketing manager for Trekeroo. “We would look crazy boarding the plane with his car seat, but it was a nice was for him to catch some z’s on the plane, and I was hands free.”
Fewer obligations means more time to spend time with your kids. (Photo: Laura Begley Bloom)
Tip 6: Stop Overplanning
“Cut your itinerary in half,” says Kyle McCarthy, co-founder and editor of FamilyTravelForum.com. “I think a lot of the most fun on family vacations happens in those moments between when you’re planning things. You just get to spend a little time with your kids, hanging out, waiting for the bus, before the show begins, breakfast hasn’t arrived, and you get to know them. Those are the special moments.
All photographs and video footage shot with a Canon 70D.
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