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Essential Tips You Need for Family Travel

Long before I was a mom, I was a traveler. I traveled far and hard, and I swore that would not change when I had kids. People tried to tell me it would all change, that I would have to take a travel hiatus, maybe until my kids were teenagers. Colleagues of mine in the travel industry had never taken their school-age kids out of the country. They were waiting, they said, until it was easier, until their kids would get more out of it, until it was less work to entertain their kids on planes.

I had visions of trekking below 20,000-foot Himalayan peaks with my child strapped to a yak. I had visions of tossing my kid in the back up a beat up car and driving across the grassy plains of Central Asia in the Mongol Rally. And I had visions of cruising the turquoise waters of the Eastern Mediterranean on a wooden gullet. My husband reminded me that Delhi belly in small kids can be life-threatening, that putting a child to bed in a different yurt every night would be miserable for all involved (and that’s even before you factor in the bedbugs), and that a child with no swimming skills and no impulse control should not spend a week on a boat.

My husband was right — things would have to change. We’d have to find a way of traveling that worked for everyone in the family because not traveling was not an option. Not for me personally, and not for the type of child I wanted to raise. There are plenty of articles out there about traveling with babies, but it seems that once people pass the honeymoon period before baby crawls, they often put travel on hold indefinitely, which is a shame. Fast forward seven years and 10 countries and here’s what I’ve learned about traveling with young kids.

Don’t move around a lot. Children need consistency to feel secure, and trying to have them sleep in a different bed every night will lead to sleepless nights and miserable days for all. Find a place that would be fun to explore with day trips and hunker down so that your accommodations become “home.” This is an opportunity to get to know a place like a local.

Rent a house. For us, this is the only way to go. My daughter sleeps with a light on, my son needs darkness and my husband and I want to enjoy our evenings past 8 o’clock bedtime. For the price of about one and a half hotel rooms, you can often find a three-bedroom house for rent. You get lots of space, more comfort and a full kitchen, which saves you time, money and frustration from eating out with the kids at every meal…

Read More: Tamar Lowell,

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