We know you want to make this family vacation a memorable adventure. But, even after all the planning, you still can’t help but wonder if all will go well. To guarantee that it turns how you want it, here are some unique family travel hacks you might incorporate into your planning.
Family vacations are meant to be fun. You’ve planned this too long to have it spoiled by some little avoidable mistakes.
While traveling with kids can be daunting, there are so many adjustments you can make in your planning that can turn your trip into an incredible adventure. Whether you’re traveling by air, rail, or road, these family travel hacks will surely save your day.
They might seem simple, but even the slightest mistake, like forgetting to pack some chewing gum, can turn rather an unforgettable moment into total horror.
Best Travel Hacks for Your Next Family Trip
Here is how to make it all work according to plan; check out these fantastic family travel hacks:
1. Avoid a Carry-on Bag for Each Person
While it might be tempting to pack each person’s staff in a separate bag, this will lead to extra baggage. Even worse, it might raise your trip’s entire cost. Instead, try packing the staff based on categories.
For instance, you should put all your clothes in one suitcase, electronic devices in one bag, and snacks in another. This will help to minimize the number of carry-ons you travel with, as well as enable you to locate something when you need it.
We recommend using packing cubes to keep packing your checked luggage and carry-on bags efficiently. Packing cubes are handy organizers that you can use to categorize your items and compact them into your suitcase.
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2. Choose the Ideal Suitcase
If you are traveling with your family, you need ample space to pack everyone’s staff. A sturdy, spacious suitcase will eliminate a lot of stress when packing. Look for one that meets all your packing needs and leaves some room for carrying some souvenirs on your way back.
Some suitcases are more suited for this purpose than others. So, depending on your preferences, choose to fulfill your desires. An excellent example is the Rockland Fashion Softside Suitcase – you’ll have plenty of room for your staff.
3. Keep Everyone Comfortable
Although you might want to see your kids in their best outfits, this might not be the best time for that – especially on flights or long drives. Ensure that everyone wears their most comfy outfits.
Too warm clothes, tight, or that makes one itchy will be a nuisance for the entire period, no matter how smart they look. They might better be in their loose sweatshirts or even their comfy pajamas.
4. Pre-Plan for During-the-Trip Entertainment
Entertainment for the entire family should be planned for before the trip – 48hrs before. This gives you time to ensure everything is in order. You must download their favorite games, cartoons, and TV shows. Luckily Netflix has made everything accessible from tablets and mobile devices.
Also, ensure you fully charge your electronics to avoid the low-battery menace. An “Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger” would also be useful for longer drives and off-grid adventures.
Also, remember that travel activities for families should always be pre-planned to ensure you have ultimate fun. You don’t want to spend half a day, every day, trying to figure out what to do for the day.
Check out these airplane activities for kids to ensure they stay busy and occupied during the flight.
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This is especially ideal for families traveling with their jumpy young kids. You need to ensure that the kids are always within your reach, especially at busy airports, while still carrying everything you need. A backpack ensures that you have your staff on your back while you still have your two hands-free to hold your kids through the airport traffic.
The right backpack guarantees sufficient packing space, an easy time carrying the luggage, and frees your hands for things like opening that candy pack for the kids.
So, if you don’t want the hassle of dragging a large suitcase everywhere, include a backpack in your list of things to buy – that is, if you don’t already have one.
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6. Pack Extra Clothes for Everyone
Most often than never, parents get carried away in ensuring that their kids are all comfortable that they forget about themselves. While you pack spare clothing for your kids, do the same for yourself. Ensure everyone has enough to keep them fresh and clean for the trip.
7. Get a Pair of EarPlanes for Everyone
The abrupt change in cabin pressure during a plane’s take-off and landing can cause quite a discomfort in your ears. While it might be bearable for adults, it can become painful and depressing for your kids. That’s why you need a pair of EarPlanes.
These are earplugs that you insert into your ears, to minimize the effect caused by cabin pressure variations. The great thing is that there are both EarPlanes for adults, as well as for small children. This is one family airplane hack that can make the entire flight enjoyable.
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8. Pack Gums or Candy
If you want to cut the cost of buying earplugs for everyone, gums and candy can also do the trick. Chewing gum or candy during take-off and landing will help balance the cabin pressure and the pressure in your ears, especially if you are traveling with younger children.
Although some adults might blush at the effect, it might be excruciating for the young. Therefore, ensure they are chewing something during these two flight phases for their comfort.
In fact, you’ll be hitting two birds with a single stone – as the kids enjoy the candy, they’ll also tackle the pressure issue. Grab a bulk pack of chewing gum now to save money and always be in stock.
9. Airports Services Are There for You, Take Advantage
Traveling alone can be stressful, especially when you have several kids. It might prove challenging to manage everything while still caring for the kids.
If you didn’t know, you could seek help from the airport attendants. Many airlines offer such services, and you shouldn’t fear using them. They will provide escort service and sometimes even give you a ride to get you around.
10. Remember to Carry Some Empty Water Bottles
This is a great way to deal with airport security, as well as the cost of buying bottled water. When you pack some empty water bottles, you are sure to meet the airport’s no-drinks policy, making security checks easy.
In addition, you can refill the bottles after the security checks to handle your kids’ nagging urge for water. Sometimes the water is not even for your kids. You might be the thirsty one on this trip. It is always good to be fully prepared. This is one of the best airport hacks for families that you should never ignore.
11. A Mini Duffle Bag
Sometimes, the suitcase or backpack is too full to carry. A mini duffle bag will come in handy when this is the case. This will be ideal, especially when you are out of your hotel suite and don’t want to carry a large backpack or carry-on.
You can easily walk around with a small duffle bag and even put in some souvenirs or anything else you buy during the trip. One tip, though, ensures that you don’t buy things that can be flagged by airport security. One great piece of such a duffle bag is the “PUMA Evercat Dispatch Duffel.”
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12. Contact Your Cell Provider to Get Fair International Options
When taking international trips, it might be crucial to contact your cell provider. Some international calls and texts can significantly raise your bill, which is not the best welcoming thing when you’re back from a vacation.
Some roaming charges are excessive, and thus you need a reasonable deal that won’t overburden your pockets. However, some providers offer fair plans for international travelers that allow you to call, text, or browse using your domestic rates. But before you subscribe to any plan, ensure it’s supported in the region you plan to travel to.
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13 Pack Some Anti-bacterial Wipes or Sanitizer
One thing you can be sure of is that your kids will touch everything they see and still put those hands on their faces or mouths. With germs everywhere, you don’t want some simple mistake to spoil your entire trip when the kids can’t stop complaining of stomachaches.
Anti-bacterial wipes are quite crucial in ensuring that you keep their hands disinfected every time. Also, following the pandemic, hand sanitizer should always be on that list. These two are unique mom hacks for travel that ensure safety for their kids.
This way you can prevent infections through contaminated surfaces around the airport or train station. When you are dealing with children, you can never be too careful. Take every measure to ensure your family vacation remains blissful.
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14. Get a Baby Bassinet for the Flight
You might need that baby bassinet for long-haul flights for your young champ to sleep in. While most airlines will offer such, you must confirm with them well in advance to avoid mishaps.
A baby bassinet ensures your child is comfortable throughout the flight and eliminates the chances of them becoming a headache. You don’t want the stress of your baby crying the entire flight.
Confirming with the airline in advance will also help you learn any guidelines set for using the bassinet. This way, you can adequately prepare. This and more travel hacks for kids reduce the stress of family travels.
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15. Carry Dry Healthy Snacks for Your Kids
While you might not be allowed to carry drinks for your kids, most snacks are permitted. This means your child doesn’t have to go hungry, especially during a long flight.
And although you might pick some at the airport, packing your snacks is most advisable. Airport snacks aren’t that amazing and might cost you more. Pick snacks that your kids love, and pack them in advance. Some airport-accepted snacks include candy, cereal, cookies, crackers, cooked meats, granola bars, dried fruits, etc.
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16. Rethink Restaurants
When on a family vacation, the first instinct when you’re hungry is to dine in a restaurant. However, this is not always ideal when you have kids with you. And although restaurants will still find somewhere in your mealtime, try something more.
One way of travel hacking as a family is by cooking fresh food when possible. For instance, if you are in an RV, a rented condo, or a vacation home with a kitchen, you can easily make delicious homemade meals for your family.
Also, you can try out something like the open-air market and find something unique to eat. Better still, if that fails, you can always use a local delivery app to bring some food to your hotel room.
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17. Get Your Kids’ Bracelets With Your Contacts
Sometimes when you’re in a new and crowded place, you might lose sight of your little ones. If this happens, you need to ensure they can contact you. A bracelet with your contacts is a perfect gift for them during the trip.
Not only will they love wearing the cute bracelets, but you’ll also be arming them with your contacts if they ever need them. Beaded bracelets with number beads that correspond to your contacts are simple, safe family travel hacks you can easily come up with. These phone number bracelets are top picks for family vacations with young kids.
If you’ve planned a road trip on your minivan, this is one of the simplest but essential minivan travel hacks you need. It’s quite common for kids to play with their seatbelts or even yours during the ride.
And to ensure they can’t unlock the seat belts, a seatbelt lock becomes quite essential. It’s a safety measure that looks simple but that can prevent unimaginable dangers.
There are numerous road trip hacks for families that can save your day. For instance, if you are traveling with your toddler, it’s quite hard to keep them glued to the seat or hold them the entire time.
For this reason, before you embark on that trip, ensure you have a ClickTight Car Seat for your kid. This way, you don’t have to worry about in-car baby movements all the time. Also, you are sure your baby is safe in that back seat.
If you bring a car seat on your next trip, be sure to use a car seat travel bag that can help protect the car seat from being damaged during the stowing process.
20. Carry a Socket Extension
If you are traveling with a big family, an extra pair of sockets comes in handy, especially if everyone is on their devices. It’s one of the simple hotel hacks for families, but it is also essential. With a good socket extension, you don’t have to worry about any of your devices running low on batteries.
And although the hotel rooms have several sockets, sometimes you might need more. The “SUPERDANNY 15A Surge Protector Power Strip Flat Plug” is a perfect fit for this task.
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21. Adapter Plug Socket
While on a road trip, an adapter plug socket can be quite useful. It comes in handy when you want an extension of the cigarette lighter adapter to reach your devices or even for the tire inflator.
If you have a flat tire or someone wants to charge their devices from the back seat, they are all sorted. It’s one of the vital family road trip hacks that can save you from sleeping in the woods.
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22. Consider renting baby equipment
Consider renting baby equipment for your next family vacation instead of packing the stroller! Baby gear rental companies offer various options for parents traveling with young children, such as car seats, strollers, play yards and bathtubs.
Renting baby travel gear makes it much easier to care for your brood while away from home and is a great alternative to bringing all the necessary items yourself. Most rental companies provide much flexibility on where to drop off and pick up the equipment, making the process stress-free. With all these advantages, baby equipment rental is a no-brainer for any family on the go.
23. Build excitement at the airport
Traveling with children can be a great way to boost their development and make them more empathetic. To make the experience more enjoyable for parents and kids, research your destination to build excitement and anticipation before you even leave home. Once you arrive at the airport, use the extra time to your advantage by playing games or doing activities together.
This can help keep the children occupied and make the airport fun rather than daunting. Don’t forget to take breaks throughout the journey so that everyone can relax and enjoy the experience.
24. Sign up for an airline loyalty program
Joining an airline loyalty program can make traveling as a family easier and more rewarding. You will receive points for every flight taken, which can be used for flight upgrades or even free flights in the future. The loyalty program makes it easier to follow the same airline’s usual practices, making the travel experience smoother, more convenient, and enjoyable.
Family vacations should always be fun and adventurous. However, some simple mistakes or oversights might significantly impact your travel.
That’s why we have compiled this list of the best family travel hacks, well-researched and supported by first-hand experiences, to make your next trip smooth and memorable.
There are numerous ways to travel hack as a family; some of these hacks might just be what you’ve been looking for.
How can I make my family vacation special?
When traveling as a family, it is important to plan and pre-book as much as possible to avoid any stress or anxiety. For example, if you are planning a trip, be sure to book the flights, hotels, and car rentals in advance.
It is also wise to bring snacks and drinks along for the journey. Investing in top-notch camping gear will make the experience more enjoyable, and it can be beneficial to ask about kids’ discounts wherever possible. Despite the best preparation, things may not go according to plan, but it is important to remain calm and friendly in such situations.
How do you make traveling easier with kids?
Traveling with kids can be challenging, but there are ways to make it easier for the whole family. One of the best ways to make the journey manageable is to plan. Research your destination and gather information on kid-friendly activities.
Pack snacks and activities for the kids to keep them busy and entertained.
Make sure to bring any necessary items like a stroller or car seat. Consider different transportation options, such as trains or buses, to reduce stress. Ensure you bring items such as pillows and headphones to make the journey more comfortable. By planning and preparing, families can ensure that their journey is comfortable and enjoyable for all.