Life Changes When You Have Little Ones, But That Doesn’t Mean You Have to Stop Traveling
By, Kelly Dunning, Guest Writer
When you become a parent, you can still enjoy adventures all around the world. In fact, travel is great for kids because it shows them a world outside their familiar bubble and allows them to learn about different cultures and meet new people.
However, when you are gallivanting with your little ones in tow you will have to adjust a few things about the way you travel.
Make Wine Tours Kid-Friendly
You might think that sipping wines in peaceful, sun-soaked vineyards is an adult-only activity, but this type of viticulture travel can be enjoyable for the entire family. The key is to look for wineries that are set up to be kid-friendly, with kids menus at the restaurants, play areas and plenty of space to run around.
Destinations such as France and Italy are ideal for this, as wine is such a part of the culture and children learn about it from a very young age. The local vineyard owners won’t bat an eye if you bring your little ones along on a tasting experience.
Opt for Apartments Instead of Hostels
When you were a young solo backpacker, hostels were the best style of accommodation. They allowed you to connect with other travelers and you also had a kitchen where you could save money by preparing your own meals.
However, when you travel as a family, a better option is an apartment rental. You’ll have your own space, so you won’t feel bad about your cranky toddler waking up any sleeping backpackers. At the same time, you’ll still have a kitchen so you can prepare food or snacks for your young travel companions.
Consider Glamping Instead of Camping
Roughing it in the wilderness can be a lot of fun if you are on your own, but when you have children to take care of it can be a lot easier if you have running water and a few necessities. Travelers who enjoyed camping before children often upgrade to the “glamping” experience once the little ones come along.
Glamping, aka “glamorous camping” is an upgraded version of camping that usually entails staying in more luxurious accommodations such as tree houses, yurts, cabins, geo-domes and caravans.
You’ll still be out in the middle of some incredibly beautiful part of nature, but you’ll be able to sleep in a comfortable bed, have a warm shower and read bedtime stories with electric lighting at night. There are so many wonderful glamping experiences all over the world, so you’re sure to find an adventure your kids will love.
If you are used to a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants travel style where you decide on your next destination spontaneously and show up without a hotel booked, you will need to change your habits when traveling with kids.
You’ll have to have your accommodations lined up ahead of time, as you won’t be able to simply arrive and walk up and down the streets to find a place that calls to you. You’ll also have to do a bit more research into each destination you visit, just to make sure it is kid-friendly.
However, this extra research means that when you go on the trip, it will go a lot more smoothly because you have already figured out all the details.
When you were traveling on your own you could handle a day packed full of activities, but when you are traveling with kids you’ll have to slow right down. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to plan about half the activities you could handle on your own, as everything takes twice as long with a toddler.
Don’t let this stress you out. Instead, relax and embrace the slowness. If you try to rush and see as many attractions as you can in one day, the entire family is going to feel stressed, tired and miserable.
Instead, take the time to linger by the pool, take a walk on the beach, eat ice cream in the central plaza, have an afternoon nap and see things at a very slow pace. You and your children will enjoy the experience much more.
How Do You Adjust Your Travels After Having Kids?
Kids don’t have to stop you from seeing the world, they simply require you to change your habits and travel in a different way. How do you manage traveling with your family? Share your family travel tips in the comments!