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Challenge: Traveling with Kids

How to Make Family Travel Less Stressful

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A vacation with the family should theoretically be a great time for all. However, the reality sometimes works out that a vacation with the family is incredibly stressful. Vacations can be especially stressful for families with young children.

There are some things it's important for you to do if you want to minimize the stress of the family vacation experience. The following are seven important tips for avoiding stress the next time you go away with your family:

Start packing well in advance

A lot of the stress of travel comes from forgetting important supplies during packing. It's much easier to forget things when you pack last minute than it is when you start preparing well in advance.

It's good to start putting your bags together for the family a week in advance. You don't want to be throwing things into your suitcase right before heading out the door. This will increase your stress and almost guarantee that you'll forget some essentials when you leave for your trip.

Pay more money for a more comfortable flight schedule

Sometimes, flights are cheaper if you opt for numerous layovers that last a long time. However, this will inevitably cause stress and discomfort for your whole family.

In the best of cases, flying is always somewhat tiring and tedious. Investing in a decent flight schedule will help to at least get rid of any unnecessary stress during the process. Paying for a direct flight or a faster flight will not only keep you more relaxed and comfortable, but it could also help minimize any jet lag your family members are feeling upon arrival.

Be organized and systematic when packing

When you pack, it's a good idea to make a list before you start of all the items that you're going to need during your trip. Making a list and checking things off as you add them to your bags will help to ensure that you won't forget anything.


You should definitely get your kids and spouse involved in making your family list. You might not be aware of every single thing your kids and spouse will need to have with them during the trip to stay happy and comfortable. Therefore, you should seek out their input to make sure the list is thorough.

Invest in quality luggage

If you're using old luggage or you don't have enough luggage pieces, it's going to be difficult to get your packing down. It will also be difficult to access your belongings during your trip when you're unpacking in the hotel room.

You might want to consider purchasing some new luggage if you haven't done so in a long time. Hopefully, you'll be able to find luggage that offers an individual compartment to each of the members of your family. That way, your belongings won't be commingled so it will be easy to determine what belongs to whom.

Choose your destinations carefully

If you're traveling with young kids, you probably don't want to choose a destination that's too exotic or that your children aren't yet old enough to appreciate. When you're traveling with young children, you need to find kid-friendly destinations.

Family vacations with kids can be made much less stressful if you choose a group, pre-planned travel deal like a group tour or a cruise. If you decide upon a luxury Alaskan cruise for your family vacation, you can be sure that there will be constant activities available for your kids to take part in throughout the trip.

Take care to avoid illness before and during the trip

One of the biggest causes of stress during a vacation is illness. You need to keep yourself and the rest of your family as healthy as possible in the days leading up to your trip.

It's also just as important to focus on staying healthy during the trip itself. Take heed of any advisories about using local drinking water or eating local cuisine to avoid any unpleasant illnesses while you're traveling. Also, make sure you pack clothing that's appropriate to the weather conditions where you'll be traveling to stay healthy.

Bring some options for entertaining the kids during downtime

With young kids especially, having some entertainment options available is really important. There is always a little downtime during a trip when you're traveling to and from an attraction or when you're flying to get to your destination city.

Pack books, electronic devices, or small travel games to entertain your kids during the downtime and prevent boredom.

If you make sure you implement a couple, if not all, of these tips, your next family vacation will be much less stressful. You’ll be able to relax and just enjoy your time with your family, which is the whole point of a family vacation, right?

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