Top Travel Tips on how to Transition From Travelling as a Couple to a new Family.
So, you have finally decided to take the plunge and take your little one on his/her first big trip. Whilst you and your partner are seasoned travellers and travelled well together prior to having a family, it is a completely different ball game when you’re lugging a young child with you. All the normal packing routines, adventure packed itineraries and late night outings are now things of the past. In order to be well prepared for this transition and to avoid disappointment, here are some tips on how you can enjoy your first holiday as a family:
NEW FAMILY TRAVEL TIP #1
Be Prepared. Do as much research as you can about travelling with a young child. This includes what you may need to know on their first flight, the best types of accommodation, what to pack in both carryon and check in luggage and modes of transportation that would be most convenient and comfortable for the whole family. If you are well equipped with the basic requirements, you will be better prepared for any unforseen curveballs.
NEW FAMILY TRAVEL TIP #2
Lower Expectations. Travelling with a child means you can no longer start at dawn and end at….dawn! Late nights or trekking through difficult terrain may just have to wait until the kids are older. Don’t go on your first holiday with the same expectations as you would when it was just the two of you. For the consummate travel planners and control freaks, you are just going to have to learn to let go and take it as it comes.
NEW FAMILY TRAVEL TIP #3
Smaller Itinerary. It is not prudent to embark on a holiday with a relentless itinerary as you won’t be able to keep up the pace. To avoid disappointment, aim to do less than half of what you are used to. Allow for some time with no plans just in case the kids are just not up for another day out or are exhausted. Should you wish to cover the same amount as you would have normally, think about extending the number of days to try and fit it all in.
NEW FAMILY TRAVEL TIP #4
New Adventures. One of the greatest things about travelling with children is exploring attractions and doing activities you otherwise would have never thought to do. Children force you to see things through their eyes and you would be surprised how a once familiar holiday destination can suddenly be so different. Make sure you have an equal number of things to do for the kids to balance out your time away. After all, it’s a family holiday, not an adult holiday with a couple of kids who just happen to be tagging along!
NEW FAMILY TRAVEL TIP #5
Good Equipment. If travel is going to be a big part of your new family life, invest in good, durable equipment to make the holidays easier. Get a good baby carrier with strong back support, a pram that is versatile for most environments and/or appropriate travel apparel for optimum comfort. Ensure you are well supported in all facets of your travel from the time you leave home until you return.
NEW FAMILY TRAVEL TIP #6
Easy or Familiar Destinations. If you are feeling tentative about your first holiday, select a destination that is either easy to navigate such as a beach holiday or return to a city you have been before. This will help to eliminate any unnecessary surprises as you can prepare for what that destination will require of you from a travel perspective. You can become more adventurous after you test the waters. All children are different so it’s hard to tell how well they will travel so it’s no harm in picking easier journeys.
NEW FAMILY TRAVEL TIP #7
Trial Run. If you’re thinking of embarking on a big adventure, perhaps you might like to try out a small road trip as a pseudo trial run. Have a go at packing, using all the equipment you may need to juggle on your big trip and do up a small itinerary so you can get a feel for how much longer it takes to do something. That way you can also gauge of how your child will cope with a strange environment and how a break in routine may affect the holiday.
NEW FAMILY TRAVEL TIP #8
Jet Lag. If you are all creatures of routine, understanding time zones and planning sleep times will be crucial in getting your holiday off to a good start. Jet lag can take days to regulate, by which time it may be time for you to head home! It would be wise to plan out the sleep and nap times and select suitable travel times to coincide with that if possible.
The first holiday is always the hardest as you are charting unfamiliar territory. But armed with good planning and a positive attitude, it will be one of the most beautiful journeys you will make. Create and cherish the memories and may you have the best first holiday with your kid/s!
Do you have any other new family travel tips to add to the list? Tell us in the comments below!
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