Traveling as a family can be a memorable experience—both in good and bad ways. To make travel more fun—and less stressful—for the whole family, you’ll need to be proactive in your vacation planning. Here are some tips from Halifax Tour Guys on how to make the adventure enjoyable for all ages—including mom and dad.
Provide Peace of Mind for Parents First
Planning travel is both hectic and expensive. But just because you’re out of town doesn’t mean life stops. Your pets will still need care, mail will still arrive, and security might be a concern the longer you’re away. To avoid the stress of what-ifs, install a home security system to protect your property while you’re gone.
Research security providers in your area and compare features, rates, and response guarantees before committing to one. Once you have a reliable system in place, you’ll feel much more relaxed about the trip ahead.
Pack Just-in-Case Kits for Everyone
Feeling unprepared when an accident or snack attack strikes is the worst part of family vacations. No matter where you are traveling in Nova Scotia—or when—it’s best to be prepared. And the first step in preparing for any length of trip with kids is to have just-in-case kits.
Your kit should include everything from first aid supplies such as bandages and ointments to a change of clothing for each family member. Including bottled water and snacks is also a smart move, especially for younger children. Also, if your children are still in diapers, packing essential diapering supplies in an easy-to-access tote is crucial.
In addition to just-in-case items, your emergency stash should feature your family’s travel documents, as applicable, plus some cash reserves. Other helpful items might include an extra smartphone charger, antibacterial hand wipes or hand sanitizer, tissues, and lip balm. When it comes to international travel, a travel emergency preparedness plan is a good idea, too.
Plan Your Travel Hours Wisely
Depending on your family’s sleep habits, aim to plan travel around regular nap or bedtimes. Getting up exceptionally early might be beneficial for avoiding crowds at the airport, but not so great for kids who are still half asleep at noon.
“Traveling Dad” recommends flying out early in the day, around your kids’ normal wake times—and after breakfast. Consider the potential perks of off-hours travel (e.g., a baby might sleep in the car or on a plane, tickets might be cheaper) with the downsides before committing to an itinerary. Flying with an infant may also be easier with extra supplies and tricks for soothing sore ears.
Another key to planning your hours wisely is avoiding over scheduling your family. Especially for younger children, too many activities in one day—even if one is driving in the car for four hours—can be too much.
Schedule breaks where possible when visiting local parks and hot tourism locations like Peggy’s Cove wherever you’re traveling to unwind a bit. Allowing bigger chunks of time for activities is also vital since many ventures with kids tend to take longer than anticipated, “SheKnows” reminds parents.
Don’t Forget Activities for Tweens and Teens
While the primary focus of your vacation planning may be on your younger child’s snack needs and avoiding tantrums, planning for tweens and teens is important, too. Traveling with older kids is often more flexible and adventurous than doing so with preschoolers and infants. But there are ways to balance the experience so everyone benefits. After all, family vacations are tied to positive memories and better brain development, points out RedTri.
To make the most of your time, look for attractions with a little something for each group. For example, many museums offer exhibits that will engage older kids while tots have a separate play area to explore. You can also coordinate your stops so that your teen can enjoy Wi-Fi time at the café next door while your little one gets their wiggles out in an indoor play place.
There’s plenty of debate about what the best age to travel with kids is. But the fact remains that it’s always possible to plan an enjoyable family vacation that works for everyone—and makes memories that will last a lifetime.
Halifax Tour Guys can help you find your perfect adventure in Nova Scotia. To learn more about our tours, please give us a call at 902-802-4047.