There’s an assumption that once you have kids, it’s virtually impossible to indulge any previous dalliances you had with the concept of wanderlust. No parent is going to try and pretend that traveling with children is as easy as embarking on a solo adventure or flying off as a couple, but you don’t have to give up your travel dreams just because there’s now a little one in tow. Travel is incredibly valuable for both children and adults, and if you have ambitions to get out and about and explore, you don’t have to put your plans on hold. Here are some tips to help you travel more with your kids.
Making travel more affordable
One of the main obstacles people face when it comes to taking vacations or booking spontaneous breaks is money, or more accurately, a lack of money. It’s no secret that raising children is expensive and you may find that the disposable income you devoted to globetrotting is now needed for nappies, clothes and an ever-growing collection of toys. Traveling isn’t always cheap, but there are ways of making it more affordable.
Searching for the best deals
Have you ever listened to friends talking about their vacation plans and wondered how on earth they afford to go away all the time or overheard somebody in the hair salon talking about a fantastic deal they got for a last-minute break? Sometimes, it can seem like everybody is grabbing those bargains before you’ve even had a chance to boot up the laptop and have a look around. The good news is that it’s easier than ever before to save money on going away thanks to the Internet and increased competition in the travel and tourism industries. If you plan to fly overseas or catch an internal flight, always make sure you compare prices online before you make a booking. You could save hundreds of dollars in a matter of seconds. Aim to travel outside of school holidays and if you can, look at flights that depart on weekdays, as they tend to be cheaper. Sometimes, you can save by booking a flight and a hotel at the same time, but price up both options, as it can also be cheaper to make separate reservations. Once you’ve got a flight and a hotel, compare prices for transfers and car hire online. It’s usually best to book in advance, and many companies offer preferential rates on their websites.
If you’re used to luxury hotels or all-inclusive breaks, you may find that these aren’t as affordable as they used to be, but that doesn’t mean that you have to give up hope of taking a break. There are lots of different types of vacation, and some options are much cheaper than others. Consider embarking on a road trip, going camping or doing a home swap, for example. It is possible to get away without spending a fortune.
Budgeting and saving
Drawing up a budget can be really helpful if you’re hoping to save towards a vacation. Work out what you can afford to put aside each month, and this will give you an idea of how much you can afford to spend on an overseas adventure or a staycation. Set up a direct debit and start looking at options once you have a substantial amount saved. You may find that it’s best to pay a deposit to secure a reservation and then pay the rest before you travel. If you’re not quite at your savings target when the final installment is due, you can find information about loans before payday, all online, but be careful about borrowing money. Make sure you understand the terms of the agreement and ensure you can afford the repayments. If you are a bit behind with your saving schedule, look for last-minute breaks. You can often take advantage of massive savings as a result of late cancellations.
There’s no doubt that traveling with children is a different proposition to going away with friends or a partner. If you want to continue to see the world when you become a parent, you can do this, but it’s wise to try and create child-friendly plans.
Designing a suitable itinerary
If you have children, it’s essential to make sure that your plans cater for them. You may want to see historic sites, but there’s every chance that they’re going to lose interest very quickly. If you do want to see the sights and enjoy cultural activities, keep them brief and intertwine them with child-friendly options. Look out for museums that offer interactive displays or games, quizzes and treasure hunts or take part in tours that are geared towards kids. You could learn all about ancient Rome by booking a tour that is guided by a Roman in traditional dress, for example. You’ll still get the information you want, but the kids will be much more interested in the experience. Look for castles that have dungeons and the opportunity to dress up or fun ways to explore cities and towns like horse and cart rides or boat trips. If you’re hitting the beach, look for hotels that cater for families and offer facilities like a safe, sheltered beach, kids’ clubs, and an entertainment program.
When you become a parent, you soon realize that little people need a lot of stuff. This can make getting from A to B tricky. If you are planning a trip, work out how you’re going to get around in advance. If you’re going to a city, for example, London or New York, search for easy routes and look into different modes of transport. If you’re going to a remote hotel in a tropical resort, consider hiring a car or ask the hotel about the availability of taxis.
Do you love to travel? If so, you probably don’t want to put your plans to see the world on hold when you have children. It can be more difficult to explore with kids, but it’s perfectly possible to take vacations and discover the world with your little ones. Take advantage of the best offers and deals out there to make traveling more affordable, consider the type of break carefully and be prepared to adjust your plans to make them child-friendly. Plan in advance, do some research on the destination and think about how you’re going to get around.