Tips when traveling with children February 23 2015

Forget the days when travelling with children was frowned upon, at Poplico we believe there are more child-friendly places to visit than we can imagine, more family friendly restaurants, museums, hotels! Traveling with children requires patience and preparation. Also flexibility!! Be ready to change your plans, your schedule and everything, because when you are out and about with children you never know!! : )

If you are going to stay in one place for a week or longer, consider renting an apartment through aribnb, homelidays or similar. With the internet renting a house is simple and easy. This could be cheaper than hotel rooms, you feel more at home and have more space and a kitchen where you can do some cooking and save on restaurant meals. If your children are young, staying in a house for your vacation can make life much easier. Another plus is that owners usually leave tips, lists, and recommendations to help with your visit. 

Don´t go crazy packing, try to limit each person to one suitcase, or share suitcases. Specially if your holiday takes place in more than one destination. Moving around with the family is easier if you have less things to carry, plus for sure you will buy along the way, so the less we start with the better without forgetting the essentials. Don´t forget your children´s toys, at least one for comfort, Poplico Mini Bags for scooter are ideal for this since they can also be turned into a tote bag. Although everything is exciting and fun, we are taking them out of their comfort zone, at least with a toy when they go to bed they have something familiar and theirs.
Maybe download a few local apps before departure, local knowledge is very valuable. Some of them have been created by people who have lived in the city for years, know what they are talking about and help you find those cool or hidden spots. You can also find travel apps that work completely offline, download the content (including maps) at home and there is no need for internet once you are on location. Parenting magazine www.parenting.com recently wrote an article on the best apps for family travel.

Book in advance, most cities offer discount passes for online booking or multi-attraction passes. This way you also make sure you don´t miss the “must sees”, those things you really want to do.

Let the children choose something to do every day. Give them the options of what could be done, where to eat, what to see, and make them feel part of the holiday and not only a little companion without voice or opinion.

Don´t forget to carry a water bottle, and a set of spare clothes for the little ones. Keeping healthy snacks handy is also a good idea. If you add a Poplico Napkin Clip this will keep your child clean and tidy at meal time anywhere since it clasps easily to paper or linen napkins and it doesn´t take up any space. You are set to go! 

If you what a more balanced vacation and want to pay for it, you can elaborate a daytime children´s program enjoying some adult day or night time by hiring a “travel nanny” According to the wall street journal, families are increasingly using specialised “travel nannies” for family trips and vacations, as more parents want to travel with young children but also take advantage of more grown up activities. In exchange for all travel expenses and a daily rate, a travel nanny can parachute into a family trip and turn it into an actual vacation for parents too.

If this is not an option for you, because economically it doesn´t work or because you want your family holiday to be just that: family, without having anyone else tag along… but still want an adult night out there are other options. If you are staying in a hotel, there is no need to mention that most of them can recommend sitters by the hour. You can also use a service such as www.sistercity.com (only available in the USA but we hope it will come soon to Europe) were you can screen, interview and evaluate caregiver profiles.

Guide books are great, but you don´t have to do everything they say. There is so much more to a holiday than what you can find in a guidebook, specially when traveling with children. Maybe sitting in a park one afternoon watching your child play in the swings while you have a cup of coffee and a chat with your partner or mingle with locals is better than visiting the Nth monument with your party moaning… Exploring a toy store, a book store, a bazar, a supermarket, can open everyone´s eyes to differences, local shops and street fairs can be fascinating. When you return home you will find out that most of your best memories were not made thanks to the guidebook.

And of course don´t forget to take your Poplico products when you are out and about!