It’s time to pack your kids and head south
If you love the summer sun, and the thought of the impending winter is ruining your mood, it might be time to plan a trip down south.
The idea of packing up the kids and heading to a tropical destination can seem as daunting as it is exciting. However, there are plenty of kid-friendly destinations that manage to capture the elusive idea of fun for the whole family. Here are five tips for traveling south with kids.
Find the Right Resort
If you have limited traveling experience with your children, going to an all-inclusive resort is a great start. In an all-inclusive, you don’t have to worry about buying and preparing food or organizing travel from the airport to your destination. It’s a great way to kick back and relax.
Choose a resort that caters to families. You’ll want to read reviews and look for information about service, safety, and food quality. Try to get a resort that has extra events for children to keep them active and engaged for the duration of your trip.
The key to traveling with kids is to pack light, but strategically. Fortunately, they won’t need a lot of heavy clothing to go south. Choose an outfit for each day and one or two nicer outfits to wear to dinner. Have the kids wear a sweater and sneakers on the plane, packing sandals and lighter clothes in the carry-on.
Involve your kids in the packing process by having them put together a travel activity kit. Head to the local dollar store to get coloring tools, activity books, and small toys that aren’t to be used until you’re on the airplane. If you have a toddler or an infant, head to My Traveling Baby for product recommendations that will simplify your travels.
Safety starts at home. In addition to choosing a resort that is recommended based on safety, there are other things you will have to do to keep your family safe. Have a conversation about the importance of staying together while in the airport and during your trip. Explain the travel process and what they should expect during security, customs, etc.
Safety also means being prepared for environmental threats. Be sure to pack a lot of high SPF sunscreen, hats, and UV-tested sunglasses. Bug spray is also important for tropical locations, especially during the fringe seasons. Additionally, there are medications and vaccinations to consider getting ahead of time for protection. I always make sure my kids are protected in the water too, you will want to check out these great puddle jumpers for your kids.
Be Mindful of Food Choices
Nothing puts a damper on a trip south like an upset stomach. When your family eats, be mindful of the food choices. Depending on your location, you might opt to change your regular diet, leaving out meat and dairy for the duration of your trip (these tend to be problematic if mishandled or left in the heat).
When you travel south, it’s especially important to teach your children not to drink the tap water. Be sure to have medication on hand for if someone has a bad tummy from their culinary adventures.
Plan Ahead, but be Flexible
When traveling with kids, it’s best to plan ahead. Identify if there are any excursions that you want to try and book your a la carte dinners the day you arrive.
While planning ahead is important, leave time for relaxation and spontaneity. An over-planned trip can be stressful and ruin the fun. Kick back, relax, and be flexible on your agenda; you never know what opportunities might present themselves when you arrive.
Traveling south with your family is a great way to beat the winter blues. Once you go the first time, you’ll want to go back every year. Start planning now, so you’ll be ready when the snow starts to fall.