5 Travel Tips for Parents Who Dread Travel
Not everyone is a natural traveler. If you don’t love traveling in general, traveling with kids can be doubly intimidating. You not only have to worry about navigating unfamiliar terrain and managing your own discomforts, you have your kids and their comfort to worry about too. Here are five basic travel tips we hope will hope making planning and going on your first family vacation easier, less intimidating and more fun.
The Travel Tips
1. The Booking Tip
While you are shopping online for hotels, car rentals and flights, clearing your cache after a search or browsing in private mode (or incognito, depending on your browser) helps prevent booking sites from tracking and remembering you. This makes it harder for them to feign scarcity, up prices or employ other tactics to pressure you to buy before you’ve found the price you want. Sure, sometimes it helps to have a booking site pickup your search where you last left off. But it’s worth weighing that convenience against the potential to save money by being discreet.
2. The Vacation Home Tip
Consider a stay in a vacation house rather than a hotel, even for vacations to cities. Families are used to renting homes at the beach, the lake or in the mountains. But they can be a handy and money-saving option for city vacations as well. You’ll might give up access to concierge, but you’ll have the convenience of a living room and kitchen. And you’ll probably be in a residential neighborhood with more shops and amenities and less expensive restaurants than in more touristy areas.
3. The Clothes-Packing Tip
Everyone forgets to leave room in their suitcase for the souvenirs they might want to bring home. To create extra room when you pack, plan out how many pieces of clothes you need to create outfits for the entire trip—letting at least some clothes do double duty. Roll your clothes instead folding them. Put socks in the shoes. Think about when you can get away with leaving home rather than packing anything and everything you might possibly need. Put all your documents, passport and tickets in one place to make sure they are together and handy (keep copies elsewhere and copies at home.
4. The Itinerary Tip
The time your day begins depends a lot on how old your kids are. If you have young kids who are up early anyway, plan an itinerary that takes advantage of this. Get to popular places ahead of the crowds, take advantage of happy hour and early bird specials to save on dinner, and plan on an early evening back in your room or vacation home. With Tweens and teens are likely to stay up and wake later. You can plan around having mornings to yourself if you’re an early riser and count on older kids having the stamina for a longer day with fewer breaks.
5. The Cash Tip
There are still places where cash is king and ATMs are scarce. But in the rest of the world, carrying less cash and relying on credit cards can be a better bet.
When we travel we use our credit card as much as we can and conserve cash for small purchases or places that don’t take credit cards. It allows us to carry less cash and provides an easy record of where we went and how much we spent. If you travel abroad a lot it might be worth getting a credit card with no foreign-transaction fees.
If we’re traveling abroad, we typically change about $100 to $200 into local currency before we travel abroad so that we have money for an airport taxi and any small immediate needs.
If you are vistiing major cities that are sure to have ATMs you can use, get money as you need it. It’s more secure than carrying enough currency for the whole trip. If you’re abroad getting local currency from a machine is easier than changing currency and you might get a better exhange rate.
And of course, in addition to a copy of your passport it can help to have copies of your credit card numbers and customer service numbers in case you lose your wallet.
Hope these tips help and that your first family trip is a huge success.
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