Travelling as a family gives us the unique opportunity to create fantastic and indelible memories for our children. However, on many occasions, holidays can be a real hell if we don’t plan them correctly and don’t take into account the needs of the children. We offer you these tips for travelling with children, so that you don’t have to worry about anything but enjoying the experience.
Take age into account
When choosing a destination, the first thing you should bear in mind is the age of your children and, depending on this, the climate, distance, services and leisure options available.
It is not advisable to go on long-distance pleasure trips with babies or very young children. They will not remember it and you will probably not be able to enjoy the destination because you will be limited by their needs and schedules.
Involve the children
This way they will feel more involved instead of thinking that we are taking them here and there without them. Moreover, all this will seem more attractive to them if they already have an idea of what is going to happen, the means of transport they will take or the places they will visit.
You can consult maps of your destination together, learn about the customs and typical features of their culture. You can also watch a film or read books set in the chosen place. You can also create a countdown calendar together or a list of places you don’t want to miss.
Rest is important
It is advisable to rest every two hours, and although everyone wants to get to their destination as soon as possible, haste can play a trick. Keep in mind that children have a different pace than adults. Agree with them on the places to visit and don’t abuse their patience.
Allow days off from activities and plan visits at a slower pace than if you were only adults, leaving space for children to have time to eat and rest according to their age.
A family record book is not enough for a child to fly, you will need an identity card or passport. Find out in advance what visas and documents are required to enter each country and, above all, how long it takes to obtain them.
It is also advisable to obtain the European Health Insurance Card, which is valid for one year and can be ordered online. It certifies the right to receive the necessary health benefits during a short stay in any country of the European Union.
In case of separated or divorced parents
You should inform your ex-partner of your trip and, if possible, bring the family record book and the divorce decree, as well as a consent form signed by the other parent. This will avoid problems in certain countries and will allow you to travel with more peace of mind. You can apply for it at any police office and it is completely free of charge.
If they are very young, the responsibility for their suitcase is entirely yours, but from the age of 6 you can pack it together; and from the age of 10 it should be their task, although you will have to supervise it.
Some tips to motivate them to do this is to let them choose the design of the suitcase and let them pack their clothes as well as their favourite toy.