Traveling with kids is perhaps one of the biggest challenges that people face today. There aren’t a lot of resources out there that discuss this process in depth. I believe there could literary be thousands of niche businesses out there targeting this segment of people alone. Since having kids, I have had to learn new ways to be a smart traveler. This usually starts with being realistic on what will work not only for my spouse and I but also what will not overly stress out the kids.
Today, most people opt for the easy and typical travel destinations when bringing along their children. Think Disneyland or Sea World. There is life however beyond the theme parks we so readily visit. Even exotic locations like Bali, Africa, or India are all possible, but keep in mind some very important things before venturing out into the unknowns.
Traveling to some destinations in third world countries isn’t usually done by taking a direct flight. Sometimes it means having to take several connecting flights just to get to your final destinations. If that means bringing small kids, keep enough things on hand to keep them busy and comfortable during the long journey. Many parents opt for the easy distractions like Nintendo DS, iPads (3/4 and Mini) or portable DVD players with the kids’ favorite movies. While these things work well, consider a couple of other learning based activities that you can do within the plane itself (such as puzzles, reading, etc.). Also, consider bringing some of their favorite snacks, they may begin to really enjoy traveling.
Where You’ll Stay
If traveling to Bali, the Conrad and Intercontinental both offer activities and features for children. This includes special meals and also things like shadow puppets. If you are like most, you’ll probably be making these reservations online, so take a good look through their website to see if any prospective hotel has additional details that will be more memorable for your kids. Also, many times the hotels have a parent company here in the United States. If so, call them and ask if there are any additional features or activities for kids that isn’t listed on the website. Some times, hotels can be a little slow to update their content, and they may have already introduced a new activity for families but still haven’t disseminated the details online.
What To Do
If you are considering a safari in Africa, it would be ideal if you went to South Africa. Cape Town is flush with things to do for kids. This includes painting ostrich eggs, rock climbing and dune surfing. The national parks are teaming with wildlife indigenous to this amazing continent. If your kids are a little older, then you might also want to take them to get dive certified so you can see some amazing underwater landscape.
Plenty of Activities For Smart Travelers
The key to pulling off this adventure of a lifetime begins by having a good initial plan and preparation stage. If you get that right, then you have already done most of the heavy lifting. Enjoy your trip and tell us how it went when you return.