Little Travelers: How to Pull off a Long-Distance Family Vacation
By: Chloe Taylor
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A poorly-planned family holiday can easily become a hellish nightmare. In fact, a vacation never matches the visions you have about it. Long hours on the road, new cuisine, overwhelming homesickness, lousy accommodation, and unpredictable weather conditions; there are many possible hurdles on the road to dream travel. Everything changes once you actually embark, the patience gets thin, and tempers start fraying. This is to say that you both need to plan ahead of time and take on challenges on the fly. The goal is to enhance the life of you and your family, bond and get to know each other better.
Packing is essential for any kind of trip, but when traveling with kids, it plays an even more crucial role. For instance, you should put enough carry-on bags for at least the first few days of the vacation. You do not want to run short on diapers and shorts early on and hunt for those abroad. Do not forget to bring favorite kid’s toys, and note that a great baby carrier or a backpack is a true lifesaver. There are a lot of things to keep in mind, so have a list for it. Also, parents should be lean and efficient when packing and save as much space as you can.
On the road
Traveling is may seem like loads of fun, but it is actually a major cause of stress for long-distance adventurers. Many parents who go on four wheels feel the urge to hit the road faster than lighting, but that only adds fuel to the fire. Do not rush things: Take frequent breaks and melt the stress away in a nice place. For larger distances, try to fly instead of spending hours and hours on the highway. Avoid stressful experience whenever you can and spare the little ones of any unnecessary strain.
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The choice matters
There is no shortage of family paradises across the globe. In case you want to stay on the American continent, you may be tempted to go for Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. However, for preschoolers, it might be better to visit urban sites like the French Quarter in New Orleans: The Jackson Square is teeming with jugglers, mimes, magicians, and jazz bands. And those who want to soak in the sun should head to Sanibel & Captiva Islands in the southwest Florida. They are famous for their wildlife, and the water is shallow everywhere, which is great for toddlers.
In Europe, London is one of those must-see places. It has a wide array of kid-friendly tours, programs and exhibits with dinosaurs, whales, historic sites and whatnot. Furthermore, you can go to the main landmass and explore the famous Amsterdam canals with a paddle boat or enjoy wildlife a stunning Barcelona Zoo. Other continents await you as well, so why not travel to the vast land down under, Australia? There’s a slew of family-friendly areas and it’s easy to find proper accommodation via Lifull.
The right approach
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Long-distance vacations are quite challenging for the family as a whole. You cannot just act on a whim and wander the highways and byways of the world without any solid plan in mind. Then again, it is not a good idea to be too rigid and blindly follow schedules and deadlines. Flexibility goes a long way in facilitating smooth travel. For example, it is highly recommended that you book the accommodation for the first few days of vacation. However, once you scoop the area and see where you would like to go, feel free to switch to the new location.