10 Tips For Making Travel Fun For Kids

Travelling can be an incredible way to build family togetherness, Here are a few tips for making travel fun for kids.

Young boy at the beach with his mouth and eyes wide

Traveling with children can be an incredible experience both for family togetherness and growth of the children, however, parents know that sometimes just getting out the door can be a chore on its own. We have created what we hope is a beneficial guide to making travel fun for kids, whether you are heading on a cruise, a resort, or on to greater adventure.

Be Patient

Kids don’t move at the same pace as adults and they see things from a much different (and usually much lower) perspective. Make sure to give yourself twice as much time for site seeing as is the norm so that you have a chance to see most of the sites and your children get a chance to explore without being rushed through all the sites. Remember that it’s not always possible to see everything.

Let Them Be A Photographer

Let your kids be the photographer

Don’t be afraid to let your kids take the reins on some of the photos. You may be amazed at what they can come up with. Even better, find a camera that can withstand the  bumps and lumps of little kid hands so that you don’t have to replace it every trip. Letting your children take photos helps to give them confidence and reviewing them when you get back will allow them to re-live all the excitement of the journey!

Prepare For The Weather

Make sure to dress for the weather

Weather can change in an instant wherever you are. Make sure you have the right clothes. It is crucial to enjoying yourself, and this goes doubly for kids, who can be affected more by the weather due to their underdeveloped bodies. Check the typical temperatures for the location you are going and be sure to take into consideration the highest and lowest possible temperatures along with rain, wind and humidity. Also, don’t forget about the trip home. Getting off the plane and shuffling to your car in -10 degree weather while wearing your flip-flops in the snow because you forgot your boots is a bad way to end a wonderful trip.

Think About their Health

Having proper preventative and reactionary medications is important when travelling. Check out our list of things to help keep your kids healthy when travelling. Healthy kids are happy kids!

Make Sure Your Documents Are Up-to-date

Don't forget to have all your travel documents ready ahead of time.

Travel planning is a lot of work. Making travel plans and having to turn back when you get to the border because you forgot to renew your passports is awful. Make sure you know what travel documents you need for your destination, whether it be Visas, vaccinations or new passports. Visas can often be purchased at the point of origin, but you will likely have to wait in line and are sometimes subject to additional fees. For passports, there are ways to get those renewed with a few days notice, but you will be under a lot of stress so better to renew it when you still have some leeway. For emergency passport applications in Canada, click here.

Always Have Food

Always make sure to bring snacks to keep your kids happy

Hungry kids and hungry adults don’t get along. Reason is thrown out the window and insanity reigns supreme. Don’t let this happen to you when you are traveling. Keeping healthy, portable snacks handy will help maintain the happy loving family that you know and keep the temper tantrums at bay.

Don’t Pack Too Many Toys

Kids love their toys but they also have a small issue with understanding priorities. Traveling with a ton of toys may seem like a good way to keep your kids occupied when you are traveling, but they are also cumbersome to carry around and can cause distress if they’re lost. They also can take up lots of room in your luggage. While I won’t say what to allow your kids to bring, that choice is personal, I will say that we let our boys take one stuffy and a blanket with them when they travel. When we are abroad the boys are too busy running around and exploring for them to play with anything anyway.

Make Sure to Plan Some Activities Around Them

Make sure to plan some activities around your children's interests.

When planning your trip, don’t forget to take the kids into consideration and plan some activities or sites that are centred around what they like. This is important for every kind of trip, including resorts and cruises. Does your location have a kid’s club? If they do, what are the age ranges? If you are out on excursions, make sure that there activities that will keep them busy and give them a chance to safely burn off some of that childhood energy.

Let Them Experience the Local Culture

Let them experience the local culture.

Sometimes when people travel, the instinct is to shield their children from new experiences with the fear that they might not enjoy it or they might be afraid. Children are resilient, intelligent and built to learn. In my experience, they embrace new things (well, maybe not so much the food) and I have never been anywhere where the people haven’t been overjoyed at the presence of kids. This gives the children a chance to be the center of attention for a while and the confidence they will gain will stay with them longer than any souvenirs.

The most important thing about traveling with kids is to simply remember that they are kids.  Give them an opportunity to experience their new surroundings and learn something that may stick with them for the rest of their lives, then when you return home you will all have memories that you can share with each other!

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About the Author

Kevin Wagar is a professional traveler and family travel expert living in the Greater Toronto Area. His beautiful wife Christina impressed on him her love of travel and they have made exploring the world an integral part of their life. With the birth of their two boys, Kevin and Christina have made it their mission to show others that traveling with children isn't as scary as it sounds and that kids can benefit from experiencing the world outside of their front door and beyond.

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  1. Kudos to you for traveling with your kids! Too many people have kids and then decide to live the rest of their lives in one place until the kids are grown. Personally, I can’t imagine the responsibility of traveling with children. So much respect.

    1. Thanks! I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was tough, but it is so rewarding to share these experiences with our kids and watch as they learn so much. Thanks for the support!

  2. I think you have covered all the essentials here Kevin. The trick i fuess is to never let them get to bored or too hungry. If u accomplish that all will be good lol

  3. Spot on with all the tips, especially liked the ones about letting them be the photographer – a friend gave our 10 year old son his old camera last year and he’s been loving raking photos during our travels. Also liked the tip on letting them experience local culture, we are big on that. Great to find other travelling families, we have been travelling with our two since they were 8 weeks old! 10 years on, we all love travelling the globe 🙂

  4. These are such great comments! I especialy love how you point out that giving a kid a camera is a great idea – we’ll have fantastic photographers in the future if kids start learning early! Also love the tip of not bringing too many toys!

  5. Whilst I don’t have them, I think it is absolutely fabulous that your little ones are being taken on such great adventures, and that whilst you are accommodating them and some of their important needs, you are also making sure they experience new things. What a wonderful way to grow up. I had to laugh at hungry adults and children not getting on so well. We would call that “hangry” 🙂

  6. Awesome work traveling with kids and making it a harmonious experience all round. I think ‘always travel with food’ is also appropriate for adult travel – I’ve come across many a traveler (myself included) who can be particularly ‘hangry’ where food and drink is lacking!

    1. It’s always a good idea to consult your physician or a travel doctor before going to any location, especially with children. Necessary vaccinations vary based on location, and of course the age of your children.

  7. Great tips, although we don’t have kids ourselves at the moment, I definitely understand the importance of opening your kids up to the world and letting them experience travel. So these tips I’m sure would definitely come in handy.

  8. My favourite would be the one with the food! Will work perfectly not only for kids. And giving them the camera can result in lovely surprising photos.

  9. I love, love that you travel as a family! I’m currently kid-less (well I do have fur babies… 🙂 ), but I would love to travel as a family someday – so these are great tips. Thanks for the info!

  10. Keeping the kids engaged and ensuring that they are sorted and happy while travelling is indeed a real challenge. One needs to be creative on this as they tend to get bored pretty quickly. Your list sounds quite logical and apt. Some fun activities mixed with lots of patience and some favourite food helps in keeping them engaged and in the best of spirits. Of course with kids, there is never any guarantee!

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