People are often afraid to travel with their young children because they are worried it will be a disaster and they will waste their money and not have a good time. With some good planning and using common sense traveling with young children can be rewarding for all involved and can create lasting memories.
Hilarye Fuller is a travel enthusiast who writes for the Deseret News and her blog while she manages to travel with her husband and two small children.
Big City/Sight Seeing:
This is a trip that most parents (including myself) find a little overwhelming. A less flexible vacation option but you can still have a great time touring and visiting the sights with your young children.
I'm not big on itineraries but having a schedule can really be a big help, so you can plan time for your small ones to visit a park and run around and go back to the hotel to take a nap if possible.
My biggest tip for sightseeing vacations would be to either use a backpack or get a diaper bag that can be used as a backpack. This has never happened to us but we've had friends who have gotten distracted with children and sight- seeing that they didn't pay close enough attention to their belongings in their strollers and they were pick pocketed. Not only that, but I can't count how many times I've left my diaper bag behind and had no idea where we left it. Having your valuables and personal items on you at all times will help avoid that predicament and let you focus on keeping your children safe and enjoying the sights.
This is one of my favorite trips to take with young children and yet parents often overlook it. If you think about it, it's one of the least stressful trips you could possibly take with small children. You are close to your "hotel" so you can run back and take naps, you don't need to worry about transportation or meals- all that is taken care of. You just sit back and relax and enjoy the journey and your family.
One of the biggest challenges we have come across when taking younger children on cruises is you need to bring everything they would possibly need with you that cruise ships don't provide. This includes formula, diapers, wipes, bottles, bibs, cereal, and special baby food. They do have some of these things for purchase onboard but sizes and variety is very limited.
Our solution for this was to pack it all in a box and check it rather than take up valuable real estate in our suitcase so that at the end of the cruise when all the goods were used up we could just discard the box and not have to worry about it on the way home.
Theme Park Vacation:
Theme park vacations are a fun option for families who have multiple age groups to please. But they can be exhausting. Theme parks can be overwhelming with little children and you likely won't get to do everything. Have everyone pick their favorites and take a few minutes to map out your route and make sure you can get it all in without over exhausting everyone.
One thing we have learned is to take advantage of children care areas. For example Disneyland has Baby Centers that have changing areas, feeding areas, toddler sized bathrooms and it can be a great place to escape the heat and get your baby to sleep.
Another popular choice for parents of young children. It's popular because there is not a lot of planning and it's very flexible which is a key component for a successful vacation when traveling with little ones. We head to Oahu in the Fall and are looking forward to it.
Some of the things we have learned the hard way is:
Apply sunscreen before you leave your hotel! You will forget (which can lead to painful burns) and once they are covered in sand it will be near impossible to give them a good coat!
It's tempting to go without flip flops or sandals but just remember broken shells, glass and bottle caps can send you to the ER pretty quick and can be hidden dangers in sand.
A fun tip to for making some lasting memories is to bring along some purchased seashells and planting them along the shoreline for your child to find. They will be so excited and treasure them for a long time.