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If you enjoyed travelling before starting a family, you can enjoy it with kids, too, but it’ll be different. (You didn’t need me to tell you that, did you?) Here are some things that you may have loved before, but are better to avoid now that you’re not on your own anymore:

1. Overscheduling

Visiting 10 countries in 15 days may have been your thing back in your days as a solo traveller and it’s probably not going to work so well anymore. Your kids will not be able to cope with too much travel and adult activities. They need plenty of time for rest and play, or they’ll be cranky and tired.

2. Failing to plan ahead

I used to work as a travel agent. I was an airfare wiz, but I was not as good at selling packages. I just didn’t get it why anyone would want to book their hotel and their activities before they arrived where they were going. What if they turned up and they didn’t like what they’d booked? Or they didn’t feel like staying there anymore? Now I understand. When you’re travelling with your family, the last thing you want to do is organise everything on the spot while your kids are whining that they’re tired, hungry and want to go back home. It’s not a good idea to plan every single minute of your holiday, but it helps to know that you have a place to stay, a way to get around and food that your kids will eat.

3. Staying rigid in your plans

As much as it’s important to plan, it’s also important to stay flexible. Children get sick easier, they get tired and they have their bad days when they can’t control their temper. Don’t get attached to your plans and whenever possible, choose airfares, accommodation and other arrangements that allow changes.

4. Travelling lightly

While I still like to pack as little as possible, there’s a lot of stuff that comes with children that makes your life along the way much easier. Remember to bring their favourite toys, snacks, lots of spare cloths, tissues, drinks, lollies to ease motion sickness. You may even need to bring your own car seat! Don’t assume that you’ll have everything you need once you arrive. If there’s any doubt that you’ll be able to get it easily, bring it with you.

5. Going without insurance

Travelling without travel insurance is not advisable for anyone, but it’s even more important to have it when you have kids. You want to ensure the best health care for your kids when you’re travelling overseas. The insurance will also cover you for changes to your itinerary, if you have to reschedule due to illness, which can otherwise cost a fortune at busy times.

There’s no reason to give up travelling until the kids have grown up. It takes a bit of adjustment, but you can do it and create wonderful family memories.

Image by cocoparisienne via

By Tatiana Apostolova