Get Ready for Fun, Adventure, and Smooth Sailing!

Traveling internationally with kids can be an unforgettable experience filled with laughter, adventure, and cherished memories. However, it can also be a challenge when managing different ages, interests, and expectations. As a family with 3 kids under 16 we’ve explored Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, USVI, and even Europe together. We’re excited to share our top 10 tips for making your family’s international travels as smooth and enjoyable as possible!

1. Plan Ahead and Involve the Kids

The key to a successful trip is planning! Research your destination, check visa requirements, and make sure passports are up-to-date. Involve the kids by asking for their input on activities they’d like to do and places they’d like to visit. This will help build excitement and ensure everyone feels included in the adventure

2. Choose Family-Friendly Accommodations

Book accommodations that cater to families with amenities like swimming pools, game rooms, kids’ clubs, and kid-friendly meal options. During our trip to Jamaica, we stayed at a resort with a fantastic waterpark, which was a hit with the kids!

3. Pack Smart and Keep It Light

Avoid overpacking by creating a packing list for each family member. Encourage kids to pack their own bags, but double-check to ensure they have the essentials. Remember, you can always buy items at your destination if needed.

4. Bring Entertainment for Long Journeys

Keep kids occupied during flights or layovers with their favorite books, games, or movies. Our 8-year-old loves coloring books, while the older two enjoy playing games on their tablets.

5. Prepare for Jet Lag

Help your kids adjust to time zone changes by gradually shifting their sleep schedules a few days before departure. Encourage them to rest on the plane and stay hydrated to combat jet lag.

6. Embrace Local Culture and Cuisine

Experiencing the local culture and cuisine is one of the most exciting aspects of international travel. Encourage your kids to try new foods, learn a few phrases in the local language, and participate in cultural activities. Our family loved trying traditional Dutch snacks like stroopwafels in Amsterdam!

7. Plan Activities for Different Age Groups

With kids of varying ages, it’s important to plan activities that cater to everyone’s interests. Balance educational experiences like museums with outdoor adventures and leisure time. In the Dominican Republic, we combined a visit to a historic fortress with an afternoon at the beach.

8. Stay Flexible and Keep a Positive Attitude

Sometimes plans don’t work out, and that’s okay! Be prepared to adapt and maintain a positive attitude when faced with unexpected changes. Remember, the goal is to create lasting memories and enjoy your time together as a family.

9. Prioritize Safety

Educate your kids about safety when traveling abroad. Set ground rules, like staying within sight and not wandering off alone. Make sure they know your contact information and what to do in case of an emergency.

10. Capture the Memories

Take lots of pictures and encourage your kids to keep a travel journal to document their experiences. These mementos will serve as priceless reminders of your family’s international adventures!

Traveling internationally with kids can be a rewarding and unforgettable experience with proper planning, flexibility, and a sense of adventure. By following these 10 tips, your family will be well-prepared to explore new destinations and create lifelong memories together. Happy travels!