Written on September 13, 2013 at 8:29 am, by Matthew Long
Last month, I hosted another lively TripIt Twitter chat. With summer winding down, participants shared their best tips from recent and past family vacations.
Here are some of the helpful family travel takeaways from our last #TripItChat:
Planning with the Kids
Most parents don’t involve their kids in the early stages of planning, but bring them in when developing the itinerary.
- @Debbie_Hindle does it in a very creative way – by having her kids do trip research by watching videos on YouTube!
Creativity is king when keeping kids excited about new travel experiences.
No Time to Lag Behind!
Many parents worry about helping their kids cope with jet lag on longer trips.
- @BoundRoundAus advised against giving kids heavy meals and getting them to bed at a normal time right away.
- @LaJollaMom recommended getting them into the new time zone right away, even on the plane.
- @jeannewmanglock suggested lots of sunshine and exercise the first few days, which is great advice for adults, too.
My personal favorite tip came from @chocolatemonkee who said “Water to hydrate and flexibility to change the activities to something laid back as everyone gets crabby.” Patience is key, especially when traveling (with or without kids).
Get Your Gear Ready
Travelers all seem to love gear and gadgets and family travelers are no different. When asked what their essential item to take along on family trips, parents had a variety of items to suggest.
- For those with younger kids @TravelCanucks said that a good stroller and quality baby carrier were priceless.
- For those with older kids, scores of participants said that the iPad has changed the way they travel. With TV, library and game center all rolled into one, the iPad is the must-have gadget.
The most unique answer, though, came from @FrannieFeds who said, “SOCKS! They double as puppets in a pinch, mittens, spit wipes just to name a few and are inexpensive if you stock up during a sale.”
Learning From Our Mistakes
No one is perfect and even parents who seem to have it all together regret some decisions, especially when it comes to family travel.
- @jeffmarias2001 has learned not to schedule too many activities.
- @MotherOfAllTrip now knows not to bring too much stuff.
- @TravelCanucks regrets not buying the extra seat for their infant on a flight.
But the best answer probably came from @scottlara1961 who said simply “Wish we had had more family vacations!”
What’s your best tip when it comes to traveling with kids?
What is a Twitter Chat?
For those not familiar, TripIt holds a monthly chat on Twitter on the third Thursday of each month on the hashtag #TripItChat. Every month there’s a new travel topic where we encourage participants to share advice with one another. To learn more, please visit: http://landlopers.com/2013/05/01/tripitchat/
Join us for the next #TripItChat on September 19, 2013 at 10:00AM Pacific/1:00PM Eastern when we will be talking all about European Travel!