Embarking on an international adventure with the entire family can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It’s a chance to create lasting memories, expose your children to new sights, sounds, tastes, cultures, and strengthen family bonds. However, traveling with kids can also be challenging (and overwhelming) due to long flights, packing lists, and possible delays or unpredictable schedule changes.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Sure, traveling with kids can be tricky but so is traveling solo. The key is preparation. At Discover Corps, we have had loads of experience taking all kinds of travelers to some of the best unique destinations in the world.
Here are some tips that Discover Corps has learned to help our family travelers have the best trip possible (this comes from over a decade of experience)!
Start your preparations well in advance to avoid last-minute stress (to be exact, we recommend at least 6 months – ideally 9 months). When you book your Discover Trip early, not only do you get the best prices for your trip, but you also get a guaranteed spot on a trip as well as ideal rooming accommodations. The little things count such as seats on planes and rooms next to each other. In addition, you can shop for flights early as well guaranteeing better prices for the whole family. You’ll also have access to the best connections – something that is becoming extremely difficult in the post-pandemic travel environment with more limited flight options!
Make sure your Documents are up to Date
When you plan early, you can also make sure all documents are up to date including passports and any visa requirements depending on the country you visit. If you’re traveling with minors, some countries may require additional documentation (South Africa, for example, requires original birth certificates for minors). Discover Corps can help you navigate all of these nuances and ensure that you have everything you need in hand!
Frequent-Flyer Accounts & Rewards
Did you know kids can accrue airline miles too? When booking flights don’t forget to sign up for accounts to accrue miles for your next Discover Corps adventure! Our team suggests signing up for one account with a key airline in each major alliance. For US-based travelers, this would be American Airlines (OneWorld Alliance), Delta Airlines (SkyTeam) & United Airlines (Star Alliance). If you fly partner airlines in these alliances, you can input one of these airlines’ reward numbers and accrue all miles to that account (for example, if you travel with Lufthansa you can apply these rewards to your United account since they are partner airlines). This is the quickest way to accrue miles and travel for free!
Pack light, but don’t skimp on essentials. Include a mix of comfortable clothing, appropriate footwear, and any medications your family may need. Don’t forget chargers, adaptors, and ways to keep your kids engaged while traveling! Discover Corps can help you come up with what you may need on your travels. Oh, and if you have one, an Apple AirTag is a game changer! Toss one in a bag and track it in real time!
Keep your Kids Engaged
A great way to engage your kids at any age is to involve them in the planning. One way is to start researching about the cultures they are visiting and the experiences they will be having. You can also start learning key words or phrases in the local language together. Then, (hopefully) your children will have a heightened sense of excitement about what they will be doing when they get to their destination!
Prepare for Jet Lag
Jet lag can be tough on both kids and adults. Gradually adjust your family’s sleep schedule a few days before departure. Talk to your kids about what jet lag is (if they are younger) and what that might mean to their bodies when it happens. Once you arrive, spend your time outdoors in natural light to help reset circadian rhythms. And drink plenty of water!
Be Wholly Immersed in your Adventure
We are in a technologically based world! Keep everyone connected and entertained with mobile devices, but try to set limits on screen time. Download maps, translation apps, and travel guides for convenience and engage your kids in what is happening around you and not only see it through your eyes but also through your kids’ eyes.
Traveling internationally with your whole family can be an enriching and transformative experience. By planning ahead, staying flexible, and prioritizing everyone’s comfort and safety, you can create a memorable journey that brings your family closer together. Embrace the adventure, immerse yourselves in new cultures, and savor the joy of exploring the world as a united family unit..
See you on your next family adventure!