While going on vacation can be an exciting time, you may feel a little nervous or completely overwhelmed by the idea if you have small children to look after. Taking them out of their familiar environment and into a strange place can be difficult enough, without having to contemplate how you’re going to keep them entertained for the duration of the trip.

Being prepared and knowing how to deal with being away from home with the kids is far easier with the correct strategies. Here are some of the little things you can do to make your upcoming family vacation stress-free.

1. Plan for extra time

When you’re single and only have to think about yourself, leaving things to the last minute is pretty much a normal thing. However, when you have a family to look after, you should avoid this completely. Traveling with your family is bound to take longer than you may have expected, including checking in at the airport, getting through security, having bathroom stops and getting onto the plane.

2. Don’t overpack

When you have a few children, parents tend to cram as much as they can into their luggage ‘just in case,’ but this is a bad idea. When the kids get tired, it’s likely they’ll want to be picked up and carried, so you don’t want to be pulling a hefty amount of luggage with you. Instead, pack as little as possible. You will probably end up losing things if not and you can always purchase extra bits and pieces once you get there. Check out these common packing mistakes you can avoid.

3. Pre-book activities

Once you have your vacation booked, you should start thinking about the types of activities you’d like to do and how you wish for your holiday to plan out. When single or in a couple, you may be used to landing at your destination and planning as you go, but with a family this probably isn’t going to work as well.

Booking all your activities in advance means you know exactly what’s happening each day. While you shouldn’t cram too much in, you should have an idea of what you’re going to be doing and when. Some days, you may decide to spend a full day out and about, while other days you may wish to simply relax by the pool. When visiting different states in the USA for example, NFL football tickets can be booked online so you don’t have to worry about purchasing tickets once you arrive. Browse TicketSales.com to see which teams you can watch on your trip.

4. Explain the trip

If you have never traveled with the kids before, it’s important you introduce the trip months or weeks before you jet off. For many children, having too many new things happening all at once may make them feel uncomfortable and a little out of their depth.

Beforehand, briefly explain the outline of the trip and what will be happening each day so they will have already have some familiarly with what they can expect. You’re likely to notice they are less anxious and perhaps even excited about the venture if you talk about the trip positively.

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