computer-1_cce77d79dff95ca239626ada59812f3d

The Ultimate Guide to Research your Trip

As soon as you start to think of that awesome family travel trip, you might break out into a sweat wondering if you can handle travelling with the kids. Well we’re here to tell that there’s no need to have a nervous breakdown; with a bit of advance planning, your family vacation can be a memorable experience for the whole family. So you can relax, read on and find out how to research that special vacation.

What to do before you leave?
Research your Destination

This is one of the cool parts of getting ready for a trip, where oh where to go? Do you want to go jungle bashing, go to an exotic island, have a more rural experience or head for a big city? Whatever your dreams, focus your search around that.

Get the Kids Involved

From the age of seven up, kids certainly start to have their own ideas and opinions. No doubt you’ve experienced it. So a great way to get them to use those ideas and opinions is to include them in the planning of your vacation. Once you’ve decided on your awesome destination, show them on the internet where you’ll be going, what the local attractions are and all the sightseeing possibilities. Let each child do their own research, they’ll love this! They can page through travel magazines on the destination, surf the internet and get them to give you their ideas on what they want to see and where they want to go. Wikipedia is a great source of information and even some prescribed books such as Anne Frank, just as an example can give them some inspiration to visit the Annexe in Amsterdam and bring history to life.

Consider interactive sightseeing options, which will be less likely to have the kids yawning and complaining. There are often fantastic science museums in most cities, which give a whole new meaning to the word museum! Outdoors activities are a must, as not only is it adventurous, but they can let off steam after being cooped up while you’re travelling for extended periods of time.

Mix it up a bit if you’ve got a younger child and an older child. One day a science museum, the next day could be a kayak on a river. A great idea is to tap into their interests, but to also give them new experiences to try.

Flights

This is going to be one of your biggest expenses so we suggest you research them well. Chat to travel agents, scour social media and of course use the internet.

Just a few quick tips; according to studies done, the best day and time to buy a ticket is on a Tuesday afternoon at 3pm (EST). But you can also pick up a few bargains on Wednesdays too. Make sure you’re there ready to bag a bargain.

The cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays. Prices peak on Fridays, Sundays and Mondays, so plan your trip around this for some cool cash savings. Here are some of the best flight comparison sites to use; Hipmunk, Cheapflights, Sky Scanner, Smarter Travel and Momondo.

Happy flight hunting!

School

If you’re going to be away for a while, make some arrangements with their school, or talk to them about the possibilities of getting assignments for your kids to do on the road, so that they don’t miss out on too much of the curriculum. If you home school you’ll be ready, set for wherever you may go. You can take your home schooling curriculum on the road with a few adjustments. One thing to remember is that your kids will also experience real life learning through nature, different cultures and many other experiences too.

Weather

Before you go making that reservation in excitement, and paying for everything, check the weather. The rainy season, or even typhoon season, depending on where you’re going, is not a wise idea! So keep that credit card at bay until you’ve done your research properly.

Guided tours

Decide whether guided tours are the way to go and particularly check whether they’re suitable for the ages of your children. Often there are age restrictions, so check carefully. Things to consider is whether there will be child friendly meals, unless you’ve got a kid who gobbles up anything! You might want to do some organised tours, and then also venture out by yourselves to truly discover where you are.

Accommodation

One of the best things to do is consider self-catering accommodation if you’ve got kids. Even a small apartment is more spacious than a hotel room and gives you more flexibility as a family. Also consider whether you want a swimming pool, unless of course you’re lucky enough to be starting at the ocean. It could be a good way for the kids to relax and recharge after a long day of sightseeing. We’ve had a look at some rental websites for you, to help you on your way. Here are some of the best ones that we’ve found Tripping, Homeaway, Flipkey and Homestay.

Another extremely affordable thing to consider is home exchange, where you literally swap your home with somebody else, and it’s all for free. You do have to pay small registration fees on the sites, but that’s it! Some of the top home exchange sites are Home Exchange, Intervac Home Exchange, Love Home Swap or Homelink.

Wi-Fi

Well, what can we say, Wi-Fi to a pre-teen or adolescent is what a play park is to a five year old? So, this is pretty much a must! If you’re schooling on the road, or if you’re working remotely, then there is no negotiation on this. You can also keep in touch with family, check out last minute itinerary changes, show off your travels on social media and your pre-teen can do the same…keep their mates updated by uploading photos and showing off their trip to their friends back home. They’ll also want to keep in touch with their friends!

computer

Resorts or Lodges

If you’re heading along the resort route, or even lodges on a safari holiday, make sure there is something to keep the kids occupied, and what age groups they cater for. You also might want to check if they’ve got ‘carers’ who look after the kids during various activities, for example there might be a kid-friendly game drive, so find out what qualifications they’ve got. Always make sure before you book anything that the kids aren’t going to be sitting round twiddling their thumbs with nothing to do.

Travel documentation

Making sure you’ve got the right travel documents for children is extremely important. Each country has different rules, so check beforehand and don’t be left at the airport not allowed to enter. Of course, make sure your child’s passport is valid. Before you go, get certified copies of all travel documents for all of you including air tickets. Keep the certified copies on you. If you’re unfortunate enough to lose your luggage or have your bags stolen, this will be your lifesaver. It is best to double check with the Department of Home Affairs of your country as well as your destination country to be certain that all the travel regulations with regards to you kids are complied with.

Travel vaccines

About three months before you leave, find out what vaccines are needed for all of you, not just the kids. Find out when you need to get them. Some countries need specific vaccinations and proof that you’ve actually had them, for example Malaria. Find out if there are any side effects so that you’re aware and can be prepared. Find out from a travel agent what’s needed. Make an appointment with your doctor, or your nearest travel clinic to get your vaccines done.

Emergency kit

It’s certainly better to be prepared for any eventuality. Keep a handy basic first aid items kit with things like band aids, headache tablets; prescribed medicines, necessary medication for allergies if needed. Also keep flight restrictions in mind and quantities allowed on board. It’s a good idea to have anti-nausea medication as you never know who might fall down the travel sickness road. Always have a bottle of water handy for thirsty kids and if there are delays. A couple of sweet treats for emergencies is always a good idea; a bar of chocolate can go a long way to placate a grumpy child.

Airports

Prepare your kids beforehand for airports – especially if you’re having an extended stopover. They can be tiresome and boring, but a lot more airports are becoming more child friendly. Tell your kids that they’ll need to be patient, there are queues, flights can get delayed which means extending the stopover. Let each of them have an item that will keep them occupied like a tablet or an iPad, or iPod or even a book. You can always check if you’ve got any travel benefits linked to your credit cards like access to lounges, which are always more comfortable during long airport stopover or budget for a sit-down restaurant meal to pass the time.

Water

Always check that the tap water is safe to drink where you’re going. At least if you know this, one of your first stops at your destination will be to buy water if necessary.

Things to consider when you get there

You’ve done your research for your holiday, but here are a couple more tips that you need to think about before you go, so that you’re full prepared. You’ll need to bear these things in mind and possibly research them before you go.

  • Prepare a backpack for each child with a “survival kit” – water bottle, snacks, emergency telephone numbers and addresses (hotel, local mobile numbers of parents and/or siblings or nearby relatives, police etc).
  •  Check out local mobiles – it is a cheaper way to keep contact as a family than your “home mobile”.
  • You should also think about preparing an emergency plan as a family – e.g. what happens when one of your kids get separated? Where is the meeting place? A good idea is to identify a landmark at a sightseeing destination or where you’re staying when the kids can actually walk there. Make sure the kids know the address of where you’re staying. Issue each child with “emergency money”. Make it clear that this amount is not for spending but to be used in an emergency for train or taxi fare to get back to the hotel in case of separation or to buy airtime to make an emergency call.
  • Leave some room in your itinerary to be guided by the kids as it’s their holiday too. Sometimes interesting places pop up which you weren’t aware of. Take the time to do this, especially if the kids will enjoy it.
  •  When you’re self-driving, try and schedule stops at cool places to keep it exciting. They can get out the car, stretch those legs and do a bit of exploring! Research the roads you’ll be travelling and find any interesting things you can see along the way.
  • Photos and journals are a great way to get the kids to pay attention to what’s going on around them. Before you leave, get your kids a note book and let them keep their memories alive. You might want to even consider getting them a camera that’s totally kid proof. Also get this before you go.
  • Go out and get comfortable shoes for everyone. This is a necessity, especially where your destination requires a lot of walking in order to explore.
  • Before you go, check out what side of the road people drive on, and also research how railway systems function. Kids need to be aware of this, for when they’re crossing the road, and it’s different to home. Make sure your kids are mindful of strangers and to never ever get into a car with a stranger under any circumstances.

Last but not least have fun and enjoy your holiday. Let’s face it, the idea of kids getting separated are surely not a fun idea to think about, but in a foreign city, it helps to be prepared and think about the worst-case scenario and what your plan of action will be. Relax and be flexible. Let your destination guide you instead of the flagged items in your guidebook. Deviate from your itinerary and go down the path less travelled – it is often these deviations that are most memorable.

About the Author

Lisa Steyn (51 Posts)

I’m a marketer by profession and a writer by nature. I discovered writing as my passion years ago, and have loved every bit of it, particularly writing for families in order to help them have fun and improve their lives. I’ve travelled the world extensively, lucky me! To make me happy put me next to the raging sea, or the calming mountains, and to get me firing on all cylinders send me on a wildlife safari!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

     

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

VMS 4×4 MapExplorer 3D

So you are about to embark on a 4x4 journey…


Read More...

How to prepare for ultimate adventure!

Cape York Peninsula - The ultimate 4x4 adventure! So you…


Read More...

Choosing the right hiking footwear

Footwear can be a tough decision at the best of…


Read More...

LED Headlamps – Is it worth spending money on them?

Campers all around the world know that when your lighting…


Read More...

My scoop on Suspension

There are so many different after market suspension kits out…


Read More...

Rooftop Tent adventures!

You have probably seen these big grey boxes sitting on…


Read More...

Scrubba – The portable Washing Machine?

Have you ever been away travelling and thought to yourself…


Read More...

Not all plastic containers are created equal

If you are anything like me, you just want to…


Read More...

My windscreen mount sucks!

Have you ever bought a windscreen mount that keeps on…


Read More...

Bad Elf GPS pro+

Bad Elf? Interesting name for a great product! So what…


Read More...

The Awesome Family Adventures Store Has Arrived!

Well, It has been a long time in the making,…


Read More...

The Ultimate Guide to Research your Trip

As soon as you start to think of that awesome…


Read More...

Apparently this kid is one of 2014’s internet sensations!

Noah Ritter, also known as the ‘Apparently Kid’, was discovered…


Read More...

Want my OwnFone

But a phone comes with so many responsibilities these days…


Read More...

TOP TIPS TO DO A FAMILY ROAD TRIP ON A BUDGET

So it’s time to pack up your bags, get the…


Read More...

Best travel luggage money can buy

I KNOW WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS!!! Having travelled quite…


Read More...

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH GORGEOUS LION CUBS

 The advent of the GoPro has turned the HD video…


Read More...

Curiosity killed the cam…..

Technology meets the Polar bears - Who wins the battle?…


Read More...

What will your Kids get out of a Wildlife Safari?

Do you know where the term ‘Safari’ comes from? Well…


Read More...

Travel Documents You Really Don’t Want to Leave Home Without

Before setting out on your next journey, be sure to…


Read More...

The Color Run in Melbourne

They say Melbourne is the most livable city in the…


Read More...

Twelve Great Lessons to Teach your Kids on Travels

Being a travelling family can be the most exciting, rewarding…


Read More...

The Most Important Lessons to Teach your Kids

Teach your kids about winning and losing Some kids can…


Read More...

15 Things That Happened to Kids Growing Up in the Digital Age

One thing’s for sure, there are certainly opposing schools of…


Read More...

Give back to Communities with these Awesome Lodges

There is a growing trend in South Africa to empower…


Read More...

Radcliffe’s Radical Rapping

Daniel Radcliffe, or Harry Potter as to many of us…


Read More...

Helping kids keep up with technology

By now most of us are using a computer of…


Read More...

Smooches with Mooses?

Leffe Lindh – aka the man who sleeps with moose…


Read More...

A picture is worth 1000 words

When we travel, we might initially go there to witness…


Read More...

Having fun with Chemistry

I don’t know about you, but Chemistry sure wasn’t something…


Read More...

The ‘I Can’ Revolution of Schools

Sometimes you come across something that is so awe-inspiring it…


Read More...

Is this the Greenest School in the world?

The Green School is considered to be the greenest school on earth…


Read More...

Kids are Heroes

KIDS ARE HEROS While searching the Internet for inspiring things…


Read More...

Home Exchange

The revolution of Home Exchange Home exchanges are getting very…


Read More...

Geocaching – The world’s largest Treasure Hunt

Welcome to Geocaching—the World’s Biggest Treasure Hunt Imagine a worldwide…


Read More...

No Budget, Will Travel

So you’ve got that destination in your mind, and all…


Read More...

Little Known Facts about USA

We’ve searched high and low to bring you some of…


Read More...

It’s Caving Adventure Time!

Ever thought of having a caving adventure with the family?…


Read More...

Coolest facts about Australia

We’ve found you the coolest and little-known facts about the…


Read More...

How to have a Wildlife Adventure with Your Kids

"The nature of childhood has changed. There's not much nature…


Read More...

I Want To Homeschool, Where Do I Start?

Choosing to homeschool is exciting and overwhelming at the same…


Read More...

I Want To Homeschool, Where Do I Start?


Read More...

The Terrifying Illusion of Socialization when Homeschooling

Socialization. A notion that drives any homeschooling parent crazy. What…


Read More...

Seven Reasons to Homeschool Your Children

The number of homeschooled children in the world is growing…


Read More...

Smart Tips for Budget Travelling

Travel in the off-season Ok, so you may not get…


Read More...

FIJIAN ISLAND HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME

COME STAY IN A REAL FIJIAN VILLAGE!
 This is truly…


Read More...

Can you Teach Us?

Vanuatu’s Tassiriki Primary School desperately needs help of volunteer teachers.…


Read More...

The Almighty Rise of the Pen Pal

If you thought the era of pen pals was dead,…


Read More...

Schools and Clouds

You may be wondering what in the world schools and…


Read More...

The Awesome World of Girl Guides and Boy Scouts

There’s no escaping the fact that we live in the…


Read More...

Turn Minecraft into a Backyard Adventure

Are your kids addicted to Minecraft? This international phenomenon has…


Read More...

Ready Set, let’s go Camping

Anyone ready for the best camping trip ever? That amazing…


Read More...

Paint the town red – or the country

Maintaining your child’s schooling on the road is a challenge…


Read More...

Downsize Before You Depart

The decision to travel long term is a big one,…


Read More...

Tips and tricks for vacations without the blender

Packing for a long trip with a family is an…


Read More...

Making Your Child’s Vacation Birthday a Treat

When you are travelling, there are always so many new…


Read More...

The World’s Top Night Time Adventures you have to Experience

Night time adventures are cool; full stop. But, we’ve found…


Read More...

Why you should take your kids out of school for a year of travel

Some may agree and some may disagree, but, and there’s…


Read More...

Take a UFO Spotting Holiday Adventure

Yes, you read correctly, there are some places that have…


Read More...

Empower Your Kids to Green Their School

How about setting your kids a task of monumental proportions…


Read More...

Travel with some Peace of Mind

Travel Insurance Travel insurance can minimize the considerable financial risks…


Read More...

All About Alliances

Let’s take a look at what Star Alliance, Oneworld and…


Read More...

Communication Barriers when Travelling or Living Abroad

The challenges and benefits It’s not until you’ve lived or…


Read More...

Tips on how to build a cool treehouse

What kid doesn’t love a treehouse? In fact, most adults…


Read More...

Shocked by Culture Shock

Culture shock is something experienced by people who travel extensively…


Read More...

Top Tips for the Finding the Cheapest Airfares!

Most of us love taking vacations and travelling, for whatever…


Read More...

Animal Tourism

Animal tourism is getting more popular these days, with urbanization…


Read More...

Shrinking the toychest for travel

When you decide to travel with children, one of the…


Read More...

Pack up your troubles

“Pack up your troubles,” the old song goes. Unfortunately, packing…


Read More...

Teaching your Kids about Cultural Awareness

Why you need to teach your kids about Culture Before…


Read More...

Grandma, pack your bags!

Family vacations are nothing new, but recently more and more…


Read More...

We’ll Laugh About This One Day

Although you can plan meticulously and take all the precautions…


Read More...

Build a Raft – Survival Style!

After following our ideas on how to build a raft,…


Read More...

Should you head out on your own or go on group tours?

Part of the fun of going on holiday is the…


Read More...

How to Explore Your City for a Day

Ever heard of a ‘Staycation’? Well, it’s like taking a…


Read More...

Breaking Down Language Barriers

Travel is an opportunity to experience something new. Travelling with…


Read More...

How One Map Can Make Hundreds of Memories

We have a treasure map in our family. It is…


Read More...

Travelling with Teens – Without the Tantrums

There comes a stage when some young people just don’t…


Read More...

Find the RV that Best Suits Your Family

There is something to be said for a vacation in…


Read More...

Everything You NEED to Know about Your Kids and Our Electronic World

My, how life has changed from when we were growing…


Read More...

Family Animal Rescue Volunteering Projects Thailand

There is nothing that beats giving back, nothing in the…


Read More...

Family Animal Rescue Volunteering Project Belize

An especially powerful experience is to teach your kids about…


Read More...

Family Animal Rescue Volunteering Projects Ecuador

Kids tend to have a natural affinity to animals, and…


Read More...

Family Animal Rescue Volunteering Projects South Africa

Animal rescue volunteering projects are crying out for help, and…


Read More...

The Best Bucket List of Museums in the World

Do groans and whining about having a ‘yawn fest’ outing…


Read More...

10 Most Unusual Schools in the World

Education is without a doubt a pre-cursor to success for…


Read More...

5 Cool Secret Codes to Teach your Kids

What kid doesn’t love having a secret code to talk…


Read More...

How to Build an Awesome Survival Shelter with your Kids

Now building a survival shelter is of course for survival.…


Read More...

A Young Entrepreneur, A Fearless Leader

Does your child show any signs of being an entrepreneur?…


Read More...

The Top 10 Best Science Experiments Ever

Science is such cool fun, and there’s nothing better than…


Read More...

The World’s Most Amazing Playgrounds

In the words of Plato, “Life must be lived as…


Read More...

The Coolest Neighbourhood Spy Club Ever

Mystery, stealth, disguises, secrets and adventures; when you think of…


Read More...
join our team of family travel specialists