Traveling with kids is fun but it’s a not a walk in the park. What more, traveling with 5 kids and one is an infant. Imagine the extra baggage of diapers and baby essentials. Thank goodness I’m exclusively breastfeeding, that’s a big minus on my bag.
We love traveling during the summer months (March to May) but we also travel during the rainy season. In fact, our longest drive happened in September. Months before it was declared as one of the New Seven Wonder Cities of the world, we had the chance to see Vigan.
One of the keys to traveling with keys is preparation. This includes packing ahead of time and taking out all the OCness in you. From our travels (accompanied by my OCness), I am sharing with you some practical tips that I guarantee will make traveling less stress and more memorable.
10 Practical Travel Tips From A Mom Of 5 Kids
Practical Travel Tip #1 Create a soundtrack. The idea of creating a soundtrack for a certain is really nice. Make a list of some of your favorite songs (it would be fun to include children’s song!) and make your own travel soundtrack at Spotify. Label it with your destination and year. Listen to your soundtrack every time your family is inside the car.
Practical Travel Tip #2 Make an itinerary. There is beauty in being spontaneous but you can explore more beautiful places if you plan ahead. And let the kids know your plan. Print your itinerary and give each a copy. I know it sounds like organizing a tour, well it actually feels like one and it’s how you can make the most out of your trip. You can also play your soundtrack while making this and even while packing!
Practical Travel Tip #3 Always ask for a corner room when booking. Most hotels listed in Traveloka are already discounted and though it is tempting to get plus more rooms for your kids, ask for a corner room instead. Corner room in hotels are usually bigger. Rooms with 2 queen size beds are great options for family with kids too.If you really need to book a hotel with two rooms, try asking for connecting rooms.
Practical Travel Tip #4 Plan your outfit. It’s not for OOTD post on your instagram. Planning your outfit and the kids outfit makes packing a lot easier. This will test your organizing skills but if you ace this one, you’re set for life. For bigger kids, let them pack their clothes. Give them a list of the clothes they need to bring and give them a bag each.
Practical Travel Tip #5 Pack in small bags. So how do you pack in smalls bags when you have more kids? As mentioned in #4, let them pack their own bag. Collect their bags and put it together in one big bag. Most of the times, my stuff and husband’s goes in one big bag and my kids’ on another 1 big bag.
Practical Travel Tip #6 Include small toiletries. Buy travel sized shampoo, soap etc and bring a set or two for your family. It should depend on the number of rooms you’re planning to book. Hotels provides toiletries but with kids, it will never be enough.
Practical Travel Tip #7 Bring a snack bag. Long travel + hungry kids is a disaster. Prevent it from happening by bringing a snack bag. Put 2 to 3 snacks for each kid. It should be light like crackers or snack bars.
Practical Travel Tip #8 Always bring small bills for tipping. In Philippine hotels, how much to tip the bellman? Most US travel sites I have read suggest bringing a lot of $1 bill. Basing from that, I guess 50 PhP bill is acceptable as minimum for tipping. It doesn’t hurt to give more though, specially if the bellman is very helpful to your family.
Practical Travel Tip #9 Take photos everywhere. When I say everywhere, it literally means everywhere. From the landmarks on the way, historical places you pass by to hotel facade to hotel rooms to all the place you will visit. Take photos of those, take photos with your family on it (bring a selfie stick and tripod always), take photos with only your kids. Take photos of each of the kids too. It eats time but it was worth it.
Practical Travel Tip #10 Print your photos. The experience will be forever in your kids’ heart and the fun times can surely make them laugh for a while. Make that memories last longer by printing some of your travel photos. You can also make an album and a scrapbook of your trip!
Kids+ well planned trip= Happy Family!