Places like Disney and Legoland are popular, but I have a different idea when it comes to travel with little ones. We like to think of all of our trips as educational in some way (even a trip to the grocery store becomes a fun scavenger hunt if you go into it right).
I believe the best trips for young children are those that get them out and about and able to run off their energy. So, in my mind, it’s less about where you go than what you’ll be doing.
For that reason, outdoors-oriented travel is ideal. If it’s a road trip you’re taking, rent a camper so that you are not lugging suitcases in and out and up and down. The children will have a home away from home and you won’t need to stop every ten minutes for bathroom breaks. Make a game plan for along the way that will have them finding different shapes or letters on signs or license plates. Make your ultimate destination a place that welcomes children to run and see, whether it’s just a state park in your home state or one of the seven wonders of the world.
Even an out-of-state family wedding will be less boring for the kids if you can locate a state park in the area where they can explore and pretend to be an archaeologist digging for bones or dinosaur tracks. It’s about tapping into that wild side and letting them expend the energy they have bottled up trying to be good in all the appropriate places. To do this right, plan ahead itineraries and activities that are kid friendly (think of the fascinating birds and animals they might see in the new place that they can’t find at home).
Pack appropriately for time outdoors, whether it’s sunscreen in the summer, warm gear in winter or rain gear, depending on your locations. Don’t just pack snacks but think about easy meals that you can make on the road (especially if you’ve rented a camper). Finally, don’t pack in too many activities. It’s exhausting for everyone and so much more fun to wing it. That way, if you see something cool on the side of the road worth a stop, you can do it guilt-free and enjoy!