With spring break around the corner, it always helps parents to know a few tricks of the travel trade. And spring break is a great time to travel. Often, you’ll find fewer crowds and fewer hassles traveling on the “off” days. Seamless family vacations are possible if parents think ahead with organization and preparation. Here are eight ways to make spring break travel with kids less stressful this season.

Pick the Right Destination

Your choice of destination will have the greatest impact on the overall success of your trip. Because this is a family vacation, you need to pick a destination with your kids in mind. Not only does the destination need to have activities that appeal to kids, but it also needs to be equipped to handle younger travelers. This means offering plenty of kid-friendly accommodations and restaurants with amenities like baby-changing stations. All-inclusive resorts that cater to families are a great idea that will appeal to everyone.

Prepare Your Kids for the Trip

What you pack to keep your kids entertained for the adventure ahead will also go a long way to ensuring a good time for everyone. Prepare your kids by packing along plenty of snacks and drinks to keep them happy during the travel time. You also need to be mindful of bringing along the appropriate entertainment for the plane or car ride. Portable toys, books, and electronic devices are all good ideas. By involving your kids in the planning process, they’ll know what to expect and can also contribute their own ideas to make sure they’re ready for the adventure.

Travel on Less Popular Days

In addition to your choice of destination, it’s also in your best interest to pick the best travel days. Not only will you save money if you choose less popular days to travel, but you’ll also experience fewer crowds. Finding cheap flights to April during the middle of the week instead of the weekend will save you time and money. It’s also recommended to avoid traveling on busy holidays, making it important to be mindful if your Spring Break falls over Easter. Savvy parents also understand the importance of giving the kids a day to relax and regroup before heading back to the realities of life.

You may also like: Six Less-Crowded Spring Break Destinations to Get Away (from the Masses)

Don’t Check Bags

Try to keep it all to one carry-on per person. This will save you money as well. Your list should include flip-flops, a few suits, T-shirts, and cover-ups. What more do you need? Roll your clothes to make some extra room. It’s also helpful to pack a mild hand-washing detergent for delicates like swimsuits that you can wash in your room.

Bring Some Change

Bring quarters in a small change purse. Many beaches still have metered parking lots and quarters are never easy to find when you land that perfect spot! Plus, even if you can put the parking on the credit card, the coins can serve as an extra bonus if your kids are collecting state quarters.

Pack for the Pool

When you’re doing spring break travel with kids, make sure you pack up games or sports equipment for the pool and beach. A great family favorite is underwater UNO cards. They’re made of hard plastic so they can get wet at the pool! Sitting by the pool is a great time to learn how to play backgammon, checkers, or chess too. We also suggest bringing a baseball glove or an easy-to-pack Frisbee. The beach is a great place to work on your throws. Pack water shoes. You never know when a sharp shell with be hiding in the sand. Protect little ones’ feet with waterproof beach shoes.

Stick to Routines and Healthy Habits

Kids thrive on routines, making it important that you stick with these habits as closely as possible even while traveling. This is particularly important when traveling with infants and toddlers. You can encourage healthy habits by reminding kids to practice good personal hygiene, providing plenty of water to stay hydrated, and choosing nutritious foods. While the occasional treat is certainly permissible on vacation, be sure to be mindful about getting in enough healthy foods. Lastly, don’t forget to lather up with sunscreen.

Embrace Some Boredom

It’s not your job to ensure that your kids are entertained every second of the trip. Remember that this is your vacation as well. Research has shown that there is value in some level of boredom in kids. This means that you should plan enough downtime to allow kids to be creative and encourage spontaneity in your trip. Resist the urge to plan out every minute of your trip itinerary instead of building in enough flex-time to see where the day takes you.

Have you ever done spring break travel with kids? Tell us how it went in the comments section below!

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