American Nomad Blog
About this blog
American Nomad covers the best of U.S. travel—from vacation deals to festivals, weekend getaways, travel tips, and more. A seasoned traveler and Moon author, Laura is the perfect guide to help discover new gems when traveling domestically.
- A Southern Girl's Wintertime Adventure in Yellowstone
- One Novelist's Odyssey Across America
- Gearing up for a Family Camping Trip
- Mint Juleps and More at Oak Alley Plantation
- Avoiding Identity Theft While on Vacation
- Money-Saving Travel Tips from Nomadic Matt
- Fashion, Fun, and Convenience for the Modern Traveler
- In Search of Irish Museums Across America
- The Inspiring Journey of a Solo Kayaker
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 2
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 1
- Experiencing Yosemite with YExplore
- Two Travel Contests Worth Mentioning
- A Word About the TSA's No-No List
- A Reader's Advice About Airport Security
Five Tips for Traveling with Kids
During last week's visit to Yellowstone National Park, I noticed an assortment of travelers, from retired couples to twentysomething recreationists to families with small children. In fact, while snowshoeing with my new acquaintance, Rick Hoeninghausen, amid the lovely Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, I passed a family of four: a mother, a father, an eager little boy, and an already pooped little girl. In her defense, the trail was pretty steep, but still, seeing the girl's unhappy expression prompted me to remember my own vacations as a kid. Although most of my memories are incredibly positive, I, too, had my trying moments – such as the time I almost had a nervous breakdown at the Smithsonian, after realizing that I couldn't possibly see all the exhibits on display during the measly three days that Mom had scheduled for our stop in Washington, D.C.
The fact is that traveling with children requires a different mindset than traveling on your own, as a couple, or with adult friends. Luckily, though, I recently encountered some advice that could prove to be useful for those planning a family vacation with their kids.
Surprising as this might sound to many of my fellow travelers, Brandon Rudd – the publisher of Cooper's Pack Travel Guides, a relatively new travel book series for kids – didn't actually start traveling until he was 30 years old. As a result, he's developed a passion for helping younger generations travel the globe and have fun with their parents and siblings in new cities, states, and countries. So far, he's produced four travel books for children, featuring top sights in Alaska, Seattle, New York City, and London, though he plans to explore other destinations, such as Hawaii, Paris, Athens, Bangkok, and Amsterdam in the future.
In an effort to help any trip go smoother for children and adults alike, Brandon has offered the following five travel tips for kids. Feel free to share them with your own offspring or any other little ones with whom you might be traveling:
1. Learn about where you're going before you go: Read a travel guide, search the Internet, or talk to a relative or friend about their experiences there. Everyone wins when they are invested in the trip.
2. Bring a friend: Bring your best friend. If they can't go, bring your favorite stuffed animal friend. Stuffed animals love to travel, too!
3. Take a camera: Take pictures of your favorite sites, stuffed animal, and things you can't see at home.
4. Bring a small backpack: Bring a small backpack so you can carry your camera, stuffed animal, travel guide, area map, and any souvenirs you buy.
5. Carry snacks: Candy bar, string cheese, gummy bears, granola bars, etc. You never know when you're going to get hungry and sometimes food is not always available, especially on an airplane.
In addition, Brandon offers the following suggestions for kids:
ᴥ Pack light
ᴥ Don't bring a pillow
ᴥ Buy a souvenir
ᴥ Take notes about what you saw and where you went
ᴥ Make sure everyone in your family or group gets to see or visit something they want
ᴥ Try the local food
ᴥ Always visit a park if there's one nearby
ᴥ Be safe and make new friends
Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list of tips. That said, do have any other advice for families planning to travel with their kids? If so, feel free to leave a comment below.
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below, contact me via laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com, or connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.
Disclosure: While I occasionally accept free or discounted travel assistance when it coincides with my editorial goals, my opinion is never for sale, which means that everything written in my American Nomad blog and Moon travel guides is my unbiased reflection of the things that I see, do, and experience while traveling across the United States.
Photo / Text © 2013 Laura Martone