Traveling with Children? A Piece of Cake!
Traveling with children is a piece of cake - said no parents ever...until today!
Vacations are (almost) always synonymous with relaxation and time for oneself.
But that was long before having children. Or at least, that's how it is in the collective imagination.
The key to a successful family vacation lies in preparation. Here's a complete guide to help you travel with your children.
Choose kid-friendly destinations
You read that right. Kid-friendly destinations do exist.
Topping the charts are the famous all-inclusive resorts, and one that shines bright among the rest is the ever-popular Club Med.
Why are all-inclusive vacations so loved by families? What makes them such a hit?
The main objective of these resorts is accessibility. Club Med boasts no fewer than 70 villages on 5 continents worldwide. Therefore, it's very easy to find a village that's right for you. Most of these villages are located on the outskirts of national parks, close to beaches or the most popular tourist destinations.
Club Med's reputation, so as most resorts, is built on the customer experience, which is described as unforgettable. Your arrival is carefully prepared and your stay is tailor-made, or almost.
Let's not forget that the aim of a vacation is to give the whole family a well-deserved break, especially moms who have little time to relax on a daily basis. “Me Time” is then more important than ever.
In the all-inclusive resorts, everything is under control. You can enroll your children in the kids' club, where they can indulge in their favourite activities while meeting other children their own age to play with. Activities and water parks are supervised by how they call it "Friendly Organizers", from 4 months to 17 years old.
Kids can play and splash around in the pools (and if you want to spot them from afar, don't forget our lovely ginger print swimsuits) while you'll have nothing to do but lounge by the beach or pool, book a massage or sip a cocktail. What more could you ask for?
Despite the many advantages of an all-inclusive resorts, there are other ways to organize your family vacation. If you're the type of person who prefers to organize their own vacations, and are looking to get away from the tourist hotspots, here's a non-exhaustive list of countries that are ideal for family vacations.
From February to November, Spain is one of the most popular destinations for families, and no wonder. Sun, beach, tapas and culture are the words that come directly to mind when you think of Spain, and what more could you ask for on vacation?
Which destinations in Spain are best to visit? Catalonia, specifically Barcelona, Andalusia and the Spanish Basque Country. Bear in mind, many of Spain's streets are paved, making them difficult to negotiate with a stroller. In this case, it's best to use a baby carrier. Spain has a rhythm very adaptable to children. You won’t have any issue finding time in the afternoon to nap as most Spanish citizens have a reserved time for that.
Spain's neighbouring country is also a popular destination for family vacations. Indeed, Portugal welcomes thousands of tourists every year, so much so that 2022 was a record year for tourism for the country.
If you're more of an outdoors person, why not rent a camper van and set off on an adventure along Canadian roads? Whether it's Quebec with its summer festivities, Ontario with Niagara Falls, Alberta with its inimitable turquoise-blue lakes, or British Columbia with its lush green countryside, kids will love it here.
How to pack to have more fun and less stress
This goes without saying but the contents of your suitcase will obviously depend on your chosen destination. However, to save you a lot of stress, we recommend that you prepare a to-do list with all the items you feel will be useful during your trip (small medical kit, aloe vera gel, mosquito repellent, snacks, something to keep the kids busy, etc.).
The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to forget something essential and therefore add to your stress.
Secondly, we always recommend that young children take a cuddly toy with them on the trip, to comfort them in this loss of habits and landmarks, and we recommend you offer your kid to pack their belongings together so they feel they have control over what they are bringing and won't leave important things (everyone has their own definition - I'll give you that) behind.
Finally, for many of us, the moment of packing is a dreaded one, synonymous with choice and often done at the last minute. If you plan ahead, you'll have all the time you need to decide which clothes to take, and avoid always taking more than you need.
Zen travel tips
Before you leave, be sure to check your health insurance and what it covers. Accidents can happen, and they can quickly add up abroad!
If you're not going on an all-inclusive vacation, consider renting apartments rather than hotels. This will allow you to reduce your budget by having a kitchen available, for example, and will give you more space for the kids to play than in a hotel.
Try to maintain a semblance of routine so as not to disturb your children too much, by establishing a fairly fixed nap schedule for example.
If you have to fly to your vacation destination, choose night flights to keep your children's rhythm and avoid jet lag as much as possible.
Don't overpack: if you forget something, you can always buy it on the spot.
Finally, just enjoy it! Everything will go smoothly!