Traveling alone with the kids is a great way to get some serious bonding time in – but it can be a bit frustrating if everything doesn’t go as planned. The best remedy is to follow these simple tips that will keep everyone in great spirits the entire time – and give you the peace of mind that you’ve done your due diligence in planning.

1.         Create an itinerary

You may be tempted to simply wing it and see where the trip takes you, but the reality is that an itinerary can be incredibly helpful and help keep everyone on track. You can have a very detailed itinerary that details everything you’ll do each day of your trip, from the meals to nap times to activities, or you can have a more informal itinerary that has a loose plan on the basic things you’ll do each way. Either way, having some kind of plan to follow will take out much of the stress of your trip.

orlandovacation_disney-map-itinerary

2.         Have an emergency plan

Do your kids know what to do if you get separated? If your kids aren’t old enough to have their own cell phones then you should have a specific plan set up so they’ll know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency. Even if they do have a cell phone, you still run the risk of being out of cell range, having a drained battery, or simply losing their phone.

Make sure the kids have your cell number written down on them somewhere. Set up a place to meet every day in the event you get separated, and make sure you educate them on appropriate people to approach in an emergency, i.e. employees of a theme park you’re visit, police, security, etc.

orlandovacation_travel-with-kids3.         Keep kids occupied by getting them involved

One of the sure fire ways to ruin a vacation is by having to deal with restless, bored kids. A great option for preventing this problem is to work closely with them on projects that involve your trip. For example, if you’re flying, set up an activity for the airport. It could be an I Spy type game you create where they have to look for a traveler with a red hat, a backpack that’s overflowing, etc., or you could bring maps of your destination and let them find points of interest.

4.         Do your research – all of it!

It can feel like enough to do the basic research into what you need to get done, but in the end the more you know about your destination the better prepared you will be. Once again, winging it may seem like more fun, but you’ll be glad you did your research once you’re at your destination and realize that you actually have time to sit back and relax for once!