Although the spin-the-globe-and-point-to-a-destination method of choosing a vacation spot seems magical, there are other things to consider when a toddler is involved. Traveling with little ones can be rough but if you pick the right location, you can ensure that your trip is one to remember.
To introduce your child to the wonderful world of travel, start by taking small trips near your home. Visit local museums or cultural events happening in your town to get your toddler used to being on the go. Check out our World Events Calendar for some ideas. Pile into the car and take some day trips to beaches or interesting towns. Find activities to keep your child active. You can go swimming, search for unique playgrounds or head to a canyon or the mountains for some outdoor trekking. Look for activities that will teach your child something about the world or at least get him or her excited about wandering.
Consider past experience
Before you book a 12-hour flight halfway across the world, consider your child’s traveling experience. As a parent, you know better than anyone else what he or she can or cannot handle. If they travel well, you can consider a destination that is farther away, but if he or she has never been on an airplane before, try to stick with short flights first. Another thing to think about is where the airport is located in relation to where you are headed. Try to pick spots that don’t require your toddler to deal with a long car or bus ride after the flight—it will leave you with one very cranky kid.
Research activities and attractions
When you are deciding where to take your family on vacation, do some research to find out what different locations have to offer. The Pure Wander toddler section is a great place to go for inspiration! Look at different events and attractions, from museums to historical landmarks to festivals. Tailor your research to your toddler’s interests or look up unique places for kids in the area. If you plan to travel within the United States, you might try using the app Mom Maps, which allows you to search different types of attractions to see reviews from other mothers. After you research, compile a list of places you are considering for your vacation.
Talk with your toddler
While you definitely shouldn’t let your little one make the final decision, you can talk to him or her about different attractions and different cities. Use it as a way to observe what causes the most excitement and use that to help you make your choice. If your toddler is excited for the things you are going to do, traveling will be much easier.