1) Pack all the snacks!
Travelling can be tiring, boring, and frustrating... for adults! It's infinitely worse for kids. Snacks will not only distract and entertain the children, they'll also give them an energy boost and keep them going for the rest of the journey.
Consider wholesome, hearty snacks like fruits, sandwiches, pasta, and buns, as well as a few sweet treats to keep them happy.
2) Choose a comfortable hotel with a lots of amenities like children's swimming pools to keep the little ones occupied.
One of the most sure-fire ways to have a fully enjoyable holiday with kids is to stay at a kid-friendly hotel. That doesn't necessarily mean luxury (although that would be awesome for everyone lol), but cleanliness, comfort, and great amenities like a gorgeous swimming pool are easy ways to keep kids entertained for the whole holiday.
3) Stay in a family-friendly area with easy dining options nearby.
This really depends on your family, but in general, it's advisable to stay away from the backpacker hotspots and loud nightlife if you're travelling with little ones. Do your research beforehand to make sure there's plenty of easy food options within walking distance from your hotel.
4) Book things in advance for the best rates and least stress, especially package best for hotel rooms and theme park tickets!
If you're planning on going to specific attractions, SnoWalk, WaterWorld, or outdoor theme park that require admission tickets, you should definitely buy them online in advance. With the many travel sites, you're sure to find great discounts and packages, plus it's one less thing to think about!
5) Plan a detailed itinerary ahead of time so you know where to go, what to see, and where to eat during your holiday.
A simple Excel sheet is honestly more than enough to create an itinerary, but if you want something cuter, there are plenty of templates available online for free. Start with what time you plan to leave your home, reach your hotel, and check in. From there, add activities, locations, and times.
6) But.. be flexible and open to last-minutes changes, because kids don't care about your itinerary lol.
It's always really good to have a plan to refer to. But in case someone is too tired and needs a nap, or someone else wants to stay in the hotel to swim a little longer... just go with the flow. Remember the holiday is supposed to be relaxing for everyone. Forcing kids to follow your Excel sheet isn't going to be fun for anyone :P
7) Buy and pack some new, small toys to bust out during difficult times.
On top of bringing their favorite toy from home, it's a good idea to buy some new ones too! Buy and pack them without the children knowing so you can surprise them during any particular stressful times such as airport delays, long queues, on-the-edge-of-a-tantrum moments, and so forth. It's an easy way to diffuse situations and keep younger family members happy.
8) Bring basic medication for fever and tummy aches.
It's always a good idea to bring basic medication whether you're travelling with children or not. Kids are particularly susceptible to fevers and tummy aches when there are changes in their routine, so be sure to bring along children's paracetamol and even antihistamines just in case. Fingers crossed you won't need them!
9) Allow your child to be the holiday photographer.
Maximize learning opportunities by giving your little one the partial responsibility of being the holiday photographer! There are lots of affordable digital cameras made especially for children nowadays, or you can use an old camera phone. This allows your child to be creative and really take in the sights of their new surroundings, so they fully appreciate their vacation in a fun and enjoyable way.
10) Always get travel insurance.
Nowadays travel insurance for the entire family is less than RM100. You never know what could happen, and with small ones in tow, it's always better to be safe than sorry. You'll be thankful for spending those few extra dollars if there's a flight delay or your luggage gets lost.
11) Accept that some things will go wrong and have a great time despite of it!
At the end of the day, your kids probably aren't going to remember the historical names and dates of all the amazing sites you bring them to. But what they will remember is the fun, laughter, and joy of being with you. So just take it easy, don't try to squeeze in everything, and enjoy your special family time!