Even though you may be excited to take on a family road trip -- especially throughout Europe! -- there are definitely some things you will need to know before you go. In this blog post, we've consulted some of the best-known experts in the field, and we've come up with this comprehensive list of family travel tips for you to keep in mind before you get in that rented Peugeot!
- One of the best books you need to get before you travel is Claire Tristam's excellent book, Have Kid Will Travel. While not all of the advice is advisable in every situation, some of her points are quite salient. For example, one of Tristam's invaluable pieces of advice is to tell the hotel you're staying in to not put a TV in the room. In this way, your kids will actually want to get out of the room and explore the country they're, not just sit around and watch Sesame Street in French.
- Kara Slater of SmartFlyer has invaluable pieces of advice for parents who need to fly into Europe for their road trip: know the rules of the airline before you go. For example, if you have more than one child, and/or the child is younger than five, it's a good idea to block out the seats on the plane in advance. Also, don't seat your kids in the aisle -- if you can block out the whole row of seats, put the kids in the window and in the middle, and then you -- the parent -- sit yourself in the aisle. Finally, as a courtesy to other passengers, you should sit as close to the back of the plane as possible.
- Don't overpack. Your hands are, literally and metaphorically, already going to be full because you're traveling with children. The last thing you need is to overpack and have problems lugging around your heavy luggage. The best way to avoid overpacking is to simply pack the essentials, and whatever doesn't fit in a small to medium-sized suitcase can stay behind (and you can buy it there).
- To that end, too, make sure that you pack enough supplies in a small carry-on for a 48-hour delay. You just never know what could happen: a plane could be delayed or canceled, your luggage could get lost, and your child could get sick. Without that carry-on of necessary items, you may find yourself needlessly stressed out!
- Amy Norman is the co-founder of Little Passports, and she recommends that parents engage their kids in the planning process of the travel (within reason, of course). "Kids love to be given responsibility, and the process can spark great conversations about budgeting and compromising. Let them select from a list of hotels or destinations, and pull out a map to determine the route!" she said.
- Don't underestimate the cost of food. Dinners tend to be more expensive than breakfasts and lunches, so try to avoid going out to dinner as a family a lot. In addition, to save more money, try to find all-inclusive hotels; they normally provide free American-style breakfasts, which is perfect to fill the little tummies that much quicker. Finally, but certainly no less importantly, try to eat where the LOCALS eat -- not where the tourists eat. Sometimes, a good and inexpensive restaurant is, literally, just one block away from a tourist trap. And it goes without saying that you should absolutely avoid the American chain restaurants when you're traveling -- why cheat yourself out of a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience?
Auto France specializes in long-term car rentals in Europe, and we deal exclusively in Peugeot car rentals through the Open Europe program. For more information about us and our services, contact ustoday to see what we can do for you.
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