Practical Tips for Memorable Family Travel with Kids

A family having fun at the beach

Creating happy memories is one of the most important parenting tasks. These souvenirs from the past help shape children’s identities and serve as valuable learning opportunities. While not many children would say they enjoy learning, most of them would say they like to play, explore, try new things, and have fun. This curious and open approach to life is a powerful teaching tool every parent should encourage in their children. And one of the most effective ways to do that is travel. Since traveling with kids can be challenging and, in a lot of cases, overwhelming, some extra preparation is necessary to ensure you don’t end up feeling even more exhausted after your vacation than before. These practical tips for memorable family travel with kids should give you the courage to take your tribe on any adventure.

Plan your trip together

At a certain age, kids begin to enjoy making their own decisions. Allowing them this pleasure (when possible) makes them feel appreciated and heard. If they are old enough to have opinions about your travel plans, make sure to listen to them. Since kids’ wishes can sometimes be a bit unrealistic, explaining what’s possible and what’s not should help avoid disappointment.

You shouldn’t underestimate your little ones as they might have interesting suggestions regarding the destination or the itinerary. If they’re too young for that, give them a few options from which they can choose. They’ll take the task very seriously and feel proud if you go with their choice. Ask for their opinion about the accommodation, food, and other details. After all, your kids are going on that trip as much as you are, so it’s only fair to let them participate in planning.

Help your kids understand the destination

A crucial step in making memorable family travel with kids happen is teaching the youngsters about the places you will be visiting. It’s always a good idea to explain a few things regarding the destination’s history, culture, food, and language. Show them where the country is and tell them exciting stories appropriate for their age. As a family, try to learn a few common words and phrases that will help you communicate if the locals don’t speak English.

Two children reading
The more your kids know about the place you’re visiting, the more they will be able to enjoy it.

Knowing something about the destination will help your children feel more confident and excited to travel. It will help avoid any confusion and fear as well. Even if you plan to stay in the US and spend summer visiting amazing places in America, remember many places are vastly different from anything they are used to seeing. From Boston to Hawaii, both the scenery and culture change drastically, and it’s essential to prepare your kids for such changes.

Rely more on your intuition and less on your itinerary

Most children live in the moment and don’t care much for tight schedules, so you should avoid squeezing too many activities and sightseeing into your trip. Your children won’t enjoy traveling as much if they feel like they’re running errands. You’ll probably miss a few things due to rest, snacks, and bathroom brakes but by being attentive to your kids’ needs and feelings, you’ll avoid unnecessary stress and frustration. If you notice they are enjoying certain activities more than others, don’t force them to participate in everything. However, do encourage them to try new things if they are skeptical.

Remember that traveling is all about spending quality time with your loved ones and not so much about following an itinerary. Embrace your kid’s spontaneity as it might lead you to unexpected and extraordinary places.

Don’t let your memories fade away

A sure-fire way to ensure your kiddos remember the exciting expeditions you went on as a family is to take lots of pictures. Some places are more photogenic than others, but your travel pictures will undoubtedly be among the most cherished souvenirs you’ll bring home. You shouldn’t feel pressured to take perfectly staged touristy photos, as most children find it boring to pose for hours in front of famous sights and landmarks. Instead, try to capture spontaneous and heart-warming moments you want to remember. And a few of the not-so-happy moments as well, just to give your kids something to laugh about when they grow up. Don’t forget to let them take the camera and snap some pictures themselves. Seeing their point of view will surely be entertaining.

A girl taking pictures
Letting your kids take pictures will help them remember their perspective.

Seek authentic experiences with the locals

Memorable experiences almost exclusively happen outside of your comfort zone. Forget about the popular tourist spots and the convenience of your hotel or resort. When looking for unique encounters, it’s always best to follow the locals. Walk the less busy streets, eat at local restaurants, talk to people, and encourage your kids to do the same. Sure, hanging out at the hotel’s pool is great but interacting with the locals is much more exciting and meaningful. Children might be a bit reserved at first, but if they see their parents are relaxed and confident, they will follow the same path.

A busy street in Morocco
Experiencing the local way of life is something your kids will never forget.

There are not many things as memorable as interacting with people whose mentality, culture, and language are different from your own. And if you’re worried your kid won’t be able to communicate – don’t be. Children are remarkably adaptable, so they’ll certainly find a way to get their point across.

Embrace the imperfection

When trying to make memorable family travel with kids happen, it’s best to come to terms with the fact that things will go wrong. No matter how careful and thorough you are, someone will inevitably scrape their knee, lose their toy, or their temper. Remember that memorable doesn’t necessarily mean perfect and that mistakes and accidents are a vital part of the experience. Teach your kids not to let the mishaps ruin the entire trip. As long as everyone stays safe and healthy, a few troubles along the way will help your children learn how to deal with the real world. In the end, it’s all about the time your family spends together. And once you accept that, traveling with kids will become much less intimidating.

Exploring London’s Underground Secrets

London1


Over the past century and a half, London’s Underground has seen two world wars, millions of passengers, and more secrets than we could begin to count. The “Tube” is used by Londoners and visitors to the beautiful city every hour of every day, but most are unaware of the history they’re traveling through.

Once you learn of the 150-years’ worth of secrets and history housed below England’s capital, you’ll earn a completely new appreciation for this feat of engineering and human-kind.

Underground History

In the early 1800s, London was booming. The influx of people bustling about quickly made it apparent that a better method of mass transportation was needed, and fast. The Metropolitan Railway took on the immense challenge of constructing the first underground line below the city. After months of construction, the 3 and three quarter mile railway carried 38,000 passengers safely to their destination on the inaugural ride on January 10, 1863.

soldiers parading on the streets of London

For the following five decades, London’s Underground saw changing ownership, builders, and thousands of passengers. However, once World War I began London saw its first air raid, and the tube was transformed into much more than a transportation system. The safe-haven continued on into the World War II.
Image Source: BiblioArchives

abandoned bomb shelter

Initially, British government officials tried to prevent the tube stations and lines use as bomb shelters. But, after their attempts to keep people from taking shelter there were decisively ignored, they decided to regulate the shelters instead. Trains continued to run on certain lines, bringing supplies, food, and other Londoner’s seeking shelter. A number of unused stations were converted into factories for wartime productions.
Image Source: secretlondon123

While the Tube was considered by many to be the safest haven, no place in London was completely protected from German Blitzes. Hundreds of Londoner’s lost their lives when the tube was hit by German bombs in 1940 through 1943.
Even in the times of crisis and tragedy, the Underground has remained as a point of togetherness for the people of London. It’s an unmistakable symbol of the ingenuity and strength of Britain as a whole.

Traveling the Underground Today

The Underground lines cover nine zones and stop at more than 200 stations. Even though there are nine zones, tourists typically stay in Zones 1 and 2 because they cover Central London where many of the major tourist attractions and hotels are located.

These days, 11 Tube lines transport locals and tourists throughout Britain’s capital:

  • Bakerloo Line
  • Central Line
  • Circle Line
  • District Line
  • Hammersmith & City Line
  • Jubilee Line
  • Metropolitan Line
  • Northern Line
  • Piccadilly Line
  • Victoria Line
  • Waterloo & City Line

Generally, the Underground runs are between 5:00 a.m. — 12:00 A.M., Monday through Saturday. Sunday times are reduced by a few hours with later starting times and earlier stopping times.

Secrets Along The Stops

We alluded to the importance of the Underground during the World Wars, and proof of that is beneath 8 of the 11 Tube lines. For under these lines sit deep-level air-raid shelters. The construction of the shelters took place between 1940 and 1942. Originally reserved for government officials, 5 of the 8 shelters opened up to civilians as bombing intensified.

abandoned tube station in London

Image Source: secretlondon123

The shelters that were constructed include:

  • Chancery Lane
  • Belsize Park
  • Camden Town
  • Goodge Street
  • Stockwell
  • Clapham North
  • Clapham Common
  • Clapham South

After the war ended, several of the shelters were still used by London’s military. The Goodge Street shelter was used by the army until the 1950s. The Chancery Lane shelter was used for the Kingsway Telephone Exchange during the Cold War years.

Recreated World War 2 communications room

Image Source: Shiny Things

In addition to the secrets you’ll uncover while traveling the Underground, you’ll also see all of the most iconic sights of the region.

Circle Line – Tower Hill Station

Tower Bridge – Built 120 years ago, the Tower Bridge is an engineering marvel and arguably one of the most recognizable attractions in the world. If you’re feeling brave, trek out onto the high bridges suspended between the bridges towers.

Tower Bridge in London

Image Source: spacedust2019

District Line – St James’s Station

St. James’s Park – Millions of visitors flock to the beautiful St. James’s Park every year. It’s the oldest of London’s eight Royal Parks, and it includes The Mall and the Horse Guards Parade.

View of St. James Park, London

Image Source: foshie

Jubilee Line – Westminster Station

Big Ben – Is there a more iconic London sight than Big Ben? Lucky for visitors, this sight is right along the Jubilee Line outside of Westminster Station. Whether you’re a history buff or just want to check it off of your bucket list, you need to stop by Big Ben.

Night view of Big Ben and Parliament Buildings

Image Source: Nan Palmero

Northern Line – Waterloo Station

London Eye – The London Eye is a larger-than-life Ferris wheel on the River Thames in London. From here, you will be treated to the most spectacular views of the city and a ride you won’t forget.

The London Eye at night

Image Source: Altug Karakoc

Piccadilly Line – Covent Garden or Leicester Square Station

Covent Garden – The district of Covent Garden in London is a hub for local shops, delicious food, and incredible street performers. Once you hop out of the Covent Garden station, you’ll have a tough time fitting everything you want to explore into just one day.

Covent Garden

Image Source: Aurelien Guichard

Parts of the Tube’s storied history are somber, but the incredible spirit of London persists and prevails. For once you wander the stations and secret passageways hidden beneath the surface, you’ll never think of London the same way again.

How self-storage helps devoted travelers

looking at a map
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

In the world of ever-developing technology, many industries are abandoning the idea of a nine-to-five working day in an office. People have started to appreciate the benefits of traveling and seeing the beauty of the world like never before. It has never been easier to maintain a healthy work-travel balance than today. People have been given opportunities to lead the lives of digital nomads, but at the same time, some new problems for devoted travelers have appeared. One of these issues is storing their belongings while they are away. All the clothes you will not be wearing, the books, dishes and all the memories hidden in photos and diaries – all of that has to go somewhere while you are away. And sometimes, your mum’s basement is not available. And neither is your short term apartment. The self-storage industry has brought about answers and solutions to many peoples’ problems, and today we are bringing you a couple of ways how self-storage helps devoted travelers.

No need to worry about safety and security

Along with the stress of arranging travel, from booking a room and flight to packing for an upcoming trip, traveling is, more often than not, filled with all kinds of safety and security issues. Rather than risking losing your stuff by leaving it unsupervised, choose a self-storage unit and be in charge of your belongings anytime, wherever you are. Storage units are clean, and most of them include features such as climate control, a lock and key, 24-hour access, video monitoring, and additional security measures. So, while you are away, your mind can rest.

Self-storage units include many features for securing your stuff
Photo by Life Of Pix from Pexels

No deadlines or time pressure

By using self-storage, you do not need to worry about getting your belongings out of your sister’s/friend’s/someone’s basement. If you are a traveling professional, or any sort of traveler really, remember to make sure to find a company that offers flexible leasing options. You should be able to extend your rental period anytime you want, so getting home later than expected will not give you any headaches. This works both ways, so if you come home unexpectedly early, you can go to your storage unit right away. Also, since most of them are open 24/7, it won’t matter if you have arrived even in the middle of the night.

You can store almost anything

Depending on the unit size and type, you can store almost anything in your self-storage facility. Clothes, documents, furniture, musical instruments, and decorations are some of the items you can keep safe. However, some things do not belong there, and you should make sure you follow the instructions carefully. Also, to make use of the space and protect your items as much as possible, pay attention to getting the right storage containers, which come in various sizes and are made of different types of material. Moreover, randomly putting things in your self-storage facility can damage your property, so please remember your belongings well before placing them in the unit.

Choosing the right storage container can make all the difference when storing your belongings.
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Climate-controlled storage

Alongside size and location, climate-controlled storage is one of the most critical features a self-storage unit can have. These units keep the temperature within a range of about 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity is kept low. All the things in your storage will surely benefit from a climate-controlled environment. But some items – such as anything made of or containing wood, metal, wicker, leather, or upholstery – need it. Because of the risk of your belongings getting damaged, choosing a climate-controlled storage unit is definitely worth it.

Moist and exposed leather can become discolored and can get mold and mildew.
Photo by Martin Pu00e9chy on Pexels.com

You can practice self-storage anywhere

To keep on renting your apartment just so you have a safe place for your belongings while you are away can seem like a viable option. However, it looks like an unnecessarily expensive one when you can find much cheaper storage units in large cities and smaller towns. If you live in a bigger city and have a car, you can even drive out to a smaller town, rent a self-storage unit there and save some money for your future travels!

Insurance for your belongings

If your mum’s basement or your friend’s spare room gets flooded, there is nothing you nor your friends can do about saving your things. On the other hand, with self-storage units, you will most likely have the option of adding a storage unit insurance that will cover your possessions if something happens to them. The need for this, in reality, is rare, but it for sure can help you keep your peace of mind while you are away from home.

Keep adding items into the unit even when you’re gone

While you are away, you can give the code to enter your self-storage facility and a key to your unit to a friend or a family member you trust. That way, if you think of something else to put away, you can! Also, make sure to check with the facility renting company if they offer (and for how much!) services of accepting and storing deliveries for you!

Traveling can be a hassle as it is, so getting a few things you would typically worry about off of your mind wouldn’t hurt. Self-storage allows you to stop worrying about deliveries, whether or not your items will be moldy when you come back, and if your belongings are secure or not. In essence, self-storage helps devoted travelers have a fun trip! But please, make sure to follow all the relevant guidelines for traveling and take care of yourself and the people around you!