Check out my top 10 tips for taking kids on city breaks and get planning your next weekend break away.
Taking kids on city breaks may not be as daunting as you might think. Airfares are so low to many European cities, so it would be a shame to not take advantage of them – well thats my excuse anyway! Travel broadens the mind and is extremely educational for children. They will learn new cultures, see famous landmarks, try new foods and who knows, may even learn a bit if history too! Hopefully my handy tips and tricks will see you will jetting off on a family city break in no time.
1. Choose your city wisely.
The ideal choice when taking kids on city breaks is to choose a city that you have already been to, and you would like revisit. You won’t feel it necessary to see all the top attractions the second time round and you will have a more relaxed trip. Failing that, choose a small city where you don’t have ten ‘must see’ sights to see, because no matter how well behaved your children are, there are only so many museums and monuments that kids can take…
2. Get your kids excited before you go.
Find something that you know they would be interested in and focus on that. Perhaps there is a famous landmark, a football stadium, a theme park or an aquarium that you know they would be excited to see. Google famous films made in that city and watch a movie together before you.
3. Choose good flight times when taking kids on city breaks.
Very early starts are ok if your kids will sleep on the plane, but if this is not likely, then try to choose day time flights. Many hotels won’t have your room ready till 2pm anyway, so arriving at 11 am, after being asked ‘are we nearly there’ ten times, only to be told to come back in a few hours, is not ideal! On your last day all kids want to do is go to the airport, so try to get an early flight home and avoid hanging around. That €20 you think you are saving by coming back on a later flight, trust me you will spend it ten times over!
4. Choose your hotel wisely.
Try to choose a hotel that is centrally located, so you can walk to restaurants in the evening and sights during the day. Kids get tired and bored on buses and trains, so avoid these where possible. If you can, try to get a hotel with a pool. It is a great incentive when out walking all day, to reward your children with a swim in the evening before you go to dinner.
5. Get the kids involved.
Give them maps and let them help plan your day. Try to encourage your children to take selfies front of famous landmarks and bring them back and show their friends or teachers.
6. Choose museums that are interactive or child friendly.
The ‘please do not touch’ museums don’t work out so well! There are usually technology, science or transport museums in most cities, that everyone can enjoy. Boat trips can also be something that will appeal to adults and kids.
7. Plan one thing to do each day that interests them.
Try to fit some sightseeing in the morning while your children are fresh. Plan an activity for them in the afternoon, a visit to a park, zoo or kids attraction.
8. Bring portable toys, buggies or even scooters!
Bring pocket colouring books, lego, smart phones, tablets or anything that fits into a backpack. When you are taking time out for a coffee or standing in line in a queue, they can come in very handy. A Verbatim MEDIA SHARE is much handier than a portable DVD player. It creates it’s own wifi network so kids can watch movies on their tablets or phones, anywhere – just remember to bring headphones! It is great to have on the plane, in restaurants or even in museums where kids usually get bored. Depending on your children’s ages you may want to bring buggies too. If they are old enough a fold up scooter can be a great asset to get around a big city.
9. Try something new.
Children will visit lots of aquariums, zoos or even theme parks in their lifetime, so do something different that they will remember the trip for. Maybe its something simple like eating the local street food, or taking a tuk-tuk ride around the city, but do something that you would not do in your own home town.
10. Relax and enjoy it!
Don’t stress out if you can’t ‘fit it all in’. Enjoy taking kids on city breaks,and if you love the city that much, you can always come back!