Check out my top 10 tips for taking kids on city breaks and get planning your next weekend break away!
1. Choose your city wisely.
The ideal choice is one that you have already been to and you would like revisit. You won’t feel it necessary to see all the top attractions a second time and you will have a more relaxed trip. Failing that, choose a small city where you don’t have ten ‘must see’ sights because no matter how great 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.
3. Choose good flight times.
Very early starts are ok if your kids will sleep on the plane but otherwise it can be a long flight if they are tired. Likewise many hotels won’t have your room ready till 2pm 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 the last day all the kids want to do is go to the airport so try to get an early flight 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.
Ideally one that is centrally located so you can walk to restaurants in the evening and sights during the day. Kids get tired 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 to kids when out walking all day, to reward them with a swim in the evening before you head out to dinner.
5. Get the kids involved.
Give them maps, let them help plan your day. My kids brought cameras with them and enjoyed taking pictures too. Selfies are all the rage even with young kids so let them take them in front of famous landmarks and encourage them to 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 the kids are fresh and 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 kids ages you may want to bring buggies but if they are old enough a fold up scooter can be a great asset to get around a big city.
9. Try something new.
Kids 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’. If you love the city that much, you can always come back!