Author Topic: travel tips with kids  (Read 800 times)

alohaKane

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travel tips with kids
« on: November 16, 2023, 12:03:23 PM »
So we're planning to travel to Los Angeles then Vegas for the holidays with family. It kinda bothers me that we have to pick this time of the year to do this (hella inflated prices) but I'm obligated because of family. And i guess this is why we work hard for lol we're going to Disney. and my brother keep insisting that we go for two days. Ughhhh.

does anyone have travel tips? hotel recommendation? must do activities?

we're also thinking treating my father to drive a sports car at the track.. i'm getting the itch too but we'll see.




Michael in ABQ

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Re: travel tips with kids
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2023, 12:11:26 PM »
How many kids and what ages? We flew with our 6 kids (4-14) this summer including walking from LAX to the closest In-N-Out about 3/4 mile away during a layover. That part was was an adventure, but not something we would do again as we underestimated how long it would take to get back to the airport and almost missed our flight (fortunately it got delayed 20 minutes). Not to mention, the streets in the area are absolutely not made for pedestrians and there were no sidewalks in a few places.

In general some headphones and a screen to watch some shows are helpful for younger kids. Older kids can read a book or listen to music. Pack snacks for each kid in a bag they carry to avoid getting totally gouged by the prices at airport. Everyone takes an empty water bottle through security and fills it up on the other side.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: travel tips with kids
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2023, 12:14:27 PM »
Depends on the age of your kids. We have two young kids, and have done Disney in CA many times.

If driving, stop every 2 hours, make the kids stretch their legs outside the car, make them go to the bathroom, and make sure you have lots of snacks. We've done 14 hour days doing this and the kids are just fine. 8-10 hours is better though. Stops are 20-30 minutes, usually at a Walmart.

If flying, I'm a fan of checking all bags and car seats, but gate checking the stroller. Kids in a stroller makes navigating the airport easy. I prefer smaller airports if at all possible, i.e. Fly in to Long Beach/Burbank/Orange County in socal. Just makes life easier.

Disney we've been to many times. Many local hotels within walking distance. On-site hotels are convenient but very pricey. Get the park hopper passes for Disney as they are directly across from each other and it is easy to walk. Take it slow with the kids at Disney. You will not ride everything you want. Make sure the kids are fed and not too tired, if they are, make them take a nap in the stroller or back in hotel room. Too many try to squeeze too much in a Disney trip and it ends up miserable.

alohaKane

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Re: travel tips with kids
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2023, 12:25:27 PM »
How many kids and what ages? We flew with our 6 kids (4-14) this summer including walking from LAX to the closest In-N-Out about 3/4 mile away during a layover. That part was was an adventure, but not something we would do again as we underestimated how long it would take to get back to the airport and almost missed our flight (fortunately it got delayed 20 minutes). Not to mention, the streets in the area are absolutely not made for pedestrians and there were no sidewalks in a few places.

In general some headphones and a screen to watch some shows are helpful for younger kids. Older kids can read a book or listen to music. Pack snacks for each kid in a bag they carry to avoid getting totally gouged by the prices at airport. Everyone takes an empty water bottle through security and fills it up on the other side.

7 and 4. My oldest actually loves his heelies when travelling at the airport. One time we had an hour layover and had to transfer flights and our flight came in late. I went full sprint across to the gate while dragging my kid in his heelies LOL. little did I know, that the second plane was aware of our late arrival and was waiting for us. haha!

Dutch Comfort

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Re: travel tips with kids
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2023, 01:21:17 AM »
Small tip: bag of ChupaChups in your carry on. Is great during take off and landing since it will automatically clear the pressure from their ears!

Freedomin5

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Re: travel tips with kids
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2023, 01:33:53 AM »
We’ve been traveling with DD since she was born. She’s 9 now. We always have her wear comfy clothes she can sleep in, an extra set of clothes and underwear in our carry on luggage. Each kid should carry their own backpack with a stuffy/blanket/thing they would need to sleep, an activity pack which was basically a zippered bag with a few toys and activities she enjoyed like markers, notebooks, coloring books, stickers, etc. This also let us minimize ipad time. We packed an empty water bottle and healthy homemade snacks. No candy unless you want your kid screaming and bouncing off the walls mid-flight or melting down.

At the hotel, we liked ones with a small kitchenette or at least with a mini fridge so we could buy simple groceries. We packed simple sandwiches and fruit so we didn’t have to buy expensive unhealthy meals at the tourist attractions. We also bought fruit and oatmeal for breakfast. Your four year old might need a stroller or a scooter you can pull along, as the the little one will likely get tired from all the walking.

If you’re going to Disney, are you going to Legoland and California Adventures as well?

alohaKane

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Re: travel tips with kids
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2023, 07:45:27 AM »
Small tip: bag of ChupaChups in your carry on. Is great during take off and landing since it will automatically clear the pressure from their ears!

brilliant! i can imagine this can calm them down on take offs too!

charis

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Re: travel tips with kids
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2023, 01:08:09 PM »
I think two days for Disneyland makes a lot of sense.  You can hit both parks at a casual pace.  I personally don't see the point in park hoppers.  If it was adults/teens going for one day, okay, but you are going for two days with little kids.  You'll want to get a hotel room within walking distance to entrance, get there at/before parking opening, and don't try to cram to much into the day.  When we did it with extended family, we split up in the afternoon so that whoever needed a rest from the park would walk back to the room and the others could hit more rides if they wanted to.  We liked having the genie pass (or whatever it's call) and made good use of it for the popular rides. 

use2betrix

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Re: travel tips with kids
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2023, 02:45:22 PM »
Not particularly geared towards kids, but travel savings in general - minimize eating out as much as possible, and be moderate when you can. Pack sandwiches, bring your own water/soda, make breakfast where you’re staying, etc.

alohaKane

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Re: travel tips with kids
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2023, 08:35:18 AM »
I think two days for Disneyland makes a lot of sense.  You can hit both parks at a casual pace.  I personally don't see the point in park hoppers.  If it was adults/teens going for one day, okay, but you are going for two days with little kids.  You'll want to get a hotel room within walking distance to entrance, get there at/before parking opening, and don't try to cram to much into the day.  When we did it with extended family, we split up in the afternoon so that whoever needed a rest from the park would walk back to the room and the others could hit more rides if they wanted to.  We liked having the genie pass (or whatever it's call) and made good use of it for the popular rides.

two days doesn't really sit with me lol i can imagine how hectic and tiring it is going through that a whole day.. i'm just hoping my 4 yrs old won't get too tired and sick

charis

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Re: travel tips with kids
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2023, 09:48:25 AM »
I think two days for Disneyland makes a lot of sense.  You can hit both parks at a casual pace.  I personally don't see the point in park hoppers.  If it was adults/teens going for one day, okay, but you are going for two days with little kids.  You'll want to get a hotel room within walking distance to entrance, get there at/before parking opening, and don't try to cram to much into the day.  When we did it with extended family, we split up in the afternoon so that whoever needed a rest from the park would walk back to the room and the others could hit more rides if they wanted to.  We liked having the genie pass (or whatever it's call) and made good use of it for the popular rides.

two days doesn't really sit with me lol i can imagine how hectic and tiring it is going through that a whole day.. i'm just hoping my 4 yrs old won't get too tired and sick

That's exactly why two days is better than one.  You can really go at your own pace, leave for a nap and return, or not return.  It really helps the pace when you know you can come back later or tomorrow.  It's not cheap, but it was never going to be.  There are some great little kid areas at Disneyland that might not appeal to older kids, if you have any in the group, so it might be best to split up your group for part of the day.  Take advantage of the solo rider lanes whenever you can.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: travel tips with kids
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2023, 03:41:53 PM »
*cracks knuckles*  Well, we've done a LOT of travel with our gaggle of kids, including several Disney trips.  Here are some things to consider:

On the way:  each kid has a backpack with a favorite blanket and stuffed animal.  Empty water bottle, too.  Make sure to have a change of clothes for each kid in your carry-on just in case, and I suggest a couple of gallon-size ziplok bags as well, in case they throw up or have a potty accident.  Diaper wipes are great for cleaning up most messes, too.  Bring familiar snacks, and plenty of activities.  It's a long flight from NY to LA.

At Disney:  I despise what Disney has done with Genie+ and lightning lanes, but I suppose they kind of have to in order to balance supply and demand.  There are two Disney parks, and you can either get single-park tickets (you only get in to one park per day) or park hopper tickets (so you can go from park to park).  The parks are big enough that you don't need the extra expense of the Park Hopper tickets.  Given the high cost of the park tickets in general, though, Genie+ might be worth the extra money, just because A) you'll get on more rides, and B) a huge percentage of the other consumer suckas in the parks will have also paid for it, and you're in competition with them to get on rides.

Get to the parks 30-60 minutes before opening.  That'll enable you to do more attractions before the lines get long.  Take snacks and water.  Try not to criss-cross the whole park, but instead do a bunch of stuff in one area before moving to another, assuming the wait times aren't terrible.

Pack in a lunch.  The food in the parks is either "meh," or too expensive, or both.  Plan for a break (or two) somewhere in the day.  The parks can be sensory overload, so it's good to find a quiet place to sit down a relax for a few minutes.  FWIW, there are some attractions that can also fit this role, like It's a Small World or the Railroad, or some of the indoor shows or rides like Turtle Talk or Pirates of the Caribbean.  We've found it helps the mood to buy ice cream in the middle of the day and share it. Dole Whip is really yummy.  If your hotel is close to the parks, it can be a good idea to go back to the hotel for a nap and/or quiet time in the afternoon.  Often, the parks get less busy after dinner time.

Prepare yourself to get nickel and dimed.  Park tickets are expensive to begin with, but then parking just got raised to $30/day, Genie+ will hit you with a $15-30/person/day cost, and there are a few rides where, if you want to skip the line, you have to pay (per person) an extra charge to use the Lightning Lane.  And that's before you buy any food or souvenirs.

Large groups are hard to wrangle in Disney parks.  Be willing to break up in to groups.  Take a stroller, not just for the exhausted 4-year-old, but also to hold the diaper bag, packed lunch, etc.

Vegas:  ignore the strip if you've got kids.  There's not much there for them.  The fountains at Bellagio are fun to watch, though!  If you like Indian food, Delhi Indian Cuisine on Maryland Parkway is really, really good, despite the humble outside appearance.  If you like Tex-Mex, it's hard to go wrong with Cafe Rio.  But in general, Vegas is a city designed to suck the money out of you.