Work & Wellbeing

Traveling to the USA with Kids: 9 Best Vacation Tips

Uday Tank | 23 May 2022 | 2 years ago

America is one place a lot of people will like to visit at least once in their lifetime. I was blown away the first time I visited. Coming from someone like me who’s lived in Europe all my life, that’s saying a lot.

It’s been a while since I last visited, but I’m definitely itching to visit soon. The country itself has a lot of diverse destinations, attractions, and accommodations for both family and friends. Mention a few places: the Glacier national park, Muli, the statue of liberty, and many more places you could visit.

I see vacations as opportunities to recharge and create memories with family and friends alike. It could also serve as a way for getting closer with your children and partner.

Traveling can enlighten your kids and give them a better understanding of different cultures and lifestyles. Yes, I also know how overwhelming and stressful it can be to travel with kids from packing bags and ensuring their safety.

That’s why I will be giving you the ten best vacation tips (fun & safety) for traveling with kids.

Before I give you the tips, we first have to talk about the visa process before you and your family can go on a vacation in the USA. The Visa process can be very frustrating as you have to wait for days and go for interviews. Most times, a lot of people get rejected or denied.

Luckily, not everyone needs to go through such rigorous and time-consuming procedures anymore.

Have you heard of the ESTA USA? I bet you haven’t. A lot of people waste their time on the traditional visa application when they could go for an ESTA USA.

So, what is the ESTA?

The ESTA means Electronic System for Travel Authorization, ESTA USA is a form of permit given to travelers to come inside the country. So, if you are planning to go for a vacation in the USA and you do not want any form of delay, I advise you to go for the ESTA USA.

The ESTA application is open to:

  1. Businessmen going to America for business purposes.
  2. It can also be used by travelers coming to America for tourism.
  3. It is also used in transiting people through the US.
The American government introduced the ESTA application to encourage tourists and business minds from certain countries to come into the US.

(check if your country falls into this category before applying).

You can carry out the ESTA application process online, and it doesn’t take you more than 72- hours compared to other American visas; easy, right?

The ESTA application is open to:

  1. Businessmen going to America for business purposes.
  2. It can also be used by travelers coming to America for tourism.
  3. It is also used in transiting people through the US.
Do you want to know another interesting thing about the ESTA USA? Well, the visa permit is valid for two years after the first ESTA application. You can enter and exit the US as many times as you want, as far you don’t stay for more than 90 days per visit.

In all, if you are looking for a visa that will suit your vacation plan in the US, I believe that the ESTA USA should be topping your list.

Now that we know about the ESTA USA, let’s continue with the necessary tips for traveling to the USA with a kid.

Tips for traveling to the USA with kids

  1. Pick a destination
  2. Get your passport ready
  3. Look for Accommodations
  4. Packing
  5. Plan your flight
  6. Get your tickets
  7. Plan your activities
  8. Stock up on snacks
  9. Reduce screen activities

Pick a destination:

It’s important to pick a destination before you embark on a vacation, especially if you are going with kids. You could plan where you want to visit as a family so that everybody is carried along.

Remember you are going with kids and not just adults, so you will have to look for a place that will be entertaining for both adults and kids alike. It is important to ask questions in case you want to relax on the beach, want an adventure-packed nature getaway, or seek an urban escape. This listed question will help you decide where you want to visit with your family.

Well, since it’s a vacation with kids, think of spots in your destination that have beaches and parks.

Get your passport:

After planning where you will visit with your family, it’s time to get your passport. If you don’t have one, you will have to visit your country’s immigration office. Your children will also need passports to be able to travel internationally.

Children under the age of 16 must apply for or renew their passports in person. Both parents or guardians must be present in person, or you provide a notarized letter to the parent.

It is also important to check your passport to know when it will expire and if it’s due for renewal. Some countries have a certain number of years or months that must be on your passport before you can get a visa permit.

Look for Accommodation:

Now, it is time to book your accommodation for your family. Most people would rather book hotels to stay in. It may cost more depending on the size of your family. I will advise you to rent a house for you and your family to stay in. Both Airbnb and Flip Key provide a wide range of options in all price ranges.

Renting a home is a good idea if you’re on a tight budget because you can use the kitchen to save money on dining out. In addition, if you’re traveling with extended family and want to spread out while still having joint space for some family time, a rental may be the best option.

The disadvantage is that you will miss out on the facilities such as a pool with waterslides.

You can decide on which one will be best for you depending on your taste and the size of your family.

Packing:

The next stage is after you have sorted your accommodation. Packing for a family vacation is a difficult task. You are responsible for everything your children require for the trip, in addition to your own personal stuff. It’s a lot to keep track of. And while you might be able to get by without whatever item you forgot to bring, your children are unlikely to fare well without their must-haves – whether that’s a comfort blanket, bedtime book, or an electronic device.

If you have a baby, you will have to carry a double everything, from extra diapers to extra clothes. The idea is not for you to overpack. You just have to know the necessary thing to go with. This is to save you from spending on extra things during the vacation.

Plan your flight:

Convivence is key when you are planning your flight. You will need to choose between a stopover flight or a direct flight. For me, I will pick a direct flight to avoid delays and the stress of jumping from one plane to the other.

For some people, a stopover flight might just be the best. Not everyone likes the idea of sitting in a plane for 10 hours.

Don’t forget to bring toys along for your kids to play with during the flight. A travel pillow can also aid in your child’s sleep. Some parents use Benadryl or melatonin to help their children sleep, especially during long flights.

Like I said before, planning your family’s flight should be based on convenience and not cost.

Get your Tickets:

Children under the age of two can fly for free as lap seat children on most airlines. The savings aren’t always worth it in the end, especially on long-haul flights where your baby may be uncomfortable sitting on your lap the entire time.

You might choose to check in your car seat, have it in mind that most airlines do not charge a fee for doing so, but double-check with the airline service to be sure.

Plan your activities:

This is a very important part of your trip. You must plan the activities you and the kids will engage in during the vacation. It won’t make sense to start planning after you get to your destination. So, before you pick up your bags, you should have a plan on places you would like to visit.

Have a balance on the activities, a bit of educational trip and fun places like the beach or pack. This is to make the trip less boring and more fun.

Bring a lot of snacks: 

Carry a lot of snacks for your kids. This will serve for times you’re in the car, at a park, in the woods, or on the beach. According to some research, you should avoid snacks high in sugar and food colorings, as such may cause children to become hyperactive, emotional, and frustrated. Snack on healthy and filling foods such as cheese sticks, fruit, whole grain crackers, granola bars, and organic jerky sticks.

Reduce screen time:

Remember, it’s a vacation. You don’t need to spend time on your phones or gadgets. You need to reduce your kid’s time on video games during the trip. As a parent, you also have to leave all work-related activities. You are on vacation, so spend it with your kids and family.

It is also important to rest properly after every outing. This will give you the needed energy for the next activity. So, no TVs after you get back to your hotel or rented apartment.

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