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When you travel with children, it’s important to keep in mind their limitations. Trying to force a child into travel plans meant for adults is almost definitely going to end badly. Read on to see what kinds of things you should keep in mind when traveling with children of different ages.

Age 0-2

Babies are sensitive to their surroundings and may not tolerate travel well. Therefore, it’s best to keep trips to a minimum. Even day trips can be taxing, as babies need regular breaks from activity to rest, you’ll have to bring diaper supplies, and they can’t tolerate the outdoors for too long. It’s a better idea to stay local when you have a baby. My recommendation is to try hiking or another activity that permits regular breaks and can be done for a short time. Make sure to keep your baby in the shade and cover them with sunscreen to avoid burning. Also, bring food along, if at all possible. You should be overly prepared when taking a baby anywhere.

Age 3-5

Toddlers won’t need nearly as much consideration as babies, but it’s still important to plan your trips wisely. If you’ve had issues potty training them, you’ll want to make sure the places you go to have an easily accessible bathroom. Long car rides are probably not a good idea, unless you’re willing to make frequent stops. Also, it’s important to keep a close eye on your child at this age, as they can get into trouble at this age. For this reason, you may want to avoid places like theme parks, where they can quickly run off and where there is not much for you to do with them.

Age 6-9

Starting around age 6, children start to understand danger and are more physically capable of getting out of situations. For example, an older child who gets knocked over in a low tide at the beach can probably pick themselves back up without much trouble, whereas a toddler or baby would need assistance. Still, children this age should be accompanied by a parent at all times. This is a good age range to introduce longer activities, such as kayaking on a lake or visiting a theme park.

Age 10-12

Preteens are still very much children, but they have fewer needs than younger kids. They can go off in groups together and be safe without close supervision, and you certainly don’t need to worry about them finding a bathroom. Still, they are a little young to be completely left alone, so it’s a good idea to stay close enough that they can find you if they need you, especially if they’re on the younger side. However, kids at this age should be able to handle just about any kind of trip with ease.

Traveling with kids isn’t always easy, but following these guidelines will help you choose wisely when making plans.