“Green” Travel with Children
If you have kids, you know that everything you once took for granted pre-kids (sleep, staying up late, going out on a whim, just simple privacy) are all a thing of the past. Even if you pride yourself on your environmental friendliness pre-kids, things do get a little trickier once kids come along.
The thought of traveling with children can be frightening, but then add to that trying to be eco-friendly when you travel and the thought can be overwhelming. It can be done, though.
Here are some tips for traveling green with your kids.
Eco Travel Tips with Kids
Pack light when traveling
Before you even go, your trip might seem doomed to fail when you feel you have to bring every single thing you own on your trip. Eco-travel 101 is pack light.
But is that even possible with kids? Sure! If you are already practicing a green lifestyle you likely have a system down already. Just take your “normal” kid stuff and don’t go overboard on the “what ifs”. Remember, even if you do find that you need something you can probably just pick it up locally.
Pack lunches for road trips
Skip the drive-thru while traveling. Pack a lunch instead and have a picnic. You know what your kids like to eat anyway, so this will mean less waste. Often kids don’t eat all of the food ordered for them that they swore they would eat.
Packing your own snacks and meals means you have control over quality and packaging as well.
My family loves Stasher Bags and we use them for everything including snacks on the go. No single-use plastic for us.
Cook Your Own Meals
Stay in condos or rental homes with a kitchen and cook your own meals. You’ll make one trip to the grocery store for everything you need for your stay and then not have to go back with all the kids in tow. Plus, again you’ll be able to control better what the kids eat and how much waste they produce.
We usually try to stay in hotels with a kitchen if we can. As a bonus these hotel rooms are often much bigger and that works out great for our family of 5.
How Will You Get Around?
Consider how you’ll get around at your destination. Taking public transportation will be a fun and new experience for the kids, and you’ll all get to see more of where you’re staying this way.
Consider renting bikes when there. If the kids are too small to ride a bike everywhere, then make sure you get a bike that has a baby carrier attached or a little wagon that can be pulled behind the bike you’re riding.
Stay places where shuttle services are provided or where walking is convenient. Think Washington, DC, Savannah, GA or NYC.
Think out of the box and stay somewhere that cars aren’t even allowed! There are islands all over the east coast that are motor vehicle free. How fun would that be?
Bring water bottles for everyone in the family
Even if you do end up eating out, take your water bottles for the kids into the restaurant. At least you won’t have the waste of the plastic kids cups and straws.
Reconsider Activity Plans
Avoid amusement parks and fun centers with the kids if you can, or at least don’t focus every day of your vacation on these places. Instead, visit parks and nature reserves. There is so much to explore and even learn at these places.
The Laundry Situation
Use a mesh laundry bag for your dirty laundry instead of plastic bags. My husband is so bad about bringing his laundry home in the hotel bag after a week on the road!
If you’re staying in a home or condo, you might have access to laundry facilities so you won’t even need to have laundry bags or take dirty laundry home.
Follow the rules at your hotel
If you do stay in a hotel, follow the green guidance they provide. Most hotels have options of reusing towels and not having the bed sheets changed every day.
Traveling with kids might seem like a daunting task but with a little planning, I can promise it won’t be. You can have a lot of fun and create great memories with your kids, while also teaching them some great eco-friendly ways to travel – creating the next generation of eco-conscious travelers. What could be better than that?
Holiday Traveling with Kids Guide
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