For some people, the idea of traveling with small children can seem downright daunting. With all the stuff you need to pack, the unexpected meltdowns, and the sheer cost of it all, traveling with small children may not seem very appealing at all. However, it doesn't need to be this way. Finding the right vacation for your family can be an opportunity to make some wonderful, life-long memories.
Vacations that take the guesswork out of planning, provide lots of entertainment for kids as well as adults and provide opportunities for parents to actually have a break are the best choices. Cruises provide all of those things, and they are a fantastic vacation for families with small children.
15 Easily Visit Multiple Destinations
If there's one thing that puts parents off going on vacation, it's the sheer amount of stress and hassle involved. Packing up all the bags, bringing all the baby gear, running from airport terminal to taxi, dealing with tantrums, etc. It's exhausting just thinking about it.
The nice thing about cruises is that you get to experience a variety of places without the stress of traveling from place to place. Once you're settled on the cruise ship, you can sit back and relax, enjoying the different destinations your cruise ship will take you to.
14 Plenty of Dining Options
One of the biggest difficulties parents face when traveling with small children is trying to find places to eat that will appeal to their picky palettes! The great thing about cruises is that there are endless dining options for families, and many of them cater specifically to kids.
Cruises that cater to families are also very accommodating when it comes to meal times. They will often let your little one try a dish to see if they like it, or bring something different if the meal isn't a success
13 Fun For All Ages
It is almost impossible to experience every activity on board a cruise ship; there are just so many! Most cruise ships feature several pools with water slides and hot tubs. There are also things like rock climbing walls, children's parades, video game arcades, high tea, science labs, and even circus school!
With the endless amount of activities to do on board a cruise ship, you will never run the risk of hearing, "Mom, I'm bored!"
12 Kids' Camps
This could, quite possibly, be the best selling feature cruises offer parents; a break from the kids! Quite often, family vacations are wonderful for the kids, but the parents come home exhausted, stressed, and feeling like they need a vacation to recover from the vacation!
Drop your kiddies off for some time at these amazing kids' camps, and give yourself time to do what you want to do on this vacation. These camps are very well run, with qualified instructors planning fun activities for your kids.
11 Everything Is Close By
Another travel-related stress for parents traveling with small children is the worry that you might need something that you forgot, or you'll have to run out and find something that baby needs. Not to worry, everything on a cruise ship is close by.
Do you need some extra diapers? Call the concierge and they will bring you some to your room. Forget to pack your baby's life jacket for swimming? There are stores on the ship that sell pretty much everything you can think of.
10 Fun Shore Excursions
Many shore excursions are free, like a trip to the beach, while some cost extra. Depending on what your budget allows, planning a shore excursion can be a lot of fun.
Perhaps you want to swim with the dolphins, or maybe touring a historical town is more appealing to you? Whatever you feel like doing, shore excursions add variety to your vacation and allow you to customize what you and your family do, based on what your interests are.
9 Your Room Is Never Too Far Away
This is always a comfort to parents who often struggle with the unpredictable nature of their kids. Has it been a long day and your little one is melting down at the dinner table? Not to worry, take them back to the room for a rest, and let them grab something to eat later on.
This factor alone makes traveling with little kids a lot less stressful. Knowing that you have a quiet place to retreat to, that is close by all the time, takes the worry out. Your room can be a quiet haven whenever you need it.
8 You Don't Ever Need To Leave The Ship
Going ashore is not a mandatory part of cruising—it's optional. So, if you're having a day when you'd all just prefer to lay low, you are free to do just that.
Take in an afternoon show, drop your kids off at their camp so you can grab a nap, or just enjoy the pool area together. There are so many different activities to try that you really don't need to get off the ship if you don't want to.
7 Room Service
Room service is included on cruise ships, so, if you wanted breakfast, lunch, and dinner delivered right to your room, go right ahead.
This is another factor that makes cruises so stress-free. It's not that you need to order room service for every meal, but if you're all feeling tired one day and don't feel like dining in the formal dining room, then order up your favorite meals and have them delivered to your room. Cozy up, put on a movie, and enjoy some nice, quiet family time together.
6 You Can Plan Ahead
Once you've purchased your cruise package, you can go in and customize your itinerary ahead of time, so there are no surprises when you get your final bill.
While meals and most activities are included on cruises, things like shore excursions, soda, juice drinks, and alcoholic beverages are not. So, you'll want to plan ahead and figure out what your budget is and what items you want to include.
5 BUT! Cruise Ships Can Be Crowded
If you're planning on taking a cruise with your kids and they're still fairly young, choose your cruise carefully. Go for family-oriented cruises that understand what little kids need, and make their ships comfortable and fun, without being too chaotic.
Cruises can be very crowded depending on what cruise line you choose and what time of year you travel. This can make for an overwhelming vacation for your little ones.
4 BUT! Seasickness Is a Concern
It is hard to know how your kids will handle being on a cruise ship until you actually go on a cruise. You do run the risk of your kids getting seasick on board.
The rocking motion of the ship, while quite pleasant for some, can make some people feel rather nauseous. Getting stuck on board a ship when you're dealing with a seasick child is not exactly the most favorable way to spend your time off.
3 BUT! No Bathtubs
For the most part, it is much easier to bathe your babies in a bathtub, and many cruise staterooms do not have bathtubs on board.
While this may not be a deal-breaker when planning your cruise, it's just something to keep in mind so that you're prepared for what amenities your room comes with.
2 BUT! Cruise Ships Aren't Baby-Proof
While it can't be expected that every vacation destination is baby-proofed for your little one, cruise ships do offer a certain amount of risk due to the various areas that are not baby-proofed on board.
You would need to take proper precautions when going on a cruise with small kids, and make sure that you keep a close eye on your tots.
1 BUT! Kids Need To Be Potty Trained
If you are looking forward to lounging by the poolside while your baby plays happily in the shallow waters of the paddling pool, you might be disappointed.
Due to the fact that cruise ships have to follow certain regulations, babies and small children who are not potty-trained are not allowed to use the pools. Something to keep in mind if you're traveling with very small children who are not yet out of diapers.