How to Travel With Kids Without Losing Your Mind!

How to Travel With Kids Without Losing Your Mind!

That's right. It IS possible to enjoy a vacation with small children and not lose your mind. 

At least, that's according to our friends at Ecological Marine Adventures

As parents of two young and energetic boys, Taylor and Ling Maready know a thing or two about traveling with kids! In fact, Taylor and Ling bring their kids on all sorts of adventures, both locally and abroad to exotic locales like Nicaragua. 

Today you can read their absolute BEST advice about how to make traveling with kids less painful and more magical, no matter where you are. Even at home! 

Taylor Maready | Ward Realty

Taylor Maready

Ling Maready | Ward Realty

Ling Maready

Maready Kids | Ward Realty

Maready kids

1. Find the magic. 

You see, to me, magic is bioluminescent algae on a tropical bay, or views from mountaintops overlooking a vast sea, or perhaps most magical of all, underwater with the parrotfish and triggerfish checking the coral growth on the reef. 

Bioluminescent Algae | Ward Realty

I think our kids picked up their understanding of magic from us; however, regardless of what we like to do as parents, kids always have their own opinions on what they want to do as well. 

Kids might think there is magic in the tiniest seashell or in a super drippy ice cream cone. Find out what magic means to them... and add in a little of your own. 

2. Let the kids help lead the activities.  

My wife does an incredible job at listening to our kids and understanding exactly what activities they would like to do. My boys are full of energy. I know all kids have a lot of energy, but my boys definitely exceed the average energy amount. 

Kids on beach | Ward Realty

So, when going on vacation we like to plan activities and things to get them involved in what's around them. They are happier when given some power over their experience, even if it's something as simple as which bucket to use for the sandcastle. 

3. Get outside & limit screen time.   

The best activities are outdoors. Whether that's a trip to the aquarium or paddleboarding in the ICW, it's best to try and get them away from the iPads and phones and out into their surroundings. I mean, just think of Topsail Island. 

Kids learning on beach | Ward Realty

There is so much to explore here, that even I, as a local, feel like I've barely scratched the surface of what's around me. 

Have you been to the south end of Topsail Island and walked around the bend? 

Have you paddled over to a spoil island and caught fiddler crabs? 

Have you been snorkeling on a clear day with schools of damselfish weaving in and out of purple sea urchins? 

4. Participate, get dirty, and test your limits. 

Topsail Island is a haven for outdoor adventure.  

With that being said, planning activities and things to do as a family is the easy part, but getting out there with them and getting wet, dirty, and tired is a little more challenging. 

Fishing in net on beach | Ward Realty

I've learned though, that when I get out there and play with the kids (and act like a kid myself), both of our vacation experiences are better. 

We tend to think of vacations as relaxing, but my best vacations have been the ones where I was tired from running around with the kids. That's where we make the most memories. 

5. Embrace the good AND the bad parts of travel. 

Embrace the sandy towels, sunburned backs, and chapped lips. 

That's all part of the experience. Our family has been fortunate to travel a ton in the last 10 years. 

Grumpy Kid on the beach | Ward Realty

From long trips in cars, busses, trains, and airplanes, we've experienced it all. We've been horseback riding through savannas, ridden motorcycles in the jungle, and snorkeled crystal clear tide pools. 

We have had sick kids, sad kids, and kids that wanted to jump out of their seats because of a 5 hour bus ride. We've had good days, bad days, and days I will never forget. 

That is what traveling is about. The good and the bad. 

My family has talked about the hard times of traveling as much as we have talked about the fun times. These are memories. By no means are we perfect travelers, especially with kids. But we've had some pretty magical experiences on nearly every vacation we've taken. 

Learn More →

Make sure to read Ward Realty's previous blog post, titled "Learn & Play With Ecological Marine Adventures"

If you are visiting Topsail Island, check them out. They offer all sorts of camps, classes and educational experiences. 

Learn & Play with Ecological Marine Adventures | Ward Realty

Here is some additional advice from Ward Realty: 

  • Meal plan. Before you arrive, think about what meals you would like to cook, which ones you would like to have out in town, and what you need to bring from home. Kids eat constantly! Take this worry off your list.  How to Meal Plan For a Vacation Rental Adventure

Don't forget that if you are choosing to homeschool or have committed to online learning, you can vacation any time of the year! Our Topsail Island vacation rentals are offered at deeply discounted rates during the off season, and it's a great time to travel with kids. See you soon! 

Read Ward realty's blog for more great travel advice, every day. 

How to Travel With Kids Without Losing Your Mind!

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