With the beach as its backyard and the town of Myrtle Beach outside its front door, the boutique Strand Resort offers plenty of fun activities for the whole family — but keeping everyone happy while getting there can be a challenge.
Traveling with young children — by air or on a long road trip — can feel overwhelming, but planning ahead can make family trips much more manageable. Here are five tips to help you take the trouble out of traveling with young children.
1. Packing: When packing for a trip with your kids, less is more. It might seem like a good idea to pack for every contingency, but packing more means more to keep track of and more to carry through the airport. Take the time to think through the items you intend to bring along. If you can get through the trip without a particular item, leave it at home. Of course, your child needs that special blanket or toy, but he or she can probably get by with only three or four changes of clothes, especially if you choose items that won’t show every stain, like denim or dark-colored clothing.
2. Mental Preparation: You’ve given your kids exciting descriptions of the fun awaiting them, but if this is your child’s first travel experience, it’s a good idea to prepare him or her for what to expect from the travel itself, especially if you are traveling by air. Describe the security procedures and what to expect inside the plane, and prepare your child for takeoff and landing. The explanation can be tailored to your child’s age and understanding, but kids of any age are much less likely to get overwhelmed or fussy mid-trip if they know what to expect ahead of time.
3. Snacks: Snacks are a staple of traveling with kids. Foods that are pre-packaged in small sizes, like Goldfish crackers or a baggie of Cheerios, are easy to hand out as needed. Fruit roll-ups and trail mix are also healthy, no-mess options, as are baby carrots and grapes. And if you’re traveling by air, something crunchy or chewy to munch on while the plane is taking off and landing will help your children relieve the pressure in their ears.
4. Entertainment: Kids can spend hours on their smartphones and tablets, but if you don’t want your children to spend the whole trip with their noses glued to a screen, get them interested in what’s outside the window instead. Get everyone involved in games like I Spy or the Alphabet Game. Have them use their screen time to find information about the area you’re passing through and landmarks to look for. Audiobooks or custom playlists can keep everyone entertained while you drive, and jump ropes, balls or other active-play gear can help them burn off excess energy at rest stops.
If you’re traveling by air, stock up on small toys, coloring books, sticker books or paper-free art platforms like Etch-A-Sketch. Keep the toys in your bag and dole them out one at time. Mixing old favorites with some new surprises will help keep your child entertained throughout the flight.
5. Airport Security: Traveling by air presents some unique challenges with young children. TSA allows breast milk, formula, baby food and juice through security. You should keep these items separated from other liquids, and alert your TSA agent before sending them through the scanner. Strollers and car seats can also be taken through security, but you might consider leaving your car seat behind. You can rent one with your rental car, and it’s one less bulky, awkward item to carry with you.
Whether you’re traveling by car or by air, use these tips to make the trip easier — so you can arrive at The Strand Resort, Myrtle Beach relaxed and ready for a first-class family vacation.