Traveling with kids, along with a family who doesn’t have kids? In 2017, we enjoyed our honeymoon in the Amalfi Coast so much that we crashed my sister and BIL’s honeymoon there this past fall 🙂 Just kidding, they asked us to join them, but it got me thinking, what are some key things to consider when you have kids and are traveling with a couple who doesn’t? You want everyone to leave the trip with more love/bond rather than annoyance. Based on our Italy experience, here are some suggestions I have.
3 Tips When Traveling with Kids And a Family with No Kids
1. Balance group time of family-friendly activities with alone time for each couple/family:
I know my sister/brother-in-law LOVE my kids and savour spending time with them. I also know they are newlyweds, who work a lot, and wanted to enjoy some quality time together! We tried to make sure that our trip was a balance of spending time together, with giving them a break from the high energy of our toddler and baby. This way, when they did see us, they were ready to handle the kids.
For example, we all took the ferry from Sorrento to Capris together and explored the town. At the island, the prettiest viewpoint of the island is not child-friendly, so we insisted the newlyweds go up and take in the views, while we got our kids ice-cream. Then we met up after we had done those activities to stroll around the town together. It ended up being a good balance of time spent together!
2. Take the help, without taking advantage:
My sister and brother-in-law offered to help quite a bit, and I pretty much took them up on it for the most part. They helped dress the kids at the hotel and carry our stroller up steps. It is so easy for parents to say “no, no I got it”, but if is a harmless task, take them on it. Our limits were poop diapers and placing our ready-to-vomit toddler on their laps. It felt generous of us, but it’s their honeymoon 🙂 We also encouraged them to enjoy their meals at restaurants while we managed our kids, and if we needed help when they were done eating their food, then we asked them to assist – after they had already eaten.
3. Splitting costs by paying for your own families costs rather than down the middle:
When there were no kids in the picture and everyone orders the same price range of food at a restaurant, it’s fine to split things more evenly. My sister and I frequently pay for each other. It is a Pakistani tradition to always insist to pay for the check. But now my husband and I have two more mouths on our end, and yes, they don’t eat adult portions, but they do add to the total amount of food ordered from our family.
It doesn’t seem fair to ask my sister and her husband to cover the costs of our kids, regularly (even if they say they don’t mind). In my preference, life is easier when everyone just pays for their own portions. Perhaps, a few of the meals can be a splurge to take the other couple out, but for the most part is is nice keeping things clean and simple and just go Dutch.
What are some tips you have on traveling with kids, as well as with a couple that doesn’t have kids?
For more ideas on how to plan an international group trip with toddlers, babies, and other families, visit my full blog post on the topic here.