When it comes to taking a vacation with your kids, careful strategizing is necessary to ensure a stress-free time for all. From accommodations to activities, here are some tips and tricks on traveling with kids.

Pack light

Don't stress yourself out by packing outfits for your kids for all four seasons, plus umbrellas, a stroller, all their favorite stuffed animals, and a hairdryer. One of the great things about a vacation home swap is that much of this is already provided, particularly if your hosts have children. Ask in advance whether they have items like beach towels and items for kids. You'll save money on baggage, won't risk losing your items overseas, and packing will be far less stressful.

Never underestimate the power of snacks

As a bribe, as a money saving tool, as a reward, as a way to stave off an afternoon meltdown— bringing snacks along on your journey can improve almost any situation with kids.  If adults can get hangry, kids certainly can as well, so keep a stash of your kids' favorites in a backpack at all times.

Look for child discounts

Looking to save money on your vacation? Don't be afraid to ask about discounts for children! Museums, zoos, tours, airlines, and other attractions often charge less money for kids. You can save yourself a few bucks by checking in advance or just inquiring at the door. Click here for more tips on family vacations on a tight budget.

Learn the basics of the local language

Experiencing another culture can be a fantastic learning opportunity for kids. Before your vacation, learn the basics of the local language with your children. Teach them about particular cultural differences you may encounter. Learning and researching together can be a great way to bond with your kids and help them get the most out of your trip.

If you are staying at a house swap on your vacation, ask your hosts in advance if there are particular language or culture things you and your family should be aware of before your trip. Your home exchange partner can be a wonderful guide, even if you don't meet in person!

Choose accommodations wisely

Choosing a home swap can be convenient when bringing your kids along. Not only will it save money, a house swap can be more accommodating of a family. Find a vacation home that offers the amenities your family requires, whether it's a kitchen, pool, kids' carseats, a yard, or proximity to kid-friendly attractions. With HomeExchange, you can search with filters for number of bedrooms, car included, and children welcome, so you can find the perfect accommodation for your family. Read what kids have to say about their house swap experiences here.

Let your kids be involved in the decision making

Your kids will be more enthusiastic about activities if they are allowed to help choose them (within reason)! Zoo or aquarium? Children's museum or water park? Beach day or hiking day? Kids can make these kinds of decisions, and even help research what they'd like to do in advance, that make them feel involved in the vacation.

Vacation with HomeExchange