Traveling with kids is not easy, but these moments you get to share with your family members are priceless, and those are the ones you are going to cherish forever. When visiting a city such as Madrid, you have so many things to think about, such as finding accommodation, an apartment in Madrid for example, and how to get from the airport to the city center. If Spanish is not your native language, things can get even more stressful. You should also think about getting a map once you arrive to the city and finding a place to get some rest from the trip, such as having dinner in a restaurant in Madrid. You could also check out the Madrid guide with plenty of useful information for travelers visiting the Spanish capital.
Something that all parents have in common when traveling with young children is packing. We all know packing can be tedious for you alone, but having kids brings things to a completely new level. This article if a practical guide that is going to help you learn what to pack when visiting Madrid with kids.
When traveling with kids to an international destination, brining all the documents is one of the most important task and the first thing you need to pack. Adults need a valid passport to enter the country, while minor children will need either passports or original birth certificates. If only one parent is traveling with kids, you should bring written consent from the child’s biological parent(s) along with the child’s birth certificate.
You might also want to bring some medical documents in case your kid is suffering from allergies or any chronic conditions, as this way you will have documents ready to show them to the doctors in Spain, in case there is an emergency situation and you need to seek medical assistance.
Packing clothes is the most time-consuming part of packing for a trip, because you need to think about the weather you can expect in Madrid, the types of outfits you would need, if those are casual or formal, while in the same time having in mind the number of days you are going to stay in the city.
When visiting Madrid with kids, the situation is even more complicated. Kids can be restless and they like playing around, without worrying much if they roll in the grass or lie in the sand. They do not care much about being dirty, but you as a parent do, so you need to think about your kids’ habits when thinking about the clothes to pack. You will probably need some extra outfits than when it comes to your own clothing, as you have to be prepared that kids might get messy at lunch, and you will need an extra T-shirt for that day.
In general, the weather between May and October is quite warm and you will probably need a lot of T-shirts. Make sure you always have a sweatshirt or a jumper for your kids, especially if you are out early in the morning or late at night, as the temperature tends to drop several degrees in comparison to the temperature in the middle of the day. The hottest weather is in July and August, so if you are planning to visit Madrid during these two months, you will need a lot of summery clothes, such as light dresses, shorts, T-shirts, etc.
Madrid has a lot of interesting attractions, and a lot of those are perfect when visiting with kids as they will find a lot of interesting things to do, starting from Parque de Atracciones, a popular amusement park, to watching animals at the Zoo-Aquarium de la Casa de Campo. If your kids love cartoons, they will love visiting Parque Warner in Madrid, a theme park where you can find all the Looney Tunes characters. In all of these cases, sightseeing can be very exhausting for kids, so make sure you pack some comfortable shoes for walking for both you and your little ones.
If you have a baby or a toddler, you must not go anywhere without a stroller. This is a true savior when you have kids that are too small to walk around all day on their own, but too big to be carried around. Even though it might be pretty difficult to pack it and the stroller tends to take up much space even when folded, it still is an essential to pack when traveling with small kids. In case you are traveling by plane, you will have an option to check in the stroller as a delivery, meaning the stroller will be available to you at the airport until the moment you enter the plain, when the workers will pack it up with the rest of your luggage.
Another benefit of having a stroller is the fact that you will be able to carry your bag on it, or to put some extra things in the case which is usually available below the seat. This can be quite handy, because when you go sightseeing with kids, you will need a lot of extra things to bring, such as spare clothing, documents, snacks, perhaps even some toys. Also, if your kids get tired, they can easily sleep in the stroller while you have lunch or coffee.
Traveling with kids means that you will need a lot of snack, much more than you would carry if you were traveling solo. If it happens to be that your kids are fussy eaters, the situation is even worse, as you cannot simply buy them something to eat at the airport. In this case, you will need to pack in advance and bring some of their favorite biscuits, cookies, fruit or any other type of snack they love to eat. Luckily, you can use some portable food containers to pack different types of snacks and have them ready at any moment.
Sunscreen is recommended during the entire year for both kids and adults, but it is especially needed during the summer season when the temperatures are the highest. Make sure you pack a sunscreen that is designed for kids’ skin, which usually has high SPF. Besides sunscreen, you might also bring hats and sunglasses as an additional protection from the sun.
As much as you think that packing toys is a waste of space in your suitcase, the toys are absolutely necessary when traveling with kids. Every parent knows that there is no better way to keep the kids busy, than by giving them their favorite toy. This is especially important when you have to wait at the gate of an airport or if you are in a queue waiting to see some of Madrid’s attractions. Most parents bring toys even when going short distances, such as taking the kids to the park, so when you plan to visit Madrid with kids, make sure you bring along a couple of toys your kids love, just in case they ask for it.
Books are also great distraction for kids. You could go for story books which you can read to your kids, or you could buy those coloring books, allowing your kids to spend some creative time as they are coloring the pages of the book. Books with stickers are also very interesting for children, as they usually follow a story.
Toiletries and other essentials
The kids’ cosmetic is especially designed for their sensitive skin, so make sure you bring along all the toiletries your kids usually need. You might be able to buy some of the products for yourself when you arrive to the city, just to avoid packing to much in your suitcase, but when it comes to kids it’s always better to bring the products they are used to, in order to avoid being in a situation where you cannot find the right product.
You should also bring some medications, even if your kids do not use them, just as a precaution. Kids’ health is very sensitive and they are more prone to catching a cold than adults due to their sensitive immune system. Therefore, in order to make sure that your trip to Madrid, or any other city for that matter, goes without any problems, bring some necessary medication that could be given to your kids in case they feel poorly.
Finally, in the era of high tech mobile phones, it feels redundant to say, but still, make sure you bring camera, regardless if you use a professional camera, a portable one, or you decide that mobile phone camera is all you need. Capturing those precious moments of traveling with kids is an amazing way to create memories that will last forever. There is something magical about going back to old albums and looking at photos from different travel, remembering the things you have seen. This is even more important when having kids, as they grow up so quickly and it is wonderful to see them enjoying a family trip when they were younger.
Don’t forget your own suitcase
Traveling with kids can be overwhelming, every parent would agree, but you must not forget packing your own suitcase and everything you would need for your stay in Madrid. You need to have everything packed to have a great holiday with your kids, which means devoting some time to yourself, and packing the things you need when traveling in general.
Once you have everything set up and organized, you are ready to go to Madrid. Upon your arrival to the city, the first place you will head to is the accommodation, such as an apartment you rent in Madrid. It is best to go there first, as it allows you to leave your luggage in one place. Also, your kids might be very tired from the trip itself, depending on the time you have spend in transport, so if you go to the apartment first, this will be a great opportunity for your kids to have some rest. It is also good for you to freshen up and perhaps even unpack some of the things you will need immediately, such as new clothes for lunch or dinner you will be having later in the day with your family.