Travel Expert Pauline Frommer's Top Tips To Make Traveling With Kids Less Chaotic

Following in the footsteps of her father (the famous travel guru Arthur Frommer), Pauline Frommer has blossomed into a respected name in the travel industry. At four months old, she was already jet-setting with her family, succumbing to a nomadic lifestyle early on in life. She's doing the same with her own kids today, embracing the mindset that exposing children to new places and experiences early in life makes them more well-rounded. "They understand that our way of life is not the only one," she told KidTripster. And as someone with vast experience taking children across continents, she has become a go-to expert for family adventures. Her number one tip? Keep them preoccupied at all times.

Kids tend to be fussy when left to their own devices, so Frommer suggests tapping into your resourcefulness when thinking of ways to keep them entertained and busy. "I never left home without pipe cleaners. You can bend them and make them into all kinds of shapes," she said of her own technique. "I had to be very creative, bringing along Cheerios, pipe cleaners, things for them to draw on, and books to read." If you're going on a lengthy road trip, she shared that squeezing in detours to parks, attractions, or even just nice diners is a great way to keep the whining to a minimum. "The kids simply can't be in the car for eight hours straight," she told CNN back in 2005. "That's the way to really have a hellish vacation."

Let them in on the planning process and assign them a task

Picture yourself being whisked away to destinations you have no interest in. Now, imagine your kids feeling the same way. If they're old enough to make decisions, Pauline Frommer recommends involving them in trip planning so they'll find travel more enjoyable. "It's remarkable how giving each member of the family his or her day cuts down on complaints," she noted on Frommer's. "Your ten-year-old son will be better able to tolerate a visit to the Doll Museum knowing that a baseball game is in his future."

You may even want to hold them accountable for certain tasks, even if it's as simple as putting them in charge of taking photos. Not only does giving them a special role help instill a sense of responsibility, but it's also an excellent way to keep them engaged throughout the trip. "You give them a stake in the vacation. You may give them tasks," Frommer said in an interview with Patch. "When you give them specific things to do, you keep the peace better, especially when you have more than one kid."

If you're comfortable entrusting them with a bit of spending money, the travel expert says it's also a good idea to give them a souvenir budget. This isn't just about buying keepsakes; it makes for a great opportunity to teach them money management, all while keeping their hands full with finding the best memento to bring home.

Give them some leeway to play

If your children are on the younger side, say six years or younger, Pauline Frommer says that they're typically easier to please and are more adaptable. They are less likely to complain wherever you take them. However, it's crucial to remember that these little explorers often have bundles of energy to burn off. They may not mind spending hours in a museum, but they have to be given time to be active and just be kids. "You just have to make sure that you schedule time every day for them to run around and scream," she told Patch. "So take them to New York City and you spend an hour at the Metropolitan Museum and an hour at Central Park. Take them to Italy and you just give them time in the Piazza to run around."

On the flip side, if you find yourself feeling irritable or stressed at any point, it's best if you keep your feelings under wraps, especially when you're around your kids. Frommer highlights the importance of maintaining a calm demeanor, telling CNN, "Don't let your anxieties translate to your children. That's when the meltdowns happen." Children often mirror what their parents do, so if you keep cool and collected throughout the trip, they'll likely follow suit.