Travelling with kids is often considered as impossible as counting the waves in the ocean yet, with a few careful measures, it’s possible. Here are a few tips to get you started on that long family holiday you’ve always been planning.
Before you travel
Take the time to research your destination, and learn about the best accommodation that would suit your family needs. Hotels should be booked in advance because your family would be too tired to look for one after landing.
Besides, booking in advance would help you save time and also means you have a place to rest. It’s advisable to do the same with your transportation around the destination you travel to, if possible. Otherwise, you can just look for local transport after reaching your hotel. You can still research this in advance.
Pre-booking flights two or three months earlier will help you get a lower ticket price so you can save more when you travel with your kids.
Plan your sightseeing visits in advance, along with the possible travel options you’re choosing.
Remember that you might not get the same brand of baby products wherever you go. So be sure to buy diapers, baby wipes, and pacifiers beforehand. If your kids are very young, you should decide whether you want a stroller, carrier, or sling along with you. If you have plans to hike, you can avoid carrying the baby with a sling.
Keep in mind that enough food and snacks are always helpful. You could be travelling around on a bus or car at your destination, or on the plane there and your kids will get hungry. The snacks would keep them occupied enough until you can get a real meal.
Children are not always comfortable travelling, and for many, this may even be their first time. Taking the time out to explain where, how, when, and why you’re visiting a place would get them more involved in the vacation and also keep you more in control of the situation. Kids get uncomfortable if they don’t know what’s going on.
This is something you should do while on your trip as well, explain to them why you’ve taken a taxi or why you need to buckle up. You can even turn it into an adventure with the help of a story. Yes, you should carry your kid’s favorite story books especially that are related to travel or the ones that settle them down.
While travelling with a baby give yourself enough time to get through airport security, leave home sooner than you usually would. With kids, you’ll have a handful getting through airport security, after all, you don’t want to miss your flight. If you are a coffee person, you will need to fill up your travel coffee mug before boarding.
You may have to wait a while at the airport or while you check-in, you can carry their favourite toy (as long as it’s not too big) to keep your baby entertained. It’s also useful for when they get homesick.
A doodle board, their favorite songs or movies pre-downloaded can make your travel so much better. Remove the batteries from the toys that go in the check-in baggage. Don’t take toys in your carry-on baggage that can fly around or crawl (E.g. toy Drones, model trains etc.) as those will annoy the co-passengers.
While travelling with kids it’s a great idea to give them a camera this would allow them to capture images and memories through their own unique perspective. It’s also a way to keep them immersed in the experience and enjoy it more.
The cotton-candy clouds underneath can be a great sight for younger kids and that they can take pictures of the cloud and show them to their friends later. When the airplane is about to land, watching the ground from above is a wonderful sight as well. It would be an amazing idea to take pictures of those as well.
If you’re travelling as the only parent or guardian, then a GPS tracker will help make sure the kids don’t wander off too far. There are some available on Amazon.
You might have a lot planned for your trip, but do remember that while travelling with kids, you can’t squeeze in too much in one day. Give yourself breaks between each activity so that you get plenty of rest and enjoy your trip.
No matter how much you plan, there will be something that goes wrong when you travel with your kids. Don’t let it upset you, just take it in stride and enjoy yourself, you’re on vacation.
TRY A PRACTICE RUN
Before you go on your actual trip, take a small weekend getaway with your children as a sort of test run. This would help you figure out how your child would react to a new environment, what they would need in terms of food, or some kind of comfort. You would definitely be better prepared if you do this.
OTHER ESSENTIAL ITEMS TO MAKE YOUR JOURNEY AS SEAMLESS AS POSSIBLE.
Preparing your child for travel is a gruelling process. Once again, take the time to explain the journey to them, before you leave, while travelling, and after you arrive. It’s all part of the experience. Answer all their questions, why, how, when, what, who? Their curiosity will add to the magic of your trip.
We’ve prepared a list of items (by parents travelling with kids regularly) that would help you plan better.
Kill two birds with one stone, you can keep your kids toys, doodle pads and crayons in a small kids bag that they can carry. While also keeping the items handy when necessary. Most flights allow hand baggage allowance of one bag weighing a maximum of 10kg if you have a two-year-old sitting on your knees. Also, parents with children of up to 11 years of age can carry one collapsible stroller free of charge.
Kids trolley luggage
There are quite a few toilet seat sanitizers available. It is essentially a spray that you can use to sanitize the area before letting your child use the bathroom. You could use toilet seat bands or wipe the toilet seats before you or your kid uses the public toilet. This is a great way to be conscious of hygiene. You can also take the opportunity to teach your child about cleanliness while using public toilets if you haven’t already. It’s also wise to apply hand sanitizer after using the toilet and before having a meal or snacks. The last thing you would want is to fall sick during your journey.
DISPOSABLE DIAPER BAGS
Are especially necessary if you are travelling with infants, they are available in the local supermarket. They are perfect for travel because you can hold onto it for a while before disposing of it without a mess.
These are available in a small pack, so it’s perfect for travel to take care of your baby’s skin needs. Also carry some moisturiser or body cream that your child is familiar with. However, it’s best to consult your paediatrician about which one to choose.
MEDICINES & THERMOMETER
Consider carrying a thermometer and basic medicines. Vomiting and fever, are a possibility while travelling with kids, so be prepared with some paracetamol and tablets you are familiar with.
BABY WATER BOTTLE
Sounds obvious enough but just like your own needs you need to make sure your baby stays hydrated.
You can choose Silicone Bibs as well, as they can be washed and reused. It’s a great way to keep your kid’s clothes from getting dirty while feeding them on the plane.
SOCKS, SWEATERS AND MITTENS FOR BABIES
Are doubly important, because children tend to kick off blankets sometimes so keeping their feet warm with socks, or mittens will ensure they stay warm. For the same reason, sweaters or jackets that are warm would be more effective than blankets.
KNEE CAP FOR CRAWLING BABIES
For young children that will need to move about a bit, knee caps would protect their tender knees. They are best worn over pants or clothes that fully cover their legs.
COFFEE MUG AND COFFEE FOR THE PARENTS!
Whether it’s tired moms or dads, you do need your break. Carry a portable coffee mugs that are easily cleaned with coffee powder or sachets, so you can take your much-needed coffee break on the go. Take care of yourself too busy parents.
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