Traveling with kids can be a bit overwhelming. Whether they’re your own or someone else’s, factoring a child’s needs into your travels involves a lot more than putting some ear phones on them and changing their pull-ups. Here are some ways to make it more comfortable for you, the children and other passengers…
1. Take your time: whether you’re at the airport, sightseeing or getting from A to B some extra time will be needed for sure. Toddlers can do some unexpected things, so giving yourselves that extra time will eliminate the pressure that comes with traveling.
2. Organize: your travel bag.There’s nothing like trying to find that crayon, pacifier or juice bottle and having to dig 10 things out before you get to it. Keep everything in it.s place and organize your bag, so it’s easy to get things when in a hurry.
3. Book ahead: when traveling with kids, spontaneity will definitely not pay off. Know where you’re staying and what the room offers. Make sure there’s enough space and pre-order your rollaway beds and cribs if you’ll be using them at the hotel.
4. Buy the extra seat: when booking your flights. You’ll want the extra space and having the row to yourself and kids will make it a more comfortable experience for yourselves and other passengers.
5. Fly while they nap: If possible try to book your flights around their sleeping schedule. Maybe fly out at night when the airports aren’t as busy, so their tired and want to sleep. Pack an entertainment bag, so when they wake up they have things to play with and color.
6. Be App-y: I’m usually not a fan of seeing kids glued to an iPad or electronics, but when traveling on a flight or a long road trip, you really have no choice. They love it! Download lots of fun games and movies and they’ll be in app-y heaven.
7. First time traveling with your children? Make a “My First flight” bag for passenger around you just incase. They’ll love the gesture and this will make for a more comfortable experience. Fill the bag with ear plugs, head phones, candy, a small book, eye mask, gum, a pen, crosswords and anything else you can think of. Make it inexpensive and pass them around the rows in front, behind and to your sides. They’ll think it’s super cutes and it will help incase your kids do flip out. There’s nothing quite like hearing a departing passenger utter those tear-jerking words of validation “Wow, your kids were really well-behaved”. And let’s say that they weren’t? Well, you tried and who cares!
8. Avoid Sweets: and pack healthier snacks for them like some cheese cubes, crackers, fruit, and small PB&J’s. Having them on a sugar rush will only lead to a withdrawal and that’s a tantrum you should avoid.
9. Bring Medicine: lets face it, kids tend to get sick a lot and even more while on vacation, so always be prepared with some: Tylenol, sinus meds, antihistamines, pepto-bismal, Benadryl cream for bites, neosporin, and band aids.
10. Antibacterial Wipes: even if your children are out of the nappy stage these will come in handy till they’re at least 30yrs old. Great for washing your hands, toilet seats, wiping down restaurant tables, rental car, train seats, hotel room…etc. You can’t bring to many liquids, so the wipes are the best.
11. Travel Journal: once they get older this could be something that they’d enjoy to keep track of family trips and write down how much they’re having. It would be something nice to have once they’re a little older to look back at it as a family.
12. Involve older kids: The best way to avoid a sulking, soul- destroyed teenager from thinking life is over for a week while on vacation, is to involve them in the planning process. Ask them for their input on what they’d like to do during the trip. You may be surprised.
I hope these tips help make your next trip with children a smoother one!
Happy & Safe Travels!