Whether you are travelling to another country or just taking a break out of town, taking the kids with you requires a lot of planning. While the whole idea can be daunting at first, especially if you think about the extra baggage you have to bring, as well as the tantrums that might pop in every now and then, it shouldn’t scare you from taking this opportunity to create fun and precious memories.
Travelling with your kids is a unique opportunity to create new bonds and strengthen ties within the family. If you’re a first timer or just want a refresher course, here are some tips to help you to reduce travel stress.
Make a list of travel essentials that you need to bring in advance. Keep in mind that their needs are more complicated than your usual globetrotting adult. The first step to make travelling with kids an easy process is to make sure that parents are prepared.
- If you need new travel bags you don’t have to drag the kids along to a luggage store. You can order from online retailers like Luggage Direct and have them delivered right to your door.
- Make a checklist of what to bring. If you are bringing more than one child with you on the trip, make sure that each of their needs are listed and checked. You can let them bring their own kiddie backpacks where they can put the things they want to bring with them.
- Pack their things strategically. Make sure that the important things that will most likely be used right away like hats, towels, diapers, water bottles and insect repellant can easily be taken out from their bags.
Do your research
Before booking your flights, hotels, or vacation rentals make sure that you have done your research on your choice of destination. It would be advisable to consider if the places you’re planning to visit are kid-friendly. You might want to know if going from point A to point B will require long walks because kids are not big fans of that. Find out if the hotel you’re staying at has specific facilities for children. Do you need to get the kids any vaccinations before flying to another country? These are some important details that you need to consider before travelling with kids.
Make an itinerary
It can be very educational for older kids to involve them when planning where to go and what to do. This way, you can be sure that they will get to enjoy the activities set out for the trip. The last thing you want is to deal with children throwing tantrums because they aren’t enjoying the trip that you planned for them.
Take advantage of freebies and discounts
There are many airline companies that offer flight fare discounts for children. Meanwhile, almost every airline has a “lap child” policy where children below 2 years old can sit on your lap during the flight so you don’t have to pay for their ticket. Check with your airlines of choice before booking to see what deals are available.
Keep them entertained
This is especially true when it comes to long car rides. Bring along toys that they’re familiar with, perhaps a stuffed animal that they sleep with at night or a story book that they always like to read. Another tip is to sit with them in the back of the car until they get comfortable. Bring an electronic device and playing their favourite movie will be helpful to keep them still and entertained.
If you child has special needs or restrictions when it comes to food, it’s best to bring snacks that you already have prepared at home. If you’re traveling by plane, you can check some special food options beforehand in case your child is allergic to something. Most full-service airlines can accommodate these special requests, but budget airlines generally cannot.
Regular toilet breaks
When you and your kids are on the road, be sure to have regular toilet breaks to make sure that you don’t have whiny and crying children, screaming that they need to go when you’re in the middle of traffic. Also, having these little stops will help the kids to get out of the car and stretch a little. If you’re boarding a plane, it would be wise not to give them too many fluids otherwise you’ll have to deal with getting them in and out of their seats and walking up and down the aisles.
Talk to them and get them excited
If this is their first time flying or travelling, talk to them about the trip and what’s going to happen. Tell them about what they can and cannot do while on the plane, enumerate the places that you’re going to visit and the things you’re going to see once you arrive. Most kids love adventures, so it will be easy to awaken their fun-loving spirit and get them excited for the trip.
Traveling with your kids might be hard at first, but with proper planning, you’re on your way to making many great adventures that they will remember for a lifetime.