Traveling with kids, what could go wrong? Everything! Okay, maybe not everything, but a lot. From public meltdowns from your children, multiple passports to keep track of, toys to keep them entertained, to making sure you carried their favorite snack, traveling with children can be chaos. But before you cancel that trip, here are some tips to make your trip manageable and maybe even enjoyable.
How to Travel with Kids
These following 8 tips will help you maintain your sanity and actually have some fun while traveling with children:
· Travel in Simple Outfits
Traveling with young kids will involve many bathroom breaks, and these will be a nightmare if you are trying to unfasten multiple items of clothing. Let your kids wear simple outfits that are easy to remove if the need comes, think: diaper blowouts, vomit incidents, and spills. Pajamas, onesies, a t-shirt, and pants are ideal for a quick change. Carry two spare sets of clothes for them and at least an extra t-shirt for yourself in case you find yourself in the projectile path of vomit.
· Limit Yourself to One Carry-on
Keeping track of children at a busy airport is already a daunting task, so you don’t need to add several pieces of luggage to that equation. Pack only the essentials in one carry-on and check in the rest of your luggage. The fewer items you pack in the carry-on, the easier it will be to find what you are looking for. If possible, get one on which a child can sit on as you pull it along. Have a look at websites like Luggage Direct to find out what is available these days. You can let your older child bring their own carry-on – you can fill this with toys, but remember that sooner or later kids get sick of lugging things around and you will most likely end up being stuck with extra bags.
· Take Advantage of Technology
Phones, tablets, car screens and airport TVs will help distract your kids during your journey. Install kid-friendly apps on your phone and tablet. Carry backup batteries or battery banks to recharge your devices. Your kids will be thrilled and happily occupied especially if you give them too much access to these devices at home.
· Carry Familiar Snacks
Airplane food will most likely not appeal to your kids. Even if you are on a road trip, food at the stops you make might not be suited to their palate. You also don’t want to risk your children getting sick during the journey. Bring snacks that they are used to and pick those that stay fresh for longer once they are opened. Be careful on the sugar intake, though, because trying to keep a child who has had excess sugar calm, is not a challenge that you need while in transit.
· Make Friends with Passengers near You
Say hello to them, as soon as soon as you sit, while your child is on their best behavior and still cute. The chances are that sooner or later your kid will disrupt their sleep and it will be best if you are already on good terms with them. You should also be friendly to flight attendants so they can help with the kids especially when they have made a mess that goes all the way to the floor.
· Carry New Toys
New toys will entertain them for longer than toys that they are used to. The novelty will keep their attention. The best time to bring them out is just at the start of a tantrum so as to distract them. Make sure to avoid noisy toys that will disturb your fellow passengers.
· Have an Early Start
Whether by plane, car or any other means, getting an early start will save you a lot of confusion with children. This is important especially at airports where you have to check in luggage and go through scanners that may require you to keep taking off their shoes. Having an early start will give you the chance of taking it slow and moving at a pace that is comfortable for your children.
· Confirm Accommodation Ahead
It won’t do you any good to finally arrive at your destination, and you have to spend hours trying to find a good and safe place to sleep. Your kids will definitely melt down at this point due to exhaustion. If you want to stay at a hotel, book ahead and call to confirm that your room is available. Then as soon as you arrive, you can give the kids nice warm baths to help them relax and sleep.
With these tips, traveling with children will feel less chaotic and more of the vacation that was intended. In addition, practice patience and take a moment to breathe when it seems too much. Remind yourself how much you love them and that traveling can be hard on them too.
Carolette Alcoran is a Content Writer from the Philippines. She writes on various topics promotional advertisements, issues concerning both virtual and reality, lifestyle tips, marketing trends and also media's effectiveness. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter."