No, No, No… I am not saying traveling with kids is stressful. Traveling anyplace could get chaotic and exhausting, let alone traveling with kids, and I am not only talking about those half-yearly vacations. Traveling with children requires a great amount of preparation and patience. You can’t always take the nanny with you, at the same time, just can’t compromise on what a child might need while traveling. Kids are unpredictable and it is no revelation. As much as they are playful, they can get to you when not handled properly. The ‘to do’s’ list starts with hints of traveling with toddlers and infants and continues to information geared towards traveling with kids that are mid toddlers and teens. Wish it is of some help! Read on…
In case you have a baby aging less than 5 years, visit a clinic 3 months ahead of your trip and make certain you’ve time for all vaccinations. Get both recommended and mandatory vaccinations. This will keep you off from the stress of handling any low immune issues that the baby may get while traveling.
This is the thumb rule. The incessant hopping of the kids is not always playful. A little scratch here & there and a strain on the ankle, are the things you’d have to be prepared for. Carry wash proof bandages, an ointment, pain spray and a fistful of fever/cough syrups. Traveling with kids calls for most required attention with respect to their health and which can’t be ignored at any cost.
Make sure that your kids’ passports are valid for six months beyond your travel dates. Babies’ passports are valid for just 3 years, so be careful. Also, keep a copy of kids’ school identity cards/photographs handy within your reach. Not to scare you but the kids go astray while strolling here and there and in the worst case scenario, you don’t want to be hanging on for want of a clear photograph disclosing baby’s identity.
Keep them engaged
Kids have an attention span, so you ought to keep them engaged. The moment they get bored is the very moment you’d have to stand ready for something new. The process continues till they exhaust and finally move to the bed. Bring an armful of books, toys, stickers, pens, and crayons, and load your pill with apps that are new.
Carry a bunch of good snacking
Inflight meals or regular munching at restaurants is not always a good idea from health’s perspective. It might as well take a toll on your pocket after a point. Always have snacks on hand for moments when the next meal is nowhere in sight. Homemade Granola Bars and packed quinoa/wheat flakes are a good alternative to burgers and pizza at any point.
Along with the mundane luggage for everyone, a duffle bag should always be kept handy containing a fair bunch of diapers (in case you have an infant/toddler), a change of clothes, wipes, sanitizer, napkins, light woolens (to help your baby combat excessive air conditioning) and everything that is mentioned in above points. Always carry/opt for a baby carrier service available at most stations/flights if you are required to walk much. The pram/carrier must also find a place in your vehicle in case you’re driving yourself.
(Read my blog to know the packing essentials for a solo trip)
Foreign cultures work on wildly different schedules – especially dining late. Maintaining your family’s home schedule could be hard. There are the 2 keys to children happiness anyplace on earth: Keep them well fed and well rested, and everything else will fall into place.
Surprises aren’t always good
Let your children know your plans early, and even let them in on the decision-making process by giving them a few choices every day. You never know when sudden excursions may make them paranoid to an extent of dropping the plan altogether. Have them be accountable and aware of the itinerary will reduce whining immeasurably.
Flying high is generally accompanied by ear discomfort while landing. It can get annoying to adults, let alone children. While adults can cope easily, it is hard to say that for a child. Eardrop/Calpol helps tremendously here. Similarly, please check on required loo breaks for your kids when you driving highways on a bus/personal vehicle. Traveling with kids on road with kids can be challenging owing to their mood/loo swings. Trains generally have a washroom, but due care should be given to the hygiene and follow the rule above as much as possible.
(If you’re traveling overnight, follow these handy tips to help you ease your journey)
It is advisable that you look out for places, parks, and points of recreational importance at your travel destination. What is equally important is that you take your kids there at least once or twice during your trips to keep them intact to their own being.
It takes years of experience to understand a child psychology. As much as you’d want to decipher them, you really can’t. It’s more of a hit and trial. But a few hacks are all that you need to handle a chaotic situation well. I hope these tips help you gauge your child’s behavior at least to an extent where it doesn’t pester you much. Rest, when you are a mother, you know it all! Add on to these tips in the comment box if you’re one such Alpha-Mom!