When you become a parent, everything changes. Your spontaneous movie dates turn into carefully calculated outings to watch the latest from Disney. Enjoying a cup of coffee on a lazy Sunday morning is replaced by visits to children’s parks or museums. And, your care-free backpacking trips to adventure spots morph into well-planned travel packages to the safest spots.
Although travelling with your kids is one of the best vacations you can have, it can be an overwhelming experience that requires much preparation to make it go smoothly. Since not everyone’s a pro at planning big trips with little kids, we have some advice to help you make travelling with them a breeze.
Travelling with Children: How to Make It Stress-Free
Travelling with kids can be both awesome and challenging. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of amazing tips to help you prepare and save you from trouble.
1) Plan Extra Time
Unlike how many travellers are on a schedule, you should take it slow and budget plenty of time when travelling with children. Expect everything to take longer than it would without them to avoid last-minute rushes. Book an early morning departure as it’s your best chance to avoid flight delays. To save yourself the struggle of hailing a cab, hire an airline limo, and keep your schedule loose so you have room to make adjustments to it.
2) Pack Only the Essentials
Some parents try to keep their family routines consistent by packing everything their kids use at home. Unfortunately, travelling wrecks routine so carrying those extra items is unnecessary. Instead of overpacking, carry only the essentials or items you can’t find anywhere else; the rest can be bought at your destination.
3) Share What to Expect
When kids are in unexpected situations, they become uncomfortable, and when they’re uncomfortable, they’re unhappy. Your best bet is to inform your kids about the trip ahead of time. Give them an outline of the plan and what they can expect to happen. Also, explain to them how they should act on planes, in hotels and on tours. Once they have an idea of the plan, they’ll be more comfortable.
4) Always Have Snacks and Water Available
Battling hunger, thirst and boredom are some of the most important points on the list of ‘How to Be a Good Parent’. Always have snacks and water available because you never know when they’ll be needed. And remember, the food at your destination may be quite different than what your kids usually eat. Having healthy dry snacks and liquids (up to 100 ml) like yogurt tubes on hand can come in handy, especially if flights are delayed or you get stuck in traffic. Hunger can make them cranky and take the fun out of your family vacation. Plus, keep them hydrated in flight and remind them to swallow gulps of water to deal with ear pressure discomfort.
5) Carry Emergency Pull-Ups and Wet Wipes
If you’re travelling with a toddler, regardless as to whether they’re potty trained, carry spare clothes (for you and them), diapers and wet wipes to clean up accidents. Even if you don’t use them, carrying these essentials will make you more relaxed. After all, you don’t want to spend the flight being smelly.
6) Invest in Good Gear
It’s a good idea to buy quality gear like an umbrella stroller, a travel car seat or a kid safety harness to make travelling with your little one easier. A stroller or harness isn’t only essential to keep track of your kid around a foreign city but can also be used in airport security checks or baggage claim. And a travel seat is a must for road trips.
7) Travel with Basic Medicines
In the unfortunate event that your child is feeling poorly when you fly, emergency medicines can come in handy. Carry a medical kit containing baby paracetamol, a thermometer, anti-itching lotion, medicine for upset stomach, motion-sickness prevention medication, oral rehydration preparations and Band-Aids. If your child has any prescription medications, be sure to bring them along; carry a copy of their prescription in case you run out.
8) Dress Them Comfortably
A child dressed impractically is an unhappy child. Make sure you dress them in soft, comfortable layers that you can take on and off depending on the plane’s air conditioning. Avoid buttons, zippers or anything that could prevent them from getting to the bathroom. Pyjamas are your best bet.
Travelling with kids can be both wonderful and challenging. But, with a bit of know-how, you can take the stress out of your travel plans and make it enjoyable for both you and them. So, make the most of your holiday with these useful tips and get in touch with us when you need a comfortable limousine ride home from the airport.