12 Tips for Traveling With Kids
Vacationing with family can be the best bonding experiences. And with Christmas right around the corner, your family might be rather busy with visiting family and friends. This means long family road trips, flights across the country, and so many more traveling adventures.
But traveling with small children can be extremely difficult. With all the new sounds, smells, and images, young children and kids can become incredibly overstimulated. We want traveling with your family to be as easy and fun as possible. To make your travels a little less stressful, here are 12 Tips to Traveling with Children.
Pack Plenty of Food and All Their Favorite Snacks
No matter where you’re going or how you’re getting there, you need to pack plenty of healthy stacks for your little ones. Many airports now make special accommodations for children, and now permit mothers to pack a variety of foods like: breast milk, formula, baby food, and teething cookies. If you call the airport ahead of time and explain the situation they can give you specific instructions for how to store all your child’s favorite snacks. Or, you can simply look online for the specific regulations to plan around.
Bring Stuffed Animals, Blankets, and Comforts
You also want to be certain that your child is comfortable during travels. Bring blankets, pillows, neck pillows, favorite stuffed animals, or anything else to make the trip a comfortable experience.
These items can also help your child sleep wherever they are. Weather it’s a plane, car, train, or bus, these items make the traveling that much more enjoyable. However, you want to make sure these special animals and blankets are kept safe. Children tend to forget things and leave them behind, so keep an eye out for these items which are so important to your child.
Keep Them Busy, Busy, Busy!
Children get bored very easily, so keep them busy with fun activities and games. If you have a tablet or a smart fun, stock up on tons of fun apps designed for small children. This kind of entertainment keeps your child busy, but doesn’t wear you down so much.
You can also play games with your child such as eye-spy if you’re on a train or in a car. If you plan on flying, bring coloring books and some fun, child-friendly novels. This way, you can engage with your child and keep their attention for a long period of time.
Don’t Let Them Pack Their Own Suitcase…
We want our kids to be responsible, but packing the essentials is not the time to start. While your child can pack fun items, be sure that you’re in charge of their clothes, medicine, outside gear, and things like that.
Also, be sure to inform your child about what you are packing. This will serve as a kind of lesson for your child in the future about what to pack for and what to consider when traveling.
But Do Let Them Pack Their Own Special Bag!
While their suitcase isn’t the time to practice packing for long trips, their own special bag is the perfect compromise! This engages your child in the experience of traveling and packing, giving them some responsibility.
Their own bag can contain all the fun things they like, such as special stuffed animals, games, books, toys, and even snacks. In most cases, this special bag will be your child’s carry on. This gives your child their very own bag to carry throughout the airport or train station, and begins to develop their own sense of independence.
Safe, Secure, and At Your Side
As always, safety should be your number one concern when traveling with your children. Keep your child close to you, and make sure they are never out of your sight or the sight of others you trust. Go over safety procedures with your child before traveling, and establish a meeting point of they become lost.
Also, make sure your child knows who to contact if they do become lost. The most common places children lose their parents are in restaurants and bathrooms. Make sure your child holds your hand when walking and that you always have a close eye on them.
Plan, Organize, and Conquer
A well thought out and organized plan makes traveling easy and mostly hassle free. Be sure to arrive to the airport, train station, or bus station early in case anything should go array. You never know what might happen, so plan for hiccups here and there.
Also, make sure everyone is acquainted with the plan, including your child. When everyone knows what’s going on, then it’s much easier to move through your travels as a calm, unified, family.
Don’t Forget Your Patience
Remember, things can and will go wrong. Traveling can be stressful, no matter how many precautions you take. So be patient with your child and those around you. Don’t forget your patience, and allow for mistakes to happen.
Not everything has to go as planned, and adapting to abrupt changes in a plan can be more beneficial than stressing over the original plan. And if everything just sort of falls apart, don’t worry. Just have fun and be happy with your family.
Talk with Your Child About the Trip
Even if you think your child might not be ready to discuss more grown-up things like the overall trip and planning of the trip, you might want to consider it. Though you don’t need to discuss in detail the trip, you can still tell them generic details.
What airport you’re in, where you’re going, what you’ll be doing, what you see on the trip, and things like that. This further engages your child in the trip and gives them a greater interest in family time.
Talk with Others About the Trip
This connects back to calling ahead of time when planning a family trip. You want to be as clear as possible with all those involved what your child needs while traveling. If your child has special needs, please contact all the places you plan on visiting during the trip to make it easier on yourself, others, and your child.
Explore Your Surroundings
Don’t just sit and wait, explore the plane, boat, or train with your child. Get them moving around and active. This will help with many issues such as fatigue, restlessness, aches, boredom, and much more!
This is also an opportunity for you to get moving. By moving around, you promote blood flow through your body and reduce your overall stress levels. And even when you’re done travelling and finally at your destination, don’t be afraid to diverge from the original plan and explore the area. You might some interesting things and create wonderful, unplanned memories with your family.
But, above all else, just have fun! Traveling and trips are meant to build up your family and create lasting memories. Don’t sweat the little things here and there, just live in the moment with your children. Trust me when I say your child won’t remember all those little details you tried so hard to work out but didn’t get quite right. They’ll remember how fun it was to spend time with their family, and how much they want to go on vacation again!