“Kids are the toughest travel companions” – some say. But having kid is a reason to travel, never a reason to stop.
Traveling with children is always a nightmare for parents. May it be a single child or many, we as parents feel traveling with children daunting. Thousands of thoughts run in our minds on how to make the travel easy and safe for kids. We sometimes get exhausted by overthinking and planning, hence some parents even avoid traveling with children to escape the hardships. But always remember the richest assets we can ever give them are the cherishable memories and those memories are never made in a room before television. Travel gives them exposure to the world with loads of experience and education. Better planning should help you give these to your children through travel. Here we’d like to start with a few basic tips to make things easier when you travel with kids. May it be a long trip to the faraway destination or a short nearby getaway, have a plan to stick to considering the comfort of your children.
Early Start, Easy Day
Starting a trip in a hurry, makes you forget things behind and gets you frustrated from the beginning. So when you have kids along with your trip, start the journey an hour before your planned time, this gives you additional time to get through the hiccups you might face together with your children while traveling. Sleep early the previous night, so the kids might get to sleep well before the travel. Better sleep keeps them active and less cranky during travel.
Tip: Remember not to discuss too much on the experience awaiting them the next day before sleep; it will keep them awake with excitement. Give them a glass of warm milk with honey before hitting the bed to have better sleep.
The reluctance that first hits our mind to not travel with our little ones is the exhaustion of carrying them around all day in hands. Worry not; invest in the ergonomic, child-friendly lightweight prams/strollers or baby carriers. Eco-friendly cloth slings are easy to carry even in luggage bags. Keep one when you travel which is much useful on tours with kids. They give you the freedom to your hands from carrying and increase the joy to your children. If you are traveling by car with a baby, a comfortable baby seat for the little one to breathe at ease is a must. Carrying the kids or holding them in the laps for a long time is not just difficult for you but it makes them feel uncomfortable and cranky too. It allows them to be free and always keep an eye on them during the whole time of the trip.
Tip: Don’t get the stroller, carrier or baby seat just immediately before travel. Please make sure to use them a few times before your trip so they might not have to fiddle with too many new things at the same time.
Be an Efficient Packer
Pack smart and less. Do not carry too many things or over-weigh your luggage. Don’t be a confused soul to carry too many dresses for a few day trips. Pack things which are very essential for your travel and prefer lightweight clothes. The pack may be a dress in extra than your days of travel to free up space for your child’s clothes. Fold clothes smartly to fit better into the bags.
Tip: Baby clothes can be rolled together and packed with the end facing upwards (like a tissue box) to pull easily. Make separate rolls for each garment like pants, tees, underwear etc… While arranging adult clothes, place them vertically one beside another, it makes it easier to pull the apparel needed and compresses the space.
Pack the toiletries in a separate vanity bag for ease of usage. Avoid carrying too many toys; engage them with the world outside while you travel. While making the list, make it two separate lists one for luggage and one for hand baggage, it makes things easier to check before starting. Keep all bags packed a day before you start. Baby diapers, wet wipes, wash clothes, bib, spoon, travel snacks, 2 empty bowls with lid( one to pack food and one for extra like mixing, washing hands etc..), steel tumbler, sipper, thermal flask, straw(avoid using straws from outside) and baby medicines (fever, cold and loosies) are must be included in the list.
Tip: Have a set of baby dress, tissue papers, wet wipes, washcloth, bib, spoon, straw, baby towel and empty bowl in the handbag/diaper bag.
Where is it?
Do not leave the children in a nightmare about the trip. Talk to them about the place and people of your visit. Parents should keep the children in comfort by making them understand which place will be going. Only when they know about the place will children enjoy their trip with happiness. Encourage the kids to have fun. The kids should know where they are traveling to and what kind of people they are going to meet. That does not mean kids should know the whole idea of the travel but a part of it. This helps the kids to maintain their minds and thoughts according to the place they are at. But as mentioned earlier, don’t talk too much about it on the previous night of travel though.
Tips: For kids above 8 years, print a map of the destination of travel with details of each place in few lines. It will be best travel companion for them.
Expect the mess and Enjoy!
Traveling with kids can be with confusion and disorder, anticipate them. Preparing your mind already to have patchy moments, help you and your children to enjoy the journey despite the little mess. Expect many questions, remember they are exploring, learning and making their own memories. Enjoy yourself, along with the kids and leave behind whatever silly mischiefs they do. When u stay calm and careless on the goof ups, the kids will stay calm and lessen the pranks. They reflect their parents most of the time. So keep your focus on the trip and happiness so they would too.
Travel with a better companion:
If you are planning for a long tour with kids hold a few more hands to help you around. For instance, you can travel along with another family of friends preferably with kids. So they can explore places along with building a relationship. Traveling along with their grandparents also can be perfect. The kids get along with them and enjoy. They may also share a helping hand with you when in need. It’s always better to have them in your travel and kids do enjoy their time happily with their grandparents.
Tips: While traveling together with the family of kids, make the kids sit together. They may throw tantrums and fight but ignore it, they will get along soon.
Food availability, play area and relaxable place are the important traits to look into while booking accommodation for travel with little ones. Prefer holiday homes with kitchen and Farm or estate stays with a lot to explore and experience instead of hotel rooms. The farm/estate stays will always have fresh foods for children. While booking the resorts, look out for activities conducted by them and enroll, it will increase the fun element in the trip and the children may get to know different people and habits. Book spacious hotel rooms or resorts with flexible rules and timings. Check if they provide room service and open kitchen 24/7, because you may never when there will be a need. Reserve the room beforehand to avoid stress after reaching the destination. When it is a vacation with family – it needs to be happy with love and happiness.
Tip: Give a call to the accommodation on the previous day to reconfirm on your arrival and check on the check-in time, food availability, and talk about your special requests like milk and baby food supplies to plan accordingly.
Make lot of time, pack less, and enjoy the travel. Just remember that you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself! You children are to have fun.