5 Tips for Travelling with Young Kids
5 Tips for Travelling with Young Kids
Travelling with kids is an amazing way to build wonderful memories and can be a whole lot of fun, but it can also be a stressful experience without some proper planning and preparation.
Depending on the age of your child, here are some general points to remember when travelling with young kids to make it a memorable experience for all the right reasons.
Try Not to Overpack
Try to be smart about how you pack, for your child and yourself. As obvious as it may sound, remember that everything you pack, you’ll have to carry with you during the trip. The temptation to overpack is usually strongest if you’re travelling alone with your child, but as far as you can, keep packing simple and smart. Here’s a quick guide on what to pack:
- Soother: if you’re travelling with an infant that takes a soother or pacifier, pack a few of them in case they fall on the floor.
- Sanitiser: even if there are plenty of santiser everywhere these days, it’s always a good idea to bring have extra anti-bacterial sanitiser handy plus wipes to wipe down surfaces before use.
- Smartphone: it goes without saying that a smartphone and/or tablet are essential to preserve your sanity and keep your child entertained, if even for a while.
- Supplies: Some children may be more hands-on and prefer having their favourite toy, a colouring book or Legos with them instead of a device. So pack for the plane ride according to what you know will help keep your child entertained, without packing their whole army of Legos of course.
- Snacks: it’s likely that your child may not be interested in the food served on the plane if you are flying or it might not be easy to stop to get food on a long car ride, so have your child choose a few snacks for the trip.
Involve Your Family in Your Travel Plans
It may seem easier to simply plan everything yourself and pack your child’s bag without involving them, because you feel it’ll be less of a hassle. On the other hand, it’ll give them a great deal of satisfaction and accomplishment if they get to help put even a pair of shoes into their very own suitcase bound for adventure, plus they get to spend a bit of time with you. So don’t completely dismiss the idea of involving them in the process. Simply choose what aspects of the process to get them involved in, that would make it fun for the both of you. Take it a step further if you’re also travelling with your spouse. Don’t be the all-controlling wife and try to involve your spouse in the process as well. It is a family affair after all.
Prepare Your Child for The Trip
Another way that you can involve your child in your travel plans is by preparing them for the trip. Children usually respond much better when they know what to expect before-hand. Depending on the age of your child, try a few ways to communicate and prepare them for the trip. Sitting them down in advance for a quick chat is a good start to getting them ready. You can show them pictures or videos of where or who they’re travelling to. YouTube also has great resources available to educate your child on the rudimentary aspects of the entire flight experience from checking-in to ticketing, boarding and overall safety. So try a few things to get your child prepped and ready for the trip.
If you are planning to fly, just remember the entire process of checking-in, boarding and actual flying is taking longer than usual due to Covid-19, so it can be overwhelming for a young child, especially if there are delays and layovers. Also, please remember to check the latest government guidelines regarding Covid restrictions and requirements.
Prepare for Expected Boredom
Travelling can come with a lot of unexpected delays or simply generally long waiting times from one step of the process to the next. In the midst of it, your child is likely to either get overstimulated or just bored along the way. In order to minimise the likelihood of tantrums and meltdowns, have their snacks and gadgets handy to help them through the long waiting times. A great idea is to have a surprise toy wrapped and ready for your child to get all excited about and divert their attention.
Prepare for Safety, Security and Sanity
If you are flying, you can really minimise your time spent at airport security checkpoints and ease your mind by considering a few simple things before you travel:
- Book an early departure flight, as far as you reasonably can. Early flights are usually less busy, not as crowded and less likely to have delays plus your child may be so tired that they sleep most of the way. If this isn’t possible, then at least try to avoid flights with long-layovers and late-night connections.
- Dress your child (and yourself) in clothes and shoes that will help facilitate a smooth transition through airport security. Shoes with laces will take time to pull and re-tie, so opt for slip-on shoes that are also great for bathroom trips. Avoid trousers that may need a belt that would have to be removed at the metal screening checkpoint.
- For moms travelling with infants, if you have fresh breastmilk or mixed formula, have it within reach when you get to the security checkpoint.
- If you’re travelling with multiple children, consider using a small stroller and even a comfortable leash, for safety (and sanity!).
Travelling doesn’t have to feel like a chore when going with your child. In order to make is a successful trip, careful planning and preparation are key. Remember not to overpack, try to involve your family in your plans, prepare your child for the trip and also prepare for boredom, safety, security and sanity. Have a great trip with wonderful memories in the waiting!