August 16, 2017
Written by Myka Mallilin
Traveling with kids can be one of the most memorable things your family can share, but admit it, dragging them along is not a walk in the park. Whether it’s a short trip or a long haul flight, getting your kids to cooperate could do wonders for your vacation. Here are some pointers on how to travel with kids.
Involve the kids in planning and packing
Give your children the task of packing their own clothes, once they’re old enough to do so. If it’s a long vacation, print out a list of items they should have in their luggage and give them ample time to pack their bags. Not only does this give them a sense of responsibility but it gives them a choice of which clothes to bring, creating a sense of individuality from a young age. Remember to do a final check before leaving though, to edit items and prevent excess baggage.
Always bring items to amuse and entertain
If you’re going to be stuck on a plane for a 14-hour flight, the last thing you’d want is to have a bored child with nothing to do. Technology has helped flying with kids become a lot more manageable, with the rise of iPads and Kindles. Just don’t forget to bring along headphones if you’re planning to let them watch movies or play games. Some parents even give kids their own child-friendly cameras to take snaps of what interests them. This also develops their eye for detail and fosters their creativity at an early age.
Pack snacks but avoid sweets
A hungry child is a grumpy child. Whether you’re traveling by plane, bus, or car, you need to pack your own meals and snacks especially if you’re unsure about the dining options available. Pick food that’s easy to store and carry. Pretzels, dried fruits, nuts, cheese sticks, and cereal bars are just some of the recommended snacks to put in your bag. Avoid adding too much sugar in their snacks, otherwise you risk having hyperactive kids running around a contained environment. Snacks are also a great diversion. If your children are feeling a little restless from the long travel, distract them by offering something healthy to munch on.
Always be early
Aside from booking ahead, one of the more helpful tips for traveling with children is to be consistently early. This gives parents the necessary breathing space and allows them to adjust to any unforeseen instances. Whether it’s a bathroom emergency or long immigration lines, having an extra few minutes can make all the difference. You can also use this time to double-check flight details, to call ahead and confirm that all travel arrangements are fine, or to grab a quick snack before lifting off.
While there are many factors to consider when traveling with kids, the top priority should always be their safety. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Always keep a first aid kit in your carry-on bag when traveling. Have some band-aids along with antihistamines, anti-nausea medication, hand wipes, and insect repellant, for good measure. It’s also wise to consider acquiring travel insurance to cover any unforeseen interruptions and emergencies.
Stay in homey accommodations
Most children don’t acclimatize to new places easily, which could result in unanticipated outbursts. Making your hotel room feel a little like home can mark the difference between a sleepless night versus a sound slumber. Pack your child’s favorite plush toy or pillow to bring a piece of home with you on holiday. If you’re one of the lucky few who has a timeshare membership, your children won’t have a hard time getting used to traveling, especially if you’re staying at your home resort.
Remember, these tips for traveling with children still vary depending on the situation and travel arrangement. Just keep in mind that with a bit of know-how and foresight, you can remove the dread that traveling with kids brings and concentrate on making precious memories you can look back on in the years to come.
Myka is one of the digital content writers for AVLCI. She has a total of nine years of professional writing experience and has worked in TV, advertising, and digital media. She enjoys traveling and discovering new places to eat.
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