While many parents avoid travelling with young children, a bit of preparation can ensure a fun and (mostly) stress-free family holiday. By making a checklist of all your necessities and planning for any difficulties, you and your family can enjoy your holiday instead of worrying about what could go wrong.
Here is a list of travel tips to help you prepare for travelling with your children:
You certainly can’t expect your children to be perfect, so set some reasonable expectations for your family holiday. Perhaps one of the best ways to keep your children interested throughout your trip is to involve them in the planning process. Your children will be excited to have a hand in the itinerary and will learn about the destination before you depart. Once you arrive, you can be confident that your kids won’t complain about the chosen activities.
Travel by plane can also take its toll on adults and kids. Get your seats booked in advance and if possible, get a bulkhead seat. These seats have a wall in front of them and offer a bit of room for your child to move around. Airlines generally will let you pre-board with infants so you can get settled in your seats before the other passengers board. If air travel is more than a few hours then consider stopping off at a midway point along the way. Not only will it give you and your family a rest but you can take a day or two to discover an interesting destination.
If you are travelling with older children, you might want to consider an early morning flight to prevent any delays. When flying with infants and younger children, many families prefer late night flights as they correspond with the child’s natural sleep schedule. This isn't always possible with international flights, however, where possible, I choose to fly at night when Lexi is more likely to sleep on the plane.
One of the greatest difficulties of family travel is the transport of large items like strollers and playpens. Before you leave for your trip, contact the concierge of your hotel regarding the availability of cribs, strollers, car seats or anything else your baby might need. If your hotel is unable to acquire any of these essentials, there are a few international organisations that arrange delivery of such rental items.
When travelling (particularly internationally), pack all the medicines your children might need – both prescription and over-the-counter varieties. As many countries have different medicines and packaging may be considerably different, don’t take any chances. Check the carry-on restrictions and pack whatever you can in your carry-on baggage. It is also a good idea to pack a change of clothes, a blanket and a pillow for your young ones to ensure that they are comfortable on the airplane.
Organise a selection of toys like dolls, stuffed animals and books in one of your carry-on bags. To prevent any unnecessary embarrassment, try to avoid packing noise-making toys or those with small parts – like model kits, building blocks or board games. It is also a good idea to pack some healthy snacks for your children, as it is often difficult to please kids with airline food.
Planes are one of the dirtiest, germiest places! There have many many reports of the poor cleanliness of airlines. One of the first things we do when we take our seats is disinfect our tray tables, screens and controls. I like to use the So Pure Naturally Surface Disinfectant. It kills 99,9% of germs, eliminates odours and mildly cleans surfaces. Because it is made from plant based technology you don't have harsh fumes.
It's common for kids to experience ear discomfort during a plane's takeoff and descent caused by pressure in the middle ear as it tries to keep up with the rapidly changing air pressure. Encourage kids to swallow, yawn, or, if they're old enough, chew gum. It may help infants to nurse or suck on a bottle. We always travel with EarPlanes to help ease the discomfort.
Always carry wet wipes! They're handy for cleaning up spills and washing hands and faces before and after eating. Our favourite are the Pure Beginnings Biodegradable Baby Wipes. They are made from natural plant fibres making them 100% biodegradable and soft for children's hands and faces. Best of all organic aloe extract and tea tree oil so they are naturally antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal.
Your preparation should also include planning for unforeseen events, such as someone getting lost or sick. By planning all the small details – down to what type of trail mix to eat on the airplane – and more serious issues affecting your itinerary before you travel, you and your family won’t have to spend your family holiday worrying. You will simply enjoy every minute of it.
DISCLAIMER: I was provided with a free product in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company, and / or its affiliates, in any way.