Having children with you when traveling can make family vacations 10 times harder. Here are some tips for what to do to make traveling with children less stress and more fun for you and for them.
Tips For The Trip
Make sure to get a good nights rest before traveling. As hard as it may be, the best way to do this is to have everything packed the day before. If you can do this you can then take a breather from trip preparations to recharge you batteries and not be in a rush the day you fly out.
Get your children mentally prepared for the trip. Talk with your children about flying, the destination, and what you will be doing on your trip. Doing this will help a child to feel more comfortable with the experience and will help them to become excited about vacationing.
Pack together. Allow your child to help with the packing process by letting him or her choose the clothes they will be wearing on vacation. Be prepared for the fact that your child’s stuff will take up a lot of luggage space. Accepting this up front will help you the parent with the packing process.
Pack the stroller. This is an absolute must to have a stroller with you when vacationing with children. It is so much easier to push a stroller around then to have to carry your child through a busy airport or to the beach. A stroller can also be used as a place for naps while on the go, a seat at a restaurant, or a way to carry additional bags.
Do something familiar. When in an unfamiliar place, children can feel uneasy. Take time to go to a fast food place that your child is familiar with, bring you child’s favorite stuffed animal or favorite blanket. Doing this will help with providing some comfort and familiarity to unfamiliar places.
Bring Diapers. Diapers can be purchased just about anywhere when traveling domestically. If you are traveling internationally make sure to pack a whole package of diapers. During the trip you will use up the diapers and then you can then use the extra space to bring home souvenirs.
Rent additional stuff. You can’t bring everything that your child will need, such as a crib. Check to see if it is possible to rent a crib, a high chair, or anything else your child may need at your destination.
Less busy the better. If you can travel when airports are less busy this will help you from feeling stressed. The best times to travel are Tuesday through Thursday, plus late at night, very early in the morning, and mid-morning.
Choose your seat wisely. Pick seats on your flight that allow you to have easy access to aisles. This may mean purchasing all the seats in the row if you’re traveling with more than yourself and your child. If its just you and your child traveling, purchase the seat(s) closest to aisle. Doing this will help you avoid disturbing other passengers.
Don’t be an indifferent parent. Most people are understandable of a child’s bad behavior. What bothers people is when parent’s are indifferent about a child’s behavior. Make sure to apologize to others around you if your child is not at his or her best.
Prepare for the worst. This means to be prepared by having enough food, diapers, and clothing for a 48 hour period. You never know if your fight will be delayed or if you will get stranded in an airport.
Pain relief medication. Often when flying, a child may get an earache because of the pressure changes when taking off and when descending. Giving a child a pacifier or a bottle can also help with earaches.
Use a shuttle service or taxi. Don’t add extra stress by picking up a car rental at the airport and then trying to navigate through a unfamiliar city. Instead of picking up your car rental at the airport, use a shuttle of a taxi to get to your hotel. Then after a good night’s sleep you can get your car rental. If you didn’t bring a car seat for your child, make sure to request a car seat from the car rental company.
What additional tips do you have for traveling with children?