Travelling with kids can seem tedious. It might even be scary for some. I myself used to dread travelling with the kids. In a nutshell, we have hardly taken any trips after having kids. But following certain things has helped us a lot. Sharing them with you all in this post. I wont be covering points like hotel booking etc, as these are already well planned. Well you cant travel last minute with your kids can you?
Flight timings– Preferably fly during the child’s nap time. You can even try catching the early morning or late night flights. As the kids just want to sleep that time. And dont bother changing their sleepsuits, they are going to sleep anyways.
Clothing- Now this makes a big difference. Wear them in soft, light breathable clothes. You want them to be comfortable. Always keep a t-shirt or two or a jacket handy, if they feel cold. Layering up is easy. Clothing should be easy to don and doff as well. Saves a lot of time during loo visits (inflight and on the airport). Also avoid shoes with laces. Instead opt for shoes with velcro straps or even better slip ons. These things even make security checks easier.
Strollers & Carriers- Keep these handy. You can ditch your regular big stroller for the smaller travel friendly version. And yes, you are allowed to carry them on flight. If you are baby wearing parents, then carriers and slings are even better. In case of infants, i would recommend baby wearing. Keeping them close to you helps reduce their anxiety and stress free travel. And in case of toddlers, who want to runaway everywhere, you can try on the kid harness/ leash. I know some of you might not like the idea, but do whatever keeps your kids safe and makes travel easy.
Busy bag- Now even if it is an 2 hour flight, and in case your kid doesnt sleep, you will need to keep him busy. Kids hate being restricted to one place. For toddlers the magnetic doodle pads are a great option, or board books, and some papers and colours. For elder kids story books, colouring, rubik’s cube, 3D cube maze puzzle box, hand held plastic dexterity moveable squares puzzle, word search booklet, magnetic board games etc. And sometimes you might want to give them that ipad, or phone as a last resort. In that case do not forget to load them with their fav shows or rhymes before leaving home.
Snacks- Mostly airlines serve snacks no matter how short the flight time. But you might want to keep spme of their fav snacks handy.
Pack light- Remember you have to carry all that luggage on and off the flight. So pack wisely. Disposable diapers can be bought anywhere, so do not carry a whole pack of it. And if you are used to a particular brand, then try some other easily available brand for a few days before travel.
Lastly, air travel with kids has its own perks. Like priority in security checks, passenger lines, helper staff etc. PLease dont hesitate to use them.
Most of the pointers are same for both kinds of travel, so jotting down pointers only specific to car travels here.
Car seat- It took me 5 years to convince my family to get a car seat. Finally we got one after we had our second child. Trust me, even if the journey is for a few hours or an entire day, carrying your lil one is neither easy for you nor comfortable for the child. They stay at ease in a car seat, plus they can sleep in it comfortably as well. And then there’s the added advantage of safety, because you cannot wear a seat belt over your child when you carry them.
Car seat organizer- Being on the co- driver seat shuffling through the diaper bag on the rear seat can be uncomfortable. Better to have a organizer hanging at the back of the driver’s seat. Stuff it with all the things you might need like, wipes, tissues, some snacks, hand towels, handy games for the kids etc. Grabbing things from it is much easier.
Busy bag- In addition to the above mentioned options, try out the printable activities for kids. These are very useful in keeping them busy.
Sickness bags- These are useful for all. We faced motion sickness problems with our 18 month old son last year, so sickness bags is a must. Now, they might not puke into the bag all of a sudden, so make sure to teach them to do that a few days before travelling.
Water- Pack atleast one bottle per person. Opt for re- usable ones instead of the disposable ones.
Coolers- In case you want to carry food for the kids. I usually, just carry snacks. Whenever, we stop for a food break i opt for options like idli, dosa, sandwiches for the kids, as these are all freshky made. Ideal snacks to carry would be nuts, dried & dehydrated fruits, fruits like banana, apple, pear, oranges, bag of chips, homemade cookies and homemade cake.
Trash bags- You can expect a lot of trash when with kids. Either keep one big bag or a couple small ones and dispose off wherever you can. Helps keep the car clean.
Sun shield- You are definitely going to need these, especially with kids in the back seat. Invest in some good quality ones that would last long.
And MOST IMPORTANT, do not lose your calm. Kids are not used to travelling and shouting and yelling at them is going to make it even more difficult. So, stay calm, be patient and travel will be easy.
So, these are our travelling essentials for air travel and car travel that has made it easy for us. Lemme know if this post was helpful and if i missed out on something.
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