The children have taken a break from school, December is here and that means one thing for most families; Vacation mode activated! It is around this time of the year that most parents travel with their kids to different destinations before kick starting a new year.
Traveling with children will always be daunting. From what to pack to how to get there, it’s rife with potential worries.
However, there are some tips that can help you prepare, and save you from insanity.
Brand and track them
Kids can be super energetic and once they are excited, it becomes a task to tame them. If you’re worried about your child getting lost, you can brand them by writing your name and phone number on their arm. That way, if they are found, you can be contacted easily. You can always get waterproof armbands that have your contact information and any allergies that your child might have.
Remember to put together a snack pack for your kids to avoid hunger pangs and tantrums during long journeys. Carry snacks that are easy to open and close back if the child does not finish such as peanuts, sandwiches, sliced fruits that have been packed into a container. Also carry yoghurt, milk or water. Avoid foods such as bananas, avocado or any foods that can be messy when placed in a backpack.
Don't forget the medicine
Because of their sensitive immune system, they are bound to fall sick or catch a flu. Dampen the impact of broken nights, frayed temperaments and fevers by packing an easy-to-swallow medicine. Other basic ingredients in your first aid kit should include antiseptic wipes, plasters, sting treatment and a thermometer.
Pack the bare minimum when you travel with kids because you can always buy what you need in your destination. Roll clothes and stuff socks and underwear inside shoes. Wear your heaviest clothes on the flight. Encourage kids to choose and pack their own clothes to minimize complaints and to teach travel skills.
Pre-book everything you can
Pre-booking doesn’t end with flights and lodging, either. Anything you can book ahead of time is 1 less thing you have to worry about while trying to keep your whole family fed, amused, and happy on your trip. You can call ahead to book a table for dinner or buy tickets to an amusement park ahead of time to save you time spent on a queue with very restless kids.
Research your destination
Different cultures have different regulations on various things. Some countries will not allow a parent to travel alone with kids without written consent of the other parent. Other countries frown upon some type of dress wear which could present a problem. Find out if they have medical facilities that can use your type of insurance in case of an emergency. If in doubt you can always ask, if you cannot find it on google.
Bring a few comforts from home
Allow your children to bring along a few home comforts such as a stuffed toy, reading books, or a portable music player. Activity packs can be a lifesaver on a plane and car ride. Make one with items such as coloring pencils and books, card games, board games, hand held electronic games, puzzles etc.
Accept things will go wrong
Leaving plenty of time for the unexpected when traveling with kids is important. Maybe your little one has to go to the bathroom and you end up missing a bus. Maybe your son will leave his phone in a taxi with no way to get it back. Maybe you plan a great restaurant for kids at your destination, only to arrive and find it closed for renovations. There’s really nothing you can do to avoid these situations. The sooner you accept the inevitable, the less stress you will feel when it happens.