Travelling with children on holiday can be a daunting task if you do not make the right preparations.
Here are 20 tips that will make your journey a lot more enjoyable.
1. Keep aside some extra time
You need to always set aside some extra time because children love to explore. Always take into consideration factors like gawping, toilet stops, stalling, and tantrums.
2. Book ahead
Book hotels rooms ahead. In case you didn’t find a room you will have to keep on travelling. And with children melting down it won’t be easy.
3. Give them a camera
You can buy a child-friendly camera. This will keep them occupied and encourage them to observe their surroundings.
4. Be prepared for the climate
Children will be happier in a new environment if they are dressed comfortably for the terrain and weather.
5. For potty training pack pull-ups
During the potty training days public transport and planes can be nightmarish. You will have to carry potty on top of all your hand luggage, extra clothes and stinky, wet pants. Put them back into pull-ups on the plane.
6. Be app-y
There’s no need to cram a toy box, thanks to toddler-friendly apps. You can pack a magic scribbler and book, too.
7. Use public transport
Use public transport wherever possible as most toddlers love the novelty of travelling by bus, train and boat.
8. Invest in a child locator
A child locator (which the child can wear on a shoe or belt) will help you keep tabs on children at crowded places. You can keep the transmitter. You can set off the alarm if you lose your child and follow the sound to find them.
9. Keep bugs at bay
A hand sanitizer is a handbag essential. When you’re unsure of hygiene you can wipe your hands and even the cutlery in restaurants.
10. Don’t forget the medicine
Kids always fall ill during holidays. So pack Calpol as well as Allegra, which is good for allergic cold and sneezing. Also, carry band-aids and a thermometer.
11. Don’t let the children pack their own rucksacks
Most kids insist on packing their own rucksacks but always monitor what they are packing. Sometimes they will stuff all their unwanted books and soft toys and it might become too heavy for them.
12. Keep the activities coming
Have a collection of toys to be handed out once an hour if you’re heading out on a long journey. Tiny colouring books, handheld puzzles, stickers, etc will pass the time on a car journey or long flight.
13. Have a number of family games ready
They will come in handy if there are any delays in flights
14. Avoid sweets
Instead of sweets pack savoury snacks like cheeselinks, muffins, etc to avoid a sugar rush.
15. Encourage them to keep a travel journal
Ask your kids to note down interesting things they saw or food they had. This will keep them engaged. You can also buy postcards and ask children to write messages on them. Once the journey is over it would be great to read those messages
16. Remember the medicine
A small first aid kit is essential, especially if you are travelling with kids.
17. Brand them
Write your mobile number on your child’s arm while travelling through busy, crowded places, in case they get lost.
18. Check your passports
Children’s passports only last five years so check your passports at least a month in advance.
19. Remember the baby wipes
Don’t forget the baby wipes even if all your children are long out of nappies. They’re useful not only for washing hands, but also for wiping down restaurant tables and even cleaning toilet seats.
20. Engage and involve older children
Ask your children’s input while planning a holiday.