Survival Tips for Traveling with Kiddos
Many parents are put off by traveling with children, daunted by the thought of what might happen if they take their child out of their familiar routine and environment; by the amount of luggage required; and by having to deal with a bored, whiny, or over-tired child as well as negotiate airports and unfamiliar countries. Traveling with children is hassle free if you follow these three tips.
1) Expect the unexpected. The main rule when traveling with children is flexibility. Don’t expect things to be the same as they are at home. It is great if your child sticks to their normal routines or diet, but if they eat or go to bed later than normal then it’s not the end of the world.
You also need to plan for unexpected expenditures that you may incur with having kids around. Last minute entertainment fees can save your sanity, but they can come at a higher cost so make sure the you have a good credit card with the lowest interest rate for any additional expenses.
2) Bring the familiar. Traveling for children can be a little scary, especially if they have never stayed away from home before. Bring a few home comforts for them, whether it is a teddy, blanket from their bed, or a favorite book or DVD.
3) Plan for the worst, and hope for the best. Try to book the best flight to fit in with sleep patterns to reduce the effects of jet lag. If you are driving long distances, plan regular stops, preferably somewhere interesting. Accept that you may not be able to go as quickly with a child as you would do on your own.
Key items to have easily accessible are:
*Snacks and drinks – hungry children are miserable children. Have packets of raisins and other healthy snacks, as well as suitable drinks and whatever will keep them quiet, on and around you at all times.
* Activities – bored children are also miserable children. Take crayons and a notebook; hand-held computer games; books; card games; or whatever is portable and age appropriate. Take a few new small toys or games to hand out at opportune moments. If you are flying, find out what facilities there are at the airport.
* Diapers and formula – take more than you think you will need, as well as spare clothing. It is good to be over cautious about some things.
Treat your journey as part of your holiday. Give your kids’ itinerary the same attention to detail as you do when booking your accommodation or hunting down miles earned with your Southwest credit card, and you will find traveling with children stress free and enjoyable.
This post was brought to you by Amanda Green.