Its summer – time for the annual family holiday!
No matter if it is going to be your first trip with your child or you have had travelled with the child before – travelling with kids is daunting. From packing and flight to weather and activities that you will do, there is a lot to consider and everything is rife with potential problems.
However, just because you have kids does not mean your life should stop. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the family trip and make it stress free:
Make Sure You Have Plenty of Time for Everything
The first thing to remember when traveling with children is that you cannot rush through anything. Whether it is leaving home for the airport, going through various procedures at the airport, boarding or doing anything at the destination, make sure to keep extra time for everything while making the itinerary. Time pressure does not mean anything for toddlers; they don’t care if you are running late and they may get angry and show tantrums, if you force them to hurry up.
To retain your cool during the trip, make sure to plan everything keeping in mind sudden mood changes, toilet stops, stalling, and gawping. Always keep extra time for everything.
Make All Your Bookings in Advance
No matter how much you loved the spontaneity of travel before you were married or had kids, you simply cannot afford to hit the road as soon as you land in a new city or country. With children, you will need a place where they can take rest, freshen up and eat before starting to explore your destination.
To get the best deals on air-tickets and hotel bookings, visit Think Holiday Deals. We also provide airport transfer service, which is always a good idea when you are traveling with infants and/or toddlers.
Be prepared for the Weather
While it is a very simple advice, it cannot be stressed enough. To make sure your children have a good time and enjoy their trip, dress them up according to the weather. Also, make sure their clothes and shoes are comfortable.
Carry a First-Aid Kit
With kids, accidents and emergencies can happen at any time. Children can fall and hurt themselves and fall sick, so it is better to be prepared to deal with any such situations. Always carry a first-aid kit when you are traveling with children. Some items that you should have in the first-aid kit are:
- Adhesive tape
- Antiseptic sprays, creams or lotions
- Painkillers according to the age of your child(ren)
- Insect repellent
- Antihistamine cream and/or calamine lotion
- Prescription medicine, if your child is taking any
- Ibuprofen or any other medicine for fever
- Medicines for cold and flu
- Medicines to deal with upset tummies (this is one of the most common issues when traveling with children)
It is better to pay a visit to your paediatrician before going on the trip to get your child(ren) checked and get an advice regarding the medicines you should carry.
Also, do remember to have some medicines for yourself.
Install Child-Friendly Games and Apps on a Mobile Phone, iPad or Tablet
Children usually have a very shorter attention span and they get bored of an activity pretty quickly. Also, they cannot sit idly like adults – they always want to do something unless they are sleeping. To keep your child engaged during the flight and any other free time, carry an iPad/ tablet or an extra mobile phone with lots of child-friendly games, apps, cartoons and movies installed.
Do not rely on in-flight entertainment system – kids can get really finicky, at times, and only want to see or play their favorite cartoons/movies or games.
Important: Never use your mobile phone for this purpose. You cannot afford to lose or damage your mobile phone on a trip or run out of battery when you are on the road.
Have a Carry-On for In-Flight Emergencies
While you will definitely have a carry-on for the flight, make sure to have all the supplies that you or your child may need during the flight. The carry-on should have things like, extra diapers, wipes, and clothes both for your child and you. Also, pack some medicines and snacks in the bag. The flight’s meal timings do not always match with children’s needs. Carrying some snacks in also important because we all know how moody children are; they can always say no to flight food and ask for their favourite cookies or chips. And flight or airport food may not suit their palate.
Important: Always check the airline policy regarding snacks. Many airlines allow carrying baby food and milk, however; do check what other snacks you can carry.
Check-In and Board Early
Never wait till the last few minutes to check-in and board. If online check-in facility is available, make use of that. But, if it’s not – make sure to reach airport and check-in with plenty of time at hand. When traveling with children, a lot of people exceed the baggage allowance or carry things that are not allowed and then face problems at the airport. So, make sure you have plenty of time to go through all the procedures.
Similarly, board early so that kids get enough time to settle down and you can adjust the luggage before the aircraft cabin gets full.
Consider Things That Can Go Wrong
When traveling with infants and toddlers, it is better to prepare yourself for the worst. Think of all the things that can go wrong – the child can have fever, upset tummy, food poisoning, flu or allergy, can show tantrums, things that the child may need, you may lose the print out for hotel and/or flight booking etc.
When you have made a list of things that could possible go wrong, think what would you do if one of those situations arises? This small exercise will prepare you for the worst scenarios and if, God forbid, any bad thing happens, you will know exactly how to deal with it.