Summer is here and being a mother of two little kids, for me the season is about a lot more than merely sipping chilled margaritas while getting tanned on the beaches of Mexico. For me, summertime calls for planning a family vacation that isn’t always the most fun experience. I often shudder when I think about the fiascos (broken bones, upset tummies, annoyed co-passengers, et al.) at our previous vacations with the kids. But then again, when I think about the beautiful memories that we made as a family, I realize why all of the efforts are worth it! Here are the top five tips that will help you survive traveling with your kids:
- Pre-Plan (Like A Boss) – When you are traveling with your kids, make sure to leave no stone unturned with regards to planning your trip. Right from your flight tickets to your stay and the places to visit, be on top of your game with every minute detail of the trip. With kids we don’t have the luxury of “going with the flow” and “figuring out the details” along the course of the trip. If you are traveling by air, make sure to book your flight tickets way in advance and choose the timings keeping in mind the sleeping hours of your kids. Avoid booking flights at unearthly hours of the day lest you want everyone on the flight to give you disapproving stares.
- Pack Sensibly – When it comes to vacation packing for your kids, both overpacking and under packing should be avoided! You don’t want to shell out big bucks from your holiday budget because of the three extra sweaters you packed thinking that it might come in handy. Nor do you want to be running around the streets of a random city looking to buy a sweatshirt for your kid because you forgot to pack it! Make sure to pack all the essentials in addition to some extras for emergencies. Do involve your kids in the entire process so that you don’t forget their favorite toy or beanie that they cannot sleep without. Doing this will also make them more enthusiastic about the trip!
- Be Medically Equipped For The Worst – Avoid taking any chances while traveling and make sure you carry a medical kit with medications for diarrhea, flu, skin rashes and other allergies. Carry tons of band-aids and wipes. I swear, each time I try to feed my kids in a moving train or plane, wipes are my ultimate saviors! Also, make sure that all your child’s vaccines are current and appropriate for your travel destination.
- Don’t Miss Out On The Engagement Activities – You can’t blame your kids for getting restless and bored on long journeys. I mean come on, let’s face it, even we as adults tend to lose our nerve when our flight gets delayed by 3 hours. Make sure to carry enough activity books and games to keep your kids engaged throughout the journey. Travel journals, scavenger hunt, play dough and coloring pages are just a few activity ideas that can keep your kids entertained. It’s the best way to put off the much-dreaded “are we there yet?” question for a long time! My kids’ favorite activity is scavenger hunt!
- Stock Up On The Yummies – While boredom during long journeys is quite a pressing issue, kids getting hungry is an even bigger problem! Do remember to carry quick and tasty bites along on the journey to avoid your kids’ energy levels from dropping, causing them to get irritable and bring the entire airport down! To add to your kids’ excitement levels, you can wrap tasty treats in pretty packages and give it to them whenever they act responsibly and are obedient. This trick works wonders with my kids and ensures that they are on their best behavior throughout the journey!
These simple yet effective traveling with toddler tips are sure to turn your worst nightmare into a memorable reality! Safe travels!
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.