While traveling is fun, it can sometimes be challenging especially when there are kids involved. The little angels can make the trip fun as you see the wonder of discovery in their eyes. However, if parents fail to keep everything in perspective, travelling with kids can be quite a hassle. Luckily, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Ensuring kids are well catered for during travel means peace of mind for you, the young ones and the rest of the travelers around you. If anything, no one wishes to have cranky kids on their hands. To achieve this, here are five smart travel tips you can employ:
1.Take it easy, but plan generously
As you plan your trip, allocate time generously and always remember to pack enough comfort items and snacks that the kids like. Also, note that the snacks you choose should be relatively low sugar in order to avoid dealing with hyperactive children on the plane.
Adequate planning gives you sufficient time to arrive at the airport, go through the airport security and finally, board the plane without the hassle of fussy kids or impatience on your part. It also leaves room for any unforeseen eventualities along the way.
To make things even more manageable, schedule fewer activities for every day of your vacation. There is no point in trying to cramp everything in one day and end up having a miserable time while at it. It is always better to schedule one main activity per day then supplement it with a couple minor ones
2.Paperwork and documentation
As with everything else, you do not want to find yourself fumbling for documentation when you need it the most, unsure where you kept it. This situation can be made worse if you have toddlers to worry about. Therefore, it serves you well to arrange all the necessary documentation beforehand.
If travelling with the kids in the absence of your better half, planning your kids’ passports and other documentation becomes even more crucial. Where necessary, secure documented consents from your spouse regarding the kids’ travel. This helps you in avoiding cancellation of your travel plans when they are demanded for.
You may be wondering; how do I know if consents will be required? By pre booking everything and conducting due diligence, you can tell what documentation is needed.
3. Travel light
Overall, travel is always easier when we go light. This includes how you dress the kids. There is no need to be extra hassled by airport security. In addition, light travel enables you to easily navigate the baggage collection terminal while keeping an eye on your toddler as there are fewer bags to worry about. When packing, remember to include any prescription medications, inhalers, painkillers and antihistamines your family may need.
It is always a good rule of thumb to pack essentials in a separate bag. Also, pack items that will be needed while travelling within easy reach. It will save you the hassle (and possibly the embarrassment) of having to overhaul your entire suitcase at the airport.
Be sure to include a couple of their favorite toys to keep them busy and entertained during travel. Playing travel games also helps alleviate boredom and fidgeting in kids. Not to mention that busy kids have no time for mischief
4. Know your destination
Knowing your destination helps you prepare optimally. Prior research also allows you to know which destinations are family and kid friendly. This is important because you do not want to wind up at a place that holds no attraction for the little ones.
Knowing where you are going also helps you to pack adequately and optimally.
Among the things you should look out for when conducting the destination research are the emergency facilities. This includes the hospitals and emergency centers available in the host country.
It will also do you well to look out and ascertain the kinds of foods and weather prevalent in the host country. This is particularly important if you have a child who is prone to allergies or is intolerant to certain food items.
Also, if you intend to go for a prolonged stay and you have toddlers in tow, you might find it necessary to rent a car on arrival. In such cases, you should consider bringing along a car seat for easy and safe transportation once you arrive.
5. Prepare the kids mentally
Everyone throws a tantrum every now and then, from politicians to respected athletes in the NBA expert picks. Children, however, are the most likely to do it often.
For most kids, preparing them and letting them know what to expect spares you a lot of tantrums along the way. This is especially important for kids who are visiting certain places for the first time.
You can even make it more interesting by letting them know how to behave in each new environment. This kind of communication is important as it helps kids get more comfortable and ease into new situations.
It is a documented fact that children visiting novel places may be reserved and uncomfortable. An uncomfortable kid on vacation or while traveling is never a great idea because they may end up acting out.
However, even as you endeavor to inform the children on what to expect, always bear in mind that even the best-laid plans may sometimes experience glitches. The unexpected, while unwelcome, will occasionally happen. This may be anything from someone misplacing an important toy to someone forgetting their backpack. All with attendant consequences, which you will need to manage.
All preparations aside, always remember that vacation travel is an opportunity to have fun and bond with our loved ones. Bearing this in mind will help you to deal with whatever curveballs you may get along the way.