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4 Tips for Traveling with Kids
It’s no doubt that traveling (especially on airplanes) can be stressful. Add into the mix traveling with children and it’s almost guaranteed someone is going to have a meltdown! Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are 4 tips for traveling with kids to make your journey stress-free and actually fun!
Plan for Behaviors.
Often times your child will be cranky, screaming or irritated because they are bored, tired or hungry. Always pack enough food and toys and allow time for them to rest on the plane. We love easy, non-messy crafts like Melissa and Doug’s Water Wow activity pads or Wikki Stix.
Ensure your child knows what to expect. Communicate with them before, during and after the flight. Let them know what to experience from check-in to landing to baggage check. Get them excited about the adventure and watch cartoons or movies. Make sure to ask them during the flight how they are doing and how they are feeling about everything.
Less is more and if you forget something – you can always buy it at your destination. It helps to roll clothes and put socks and underwear inside of shoes. Wear your heavier clothes on the flight and encourage your children to choose and pack their own clothes. This helps to keep their complaints down and teach travel skills. Kid-friendly suitcases also let your little ones (who can walk on their own) take ownership of their own bag.
Select comfortable clothes that have many uses and color coordinate separates so if something gets dirty you only have to change a portion of the outfit. Pack your bags with what is needed first on the top, and don’t forget to include a change of clothes in case of accidents.
Allow your children to pack a few comforts from home. Whether it’s their favorite stuffed toy, book or a portable music player – these can be lifesavers on a plane and help the trip go more smoothly. You can also pack an activities pack for them with colors and coloring books, card games, and board games to keep them entertained throughout the flight and the trip. Another idea for entertainment is to bring along a portable TV/DVD player. Rent or check out DVDs from your local library. Have a smartphone or tablet with a decent data plan? Stream some videos from Amazon Prime or rent a few flicks.
Keep Up the Routine
When it comes to bedtime, keep the same rituals when traveling as you have at home. Make sure they have their favorite pajamas, read them a book or sing them a song. Don’t forget to pack their favorite toy or blanket too! We always end our night with pjs, brushing teeth, a short story, and a song. Doing the same thing while we’re on the road makes the transition much easier!
Go with the Flow
It sounds like common sense, but with the hustle and bustle of traveling make sure your children have eaten and used the restroom prior to boarding the plane or hopping in the car.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be a worry wart the whole time, but try to travel with an open mind and try to observe the world around you. Make sure to use your travels to teach your children about other cultures and be open to new experiences, rather than making judgments.
Remember the “only thing constant is change”. You’ve spent weeks and hours planning and preparing, but unfortunately, things don’t always go 100% according to plan! If you can go with the flow and look at the trip as one big adventure, you’ll be better off, have more fun, and your children will too! Happy Traveling!