Let’s face it, traveling with your kids can feel like you’re living out some twisted nightmare concocted by Freddy Krueger. By the time the car arrives or the plane lands, you may not know whether you want to kiss the ground or give your kids up for adoption. Despite all the craziness, traveling with your kids doesn’t have to be a pain. In fact, with some preparation, you can make it a breeze. Read on to find out how!
When you travel with kids, a thought that’ll likely cross your mind is how can they possibly have so much stuff? It often seems like you’re packing for a month-long excursion into the Outback instead of a weekend trip to your parents.
Now, if you’re driving, you can afford to bring more stuff. But if you’re flying, you need to be pickier about your kid’s carry-on luggage. With that in mind, essential items for any trip include:
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Water bottles
- Breastfeeding bottles (for infants)
- Hearing protection
Keep the boy scout motto in mind, “be prepared.” Think about the worst-case scenarios and pack accordingly. This will ensure that you’re set for every possible situation.
Dress Your Kids in Layers
Battling the heat and cold is one of the great tasks for parents traveling with their children. This is especially true for flights, seeing as some planes feel like the Sahara while others channel their inner Antarctica. When you dress your kids in layers, you make it easy to either add or lose one as befits the situation. Also, having multiple layers can be a blessing when inevitable messes crop up, such as spills or potty accidents.
Think about the Zzzz’s
If you have an infant or a toddler, all the travel will inevitably make them cranky and sleepy. Naps are a necessity if you want to keep your hair and maintain your sanity. Purchase a travel crib that is collapsible, compact, and durable. Even for short trips, you’ll be extremely grateful that you brought a crib along when your child starts acting up out of exhaustion.
Car Tray Tables are a Godsend
Have you ever given your kid something to eat and most of it ended up as crumbs in the crack between the car’s back seat? Well, with a car tray table, you can help prevent that exact situation. Your child can use the surface for reading books, coloring, and eating. As an added bonus, most of them have pockets and storage space to keep books, toys, drinks and snacks.
Pack Plenty of Healthy Snacks
When your kids get hungry, they get cranky. With that in mind, it’s essential that you overpack the snacks you bring so that you don’t run out at an inopportune time. Look for healthy children’s snacks that are portable, low in sugar, and don’t create much of a mess. Give them foods that’ll not only fill their tummies, but also give them good energy.
Plan your Trips at Ideal Times
Although your departure time may be out of your control, when it’s your say, the best time to travel with kids is after sundown. Leaving under the cloak of night ensures empty roads and sleepy kids. This cuts down on the potential for temper tantrums, whining, messes, and fighting. If you can’t travel at night, consider setting off during their nap time in order to buy yourself a few hours of peace and quiet.
Consider How You’ll Carry Your Kids
When your children are too young to be walking long distances, a stroller can be incredibly useful. Unfortunately, though, having to lug around a stroller can also be a total pain, especially if you’re going on a flight. Instead of bringing your stroller, consider a baby sling or backpack. These items are carefully designed to help distribute your child’s weight, making your munchkins easy to carry and leaving your hands free.
Set Sail with Your Child
Traveling with your kids doesn’t have to be a scene from a horror film. Although certain things are inevitably out of your control, taking the proper measures can ensure that you’re prepared for any curve ball thrown your way. Follow these tips when traveling with your children should make your trip a breeze.