The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Children

By  |  0 Comments

The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Children

Before we have kids, we often have a pretty fixed idea of what kind of parents we think we’ll be. We will stick to our guns. We won’t shout at our kids. We will read bedtime stories every night. We will take them on road trips and – since our kids will be angels, not like those other brats – they will be content playing hours of I-Spy and reading quietly in the back. Cause that’s how we will have raised them. To be quiet and respectful.

Good luck with that.

Whether you’re in a car or on a plane, most kids need to be entertained –  almost constantly. A meltdown or two is bound to happen, but if you want to mitigate the damage, the best defence is a good offence.

Here are the best tips to keep everyone happy on your travels.

1) Let Them Help

Getting your kids involved with packing and planning the trip will help them feel like they have a say in what’s happening in their lives. A lot of children act out when they feel out of control, so by allowing them some power over what clothes and toys get packed for them, as well as things like where you’ll eat or the places they’d like to visit, you will help them feel more grounded, calm and content.

2) Give Them Incentive

Reward your child for good behaviour on the trip. Let them decide what attraction you’ll see first that day. If you’re enroute, let them pick the next game you play or music you listen to. Maybe you let them watch a movie for bit – though just be careful not to soak their senses in screen time for the entire trip. The dangers of too much screen time have been well documented, and they’re particularly hazardous for children. So sure, let them enjoy a favourite movie here and there, but for the most part, encourage them to use their imaginations, to talk, colour, play, sing and to sit and look at the world around them.

3) Keep Things Organized

This is a tough one, but to the best of your abilities try to keep things in order and your trip on track. No, you don’t have to have your schedule planned to the minute, the hour, or – in some cases, depending on the nature of your trip – even the day, but you don’t want to let chaos take hold. Also keep baggage as organized as possible, so you know what is where and who has what.

4) Be Prepared for Messes

As organized as you are, you’re kids are still kids. You can’t always avoid spills, cuts and scrapes and motion sickness, but you can be prepared. Bring cleansing wipes and a first aid kit for the kids, disinfecting wipes for surfaces and if you’re travelling most of the way by car, invest in quality seat covers that won’t slip or slide. It’s easier to get blood or vomit out of a seat cover than it is upholstery. Trust us on this.

5) Do the Paperwork

Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork and documentation ready for your whole family. In addition to passports (and depending on where you are travelling and for how long), birth certificates, health cards and immunization records may be required. If you are travelling without the other parent (or either parent) and are going out of the country, a letter from the parent(s) saying they are aware of your travels is sometimes also required.

If you do your homework and cover your bases, you’ll have a great trip. Happy travels!

[userpro template=postsbyuser user=author postsbyuser_num=4]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.