As the holidays grow closer travel plans are being made to see out of town family. Traveling with children can be stressful. Luckily you know you children best, and knowing your children is what makes traveling with them less stressful. Making sure you have the correct preparations also makes travel easier. The holidays should be filled with fun, family and relaxation. Here are a few tips to make traveling with children easier.
Now I am sure when you read this one you think no brainer. This means to pack enough for your kids not just essentials, such as clothes, diapers, wipes, formula etc. Depending on the age of the child, make sure they have books, and toys if you are going to a family member’s home that doesn’t have children. Pack blankets for your child to play on the floor on if they are infants. Keeping your children occupied with things will help keep them out of trouble or under foot too much. Also pack lovies, stuffies, or blankets that are your child’s favorite. Being in a new place especially sleeping somewhere new it is good to have things that are familiar around them. No such thing as packing too much.
Pack a cosmetic bag for your child.
This sounds a little weird. What it means to pack a cosmetic bag for your baby is to think of things that are child specific that would be a hassle to have to run to the store for if needed. Examples could be like the infant q-tips, baby lotion, children’s Tylenol, or baby nail clippers. This just helps you have anything you may need, without having to make an extra trip out to a store.
Travel at the right time.
Now you know your child best. So plan your travel times to when it best suits your child and family. If your child is a good sleeper in the car, maybe leave in the evening and drive through the night. If you are flying maybe plan your flight between naps so your child doesn’t get too sleepy or crabby if they won’t sleep on an airplane. Along with traveling at the right time, make sure you give yourself enough time. If you are flying make sure you leave plenty of time to get through security, to the gate, and extra potty breaks. There is nothing more stressful than being hurried.
Pack a plane or car bag.
Pack a whole bag or backpack of things for your child to do on the plane or in the car. If your child is big enough let them select a few things that they would like to take with them. If it’s not too heavy you can pack some toys in a tiny backpack that you make your kids be responsible for. Nowadays with Ipads, or Nintendo Switch games, it’s easy to pack some electronic games for your kids to play. You can download shows onto an Ipad for your kids to be able to watch some shows during the trip as well. Also these are great in case you travel somewhere that doesn’t have the kid friendly shows readily accessible to you when you arrive as well. If you have a little bit of an older child you can pack headphones. That way they can watch their own shows or listen to their own music without driving you crazy. Sometimes having a surprise new toy or book that they open in the car or on the plane is a great idea too. Something new is sure to keep them occupied longer than a toy they are used to.
Pack snacks that your children love. For the car, for the plane, for your final destination. Familiarity in their food can help a child feel more at ease in a new place. A hungry child can become an extremely crabby child, having snacks readily available can help with these breakdowns if time between meals can be longer than normal.
Pack enough clothes.
Again this sounds like a no brainer. Make sure you plan for accidents, or a change in the weather. If you are traveling with infants pack an extra set of clothes for yourself readily available in case of spit ups or blow outs. Your family may keep their house at a different temperature than yours, so make sure you pack layers for you child so that you are prepared for anything. Don’t feel like you have to pack the entire closet though. Especially if you have access to a washer and dryer.
Just know that things will not go to plan. There will be things that happen that are out of your control, traffic, or airplane delays. Make sure you take it slow, and breathe. Getting yourself upset will only make your children tense. All in all, you know your child, and you know when it is best for you to travel. Just believe in yourself as a parent and remember that traveling can be overwhelming for a child as it is for an adult. Make sure while on vacation you take some down time for your kids to recover from the travels before doing more activities. Traveling for the holidays doesn’t always have to be stressful. Just try some of these tips to see if they help ease your travel anxieties.
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