Going on a globe-trotting adventure with your kids isn’t impossible, but is it enjoyable? Plan your trip right and travelling with your kids won’t be a daunting prospect
Imagine the nightmare of appeasing a wailing kid while flying 30,000 in the air and under the gaze of everyone on the plane - you’d rather be at home, right? Accepting that your dreams of seeing the world are on pause until your children are teenagers is easier than getting a toddler to stop crying.
However, some parents have made it a mission to prove that going on trips with kids can be fun for everyone, and they’ve succeeded! Their travel philosophy centers on preempting their childrens’ needs, keeping them happy and satisfied so you also get to enjoy yourself. How does that work in real life? Well, here’s 7 practical tips for a stress-free travel with your kids
Explain the trip to your kids
Bringing your kids on a trip is taking them out of the safe, familiar bubble of work and school. Bursting with activity, bright signs and strange machines, everything about the airport will tickle their curiosity, and there’s no telling how they’ll act on it.
To prepare them for the onslaught of stimuli, explain the trip to them. Talk about where you’re about to go, how long it takes to get there, and the fun activities you’ll be doing. They’ll feel more comfortable about travelling when they know what to expect. Include the things that might pique their interest - “How do airplanes stay up
” will come up eventually, so look it up in advance!
Pre-book everything you can
The first rule for hassle-free travel with kids is to prepare everything in advance. Flights, hotels and restaurants are no-brainers - think about the other stops in your journey where reservations and tickets are available beforehand. By planning ahead, you’re skipping the inevitable wait for a table and saving yourself a temper tantrum.
Keep them entertained Pack toys and load up your phone with games and movies to keep your little ones sitting still on long travel times. But don’t open your bag of tricks the minute they’re settled in! Pull out one toy at a time to get the most of its novelty, and only when they’re getting bored. For watching movies, get wireless headphones for kids
. Childrens’ shows can be too cheery for a cabin full of weary travellers, so these will save you from getting the side-eye. If you're thinking, “Wait, can toddlers wear headphones
?” With a pair of volume-limiting headphones
, absolutely. Made with safeguarding children’s hearing in mind, these kid-safe headphones keep volume at 85 dB, the safe volume level as recommended by the World Health Organization.
Bring their favourite snacks
Appease your kids’ hunger pangs and quench their thirst with a small bag ready with their favorite snacks. If you think it’s a hassle packing your own when in-flight food for kids is available, just look up how much they cost. At that price, you can come up with a healthier and tastier snack bag for so much less. A tip for creating a travel-friendly kiddie menu: stick with finger foods and stay away from food that requires utensils. Snacks that come in re-sealable bags are your best bet.
To prevent sandwiches and sliced fruit from getting mushed, pack them in a container
Dress them up comfortably
You might want your family glammed up for the perfect Instagram travel post, but when travelling with kids, prioritize comfort over style. That means joggers and pyjamas, not jeans, slip-on shoes with socks, and light-weight shirts.
Also, stick to dark-coloured clothes - they hide food spills better!
Don’t squeeze in too many activities in one day
Ideally, there should only be one activity per day when travelling with kids. With all the lining-up and walking around, attempting to try everything in Magic Kingdom in one day will exhaust both your kids and yourself. Rushing from one place to another will suck the fun out of travelling. Space out your itinerary to give children time to enjoy your destination, and it’s more fun for you too.
Prepare for kids getting sick
Your kids might be in best condition to travel, but the possibility of getting sick while on vacation is still a possibility. Be it because of food, weather, or exhaustion, being prepared for it will make it less stressful both for you and your kids.
Prepare an emergency kit comprising your kids’ prescription medicines, fever tablets, ear drops for altitude change
, and sick bags for upset stomachs.
Planning ahead is key. While spontaneity is travel’s most alluring charm, getting on a plane with only a vague idea of what you’ll do and where you’ll go is a recipe for disaster. When you’re with kids, you get to have fun only when they’re having fun, and practicing this philosophy opens you up to the idea that travelling with them is worth your while.