How to Travel with Kids

Posted: Jun 28 2017 News

No matter, if it's your first trip with your first child, or your fifth with your fifth, traveling with children, will always be daunting. From what to pack to how to get there, it’s filled with potential worries. However, there are some tips that can help you prepare, and save you from going insane.

Take your time - The greatest thing you can take – whether at the airport, sightseeing or getting from A to B – is extra time. Kids love to explore and don’t care for the time pressures of travel, so you’re more likely to all retain your cool if you factor the faffing, gawping, stalling, toilet stops, and tantrums into your timeframe.

Check your passports - Children’s passports only last five years and they have a habit of running out when you’re not looking. Allow at least four weeks to renew one. The cost of a last-minute passport is astronomical, and particularly galling if you only realize it’s necessary when already in the ferry queue at Calais.

Book ahead - Whether you’re camping or staying in hotels, it pays to book ahead. Trying to retain the spontaneity of travel BC (Before Children) doesn’t pay off if you arrive at your destination to find you can’t bag a bed or pitch and have to hit the road again with tired, hungry kids melting down in the backseat.

Talk to them - If your child is new to flying and traveling in general, talk them through it. Let them know what’s going to happen and when it’s going to happen, like when they have to fasten their seatbelts and why. Most children think flying is fun, so the best thing you can do is encourage it. It is an adventure after all!

Invest in a child locator - If you’re worried about your child getting lost, you can brand them by writing your name and phone number on their arm. That way, if they are found, you can be contacted easily. Keep tabs on them at airports, train stations and crowded attractions with a GPS child locator. The child wears a small unit (strapped to a belt or shoe) and you keep the transmitter. If you lose your child set off the alarm and follow the sound to find them.

Keep the activities coming - If you’re heading out on a long journey have a collection of toys to be handed out once an hour. Handheld puzzles, tiny coloring books, stickers, word searches will pass the time on a long flight or car journey. Thanks to toddler-friendly apps, there’s no need to cram a toy box into your hand luggage when traveling by plane.

Keep bugs at bay - Whether you’re traveling to Banff or Peru, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer are handbag essentials. A wipe of the cutlery in restaurants where you’re unsure of hygiene, or a squirt of hand sanitizer when there are no washing facilities, can zap a few germs and prevent toddlers catching some common bugs.

Don’t forget the medicine - Whether they’re out of routine, jet-lagged, or eating less healthily, kids always seem to get ill on holiday. Dampen the impact of broken nights, frayed temperaments and fevers by packing an easy-to-swallow medicine or gummies. Other basic ingredients in your first aid kit should include antiseptic wipes, plasters, sting treatment, and a thermometer.

Engage and involve older children - The best way to avoid a soul-destroying sulk from your teenager is to involve them in the planning of the holiday and ask them for input on what they’d like to do. You might be surprised to hear it’s not spending all day on the internet.

Remember the baby wipes - Even if all your children are long out of nappies, don’t forget the baby wipes. They’re useful for washing hands, cleaning toilet seats, and wiping down restaurant tables. In the same spirit, little bottles of hand cleanser can be a lifesaver in some countries, but check the travel regulations for liquids well in advance.

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