Family trips and vacations can be great opportunities to bond and spend quality time together, but that doesn’t mean that traveling with young children is always easy. Even traveling alone can be extremely stressful and tiring, so adding children into the mix can easily complicate relaxing vacation plans.
To make sure your trip with children is as easy as it can be, here are five tips for you.
- Plan for Extra Time
You don’t want to be running for a plane or worrying about high amounts of traffic when you’re traveling, but even less so when traveling with children. More of the unexpected can happen when you’re traveling with children, such as the need to make unplanned stops or needing to deal with your child’s needs.
You should, therefore, always plan to leave yourself enough extra time for the unexpected so that you’re never rushing and so that your child won’t pick up on any added stress
- Don’t Pack Too Much
It can be tempting to want to pack as much as possible from home for your child to have a familiar routine, but you don’t want to end up carrying heavy amounts of luggage on top of dealing with your children during busy travel times. To give yourself a break and make it as easy as possible, especially if your young children will need carrying themselves, don’t be tempted to overpack.
- Buy Them a New Toy
This can be a helpful distraction for them during long car journeys, plane rides, or any other transport method. It also gives them something to hold and cuddle, which in turn might help them feel more relaxed and safe. A new toy perfect for long traveling could be a teddy they can hold, like those from the online unicorn shop Finding Unicorns, or it could even be a blanket they can keep around them in their seat with their favorite pattern on it.
It could even be a toy they could play with and use, like a game or coloring book, anything to keep them busy and distracted.
- Research and Book as Much as You Can
Being spontaneous and making casual decisions is much easier when you’re traveling alone or as a couple. With a family and young child, booking in advance is a must, especially when you’re dealing with tiredness and hunger.
Researching the area for places to stay and eat — and booking them in advance for your arrival — will help you to avoid worry for when you arrive.
If you’re going to be traveling with a late arrival time and risking restaurants or services being closed, plan ahead to take food with you or look for all-night services.
- Have a System to Avoid Them Wandering Off
There’s so much to think about when traveling. You may be speaking with a desk attendant about plane tickets or trying to buy something at a shop in another language. All the while, your child might be becoming bored and risk wandering off.
Have a routine in place, and explain to your child the safety of staying by your side. Hold their hand or have them stand in front of you. If you’re traveling as two parents, have one parent watch the children while the other fulfills the task.