When it comes to travelling, children enjoy the experience as much as adults. It can be a rewarding experience for children of all ages. They get to experience a new culture, new food, foreign people in a foreign land, all of which can be rather enlightening for the mind of a young child.
That being the case, travelling with children become an overwhelming task for parents who often have to deal with all the ups and downs of travelling with children. Children get cranky when the schedule changes or if you are held up somewhere for a bit of time. This can make the whole travel experience difficult for many parents, who really would like some friendly advice about how to make this experience better.
When travelling with children, it is expected that when you draw up your packing lists, the lists will run long; often including anything and everything for you don’t want to leave any essential behind. This can be especially daunting for new parents who simply don’t know what exactly to pack and carry. Don’t worry, keep reading this word to word, and you will find some helpful tips and advice on what to pack, especially if you are travelling with an infant.
With all the advice and tips in mind, you will see that you actually do enjoy travelling with your children and that it is as rewarding of an experience for you as it is for them. Keep reading this word to word, for we are here to make your travel experience with your children a delightful experience; you deserve it. You and your children should be able to enjoy every moment of your travels and capture every moment of seeing the world with all its rewards.
When you are travelling with children, it is important to make sure that they have fun too. So don’t make the whole trip about shopping, but rather include good group activities that you can do as a family. That way, you will ensure that the children are having fun too. The exact method you can use to making sure that your children have a good time on their travels depends on the age frame of the child. Babies and toddlers usually need less, you can take a baby shopping with you and the child will not get any crankier than usual. When it comes to children who are older, it is better to do some destination research to find out all the things that you can do with your children. Include your children as much as possible to make it more rewarding for yourself and them. Find some child-friendly activities at the destination you are looking to travel to, and you will see that the little preparation you take makes your travel experience so much better.
Essentials for Travelling With Babies and Infants
When it comes to babies and children below at age of two, there really isn’t much you should be worried about. Apart from packing enough diapers and getting accustomed to changing them in odd locations, this age group of children are usually the easiest to travel with.
With children in this age range, you can take them anywhere with you and they will be happy provided you ensure a comfortable environment for them. Family travellers tend to find it easiest to accommodate the needs of these children. Except for feeding them on time and ensuring that they don’t cry too much, there really isn’t anything stopping you from having a good time during your travels.
However, the schedule is very important when you are travelling with children this age. This is because babies and infants alike usually have a eat and sleep schedule they are accustomed to at home. If this schedule changes while you travel, you will find that the child is crying more and is rather uncomfortable throughout the entire journey. Hence to ensure that your child is comfortable and looked after, stay as close to the home schedule as possible. Feed them at the times that you would normally feed them and allow them to doze off according to their schedule. It is important to plan your trip accordingly to ensure that the needs of the child are ensured. This way, both the child and you will have a better travel experience overall.
Some parents make the mistake of keeping the child in the stroller all day during the trip. This can often make the child cranky, which will resultantly make your experience worse. Hence take the baby out of the stroller and let the infant run and play around; they would get some good exercise, which will keep them in a happier mood.
Remember to pack everything your child needs, from bottles to toys. Don’t forget to carry their favourite toys with you, for these could really help in ensuring that your child is kept in a better mood during the trip. If the baby is not walking yet, you can try resting the child on a mat, to allow the child to stretch and roll around a little.
What to Pack When Travelling With Babies
When it comes to babies and packing for travel, the list can become long. You may find yourself stressed about forgetting to pack something that is important to the child’s wellbeing. If that is what you are worried about, read this list word to word, we provide you with everything you will need to pack, to ensure that you have everything for a comfortable trip.
- Changing pad
- Baby blankets
- Two bottles
- Large zip-top bag for soiled clothes
- Pacifiers; notice the ‘s’
- Baby food
- Toys and books
- Infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- Antibacterial wipes
- Diaper cream
- Baby wash
- Baby lotion
- Infant nail clippers
- A first-aid kit (any medications your baby might require)
- Breast pump and storage
- A bottle brush
- Infant utensils
- Extra zip-top bags
- Lightweight stroller
- Car seat
- Portable feeding seat
- Baby monitor
Essential Tips for Travelling with a Baby
If you are travelling with a baby, here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that both the child and yourself are comfortable during the trip.
1. Book a seat for your child
If you are flying for the first time with a child, you may find that it is more comfortable for you and the child to simply book a separate seat for them and strap your car seat to the seat. Check with the airline, they may have discounts for children.
Instead of carrying the child on your lap for the entire length of the journey, it may be more comfortable for both you and the child to have a secure place to rest the child. This will ensure a much more comfortable flying experience for your baby.
Make sure that your child-restraint system (CRS) is approved for use in an aeroplane. For children weighing less than 20 pounds, use a rear-facing CRS. For children between 20 and 40 pounds, use a forward-facing CRS.
2. Don’t board too soon
If you are travelling with a partner, it may be advisable to board the aeroplane separately. By this, we mean simply allow your partner to board the flight first and carry all the bags on board, while you keep the baby with you and remain in the airport terminal for as long as possible. This is because the journey being as long as it would be, the child does not need to be on the flight until necessary.
Though the airline usually instructs people with children to board first, use this opportunity to allow your partner to board with all the bags, and you can join him/her at the very end when everyone else has boarded the flight.
3. Keep the toys in mind
A child’s toys can be very important to the child, hence remember to pack them or even carry them with you to keep them entertained on the flight. After the flight, regardless of where you visit, you will see that is it better when the child has a few of their toys with them.
It keeps them in a better mood, which enables them to enjoy the experience better, thereby enabling you to have a better time on your trip.
4. Pack some snacks
When flying with children, you are allowed to carry baby food and formula, and airlines don’t place any restrictions on quantity with these items. So make sure to pack sufficient food and milk for the journey.
When travelling with a baby or an infant, it is good to keep some snacks at hand. That way, if they get hungry, you can always offer them a snack. Snacks keep infants in a better mood, which increases the overall experience for the child. Your child will have a better time, and so will you.
5. Look to ease ear pressure
When it comes to flying, for first-time parents, the child crying during take-off and landing is common. That being the case, if there was some way to ease the ear pressure to prevent the child from crying you would give it a try right.
Plan to feed your baby during take-off and landing. Swallowing can resolve ear pressure build-up in the child and ensure that they are happy during both take-off and landing.
6. Don’t be shy to ask for help
When you are travelling with children, especially babies, there are many things that may come unexpectedly to you. When this happens, don’t forget to ask for help. For instance, if your baby’s bottle needs to be heated a little, ask a restaurant for some hot water. If you are on a flight, ask the flight attendant, who will warm the bottle up for you.
Just make sure to test the temperature of the milk on your skin before you feed the child, just to be sure.
7. Strap the binky
Binkies are an essential element for your baby’s wellbeing and are something that stops them from crying and keeps them in a better mood. Hence make sure to strap your binky to your baby to prevent it from getting lost.
Regardless of whether you are on a flight or are out seeing sights, strapping the binky to the child will ensure that the binky is available at all times.
8. Keep your belongings safe
When you pack, ensure to keep your belongings safe. This means packing your shampoos and fragrances in separate zip-top bags, to ensure less damage from spillage. If you pack all your liquids in one bag, you could end up ruining a child’s food or clothes caused by a shampoo spillage in your bag.
Further to this, when travelling with children, remember to keep your belongings in check. Many parents find it overwhelming when travelling with children for the first time, which makes them more prone to carelessness. Don’t lose your phone or your keys and keep a check on all your belongings at all times.
9. Don’t forget to play with your child
When it comes to entertaining your child, improvise and have fun with it. Be it making paper puppets or simply playing peekaboo, do whatever it takes to keep your child entertained throughout your trip.
Playing with your child improves their mood, which makes the travel experience more comfortable for them. This will also ensure that you have a better time on your trip. Hence don’t forget to play with your child.
10. Carry baby food with you
Regardless of whether you are boarding a bus or plane, or visiting sights, remember to keep the baby food with you at all times.
It is important that you feed the child as per the usual schedule to prevent crankiness, hence make sure you have baby food with you at all times.
11. Vacation rental instead of a hotel
When booking accommodation, it may be more helpful for parents to consider booking a vacation rental instead of a hotel room. This is because vacation rentals often have a kitchen which is great if you want to warm some milk for the child at the same time allowing you to prepare your own meals.
It’s a choice at the end of the day, however, it may be something that could make your travel experience more comfortable.
12. Think twice before booking accommodation
Regardless of whether you pick a vacation rental or a hotel room, think twice before you book the accommodation. Some places have many stairs that you would have to climb or a steep hill which could make it very difficult for you since you are travelling with a child.
Consider how difficult it would be to push a stroller up a hill or stairs. Hence think twice about the details and locations of your accommodation before booking.
13. Pack a light stroller
When travelling with a baby or an infant, you have to consider whether to carry a baby carriage or a sling or a stroller. This is because you often don’t know the terrain that you would have to trek with your baby, hence making this choice is often difficult.
That being the case, packing a well-rounded light stroller is usually the best option for you. It is easy to travel with and can be great for your baby’s naps. They are light and easy to carry around, which makes them ideal when you are travelling.
14. Consider carrying a car seat
Some people consider carrying a car seat a hassle due to its bulky size. That being the case, it can be useful in your trip especially if you plan on travelling around a lot by car or bus.
Hence based on the type of trip you will be taking, consider whether you should carry a car seat. If you feel that it would be a comfortable addition to your baby’s wellbeing, pack it with you.
15. Pack everything you need
Though less is often more when you consider packing, this is somewhat different when you are travelling with children. When travelling with a child, it is important to ensure that you pack everything that your child will need for the duration of the trip.
Hence remember to pack plenty of food, diapers and wipes, especially wipes. If you are finding it difficult to pack when travelling with a child this age, use the list which we have provided above. Feel free to add any more items to the list as you feel necessary.
16. Plan your flights for bedtime
Though most babies won’t trouble you during a flight, some do have a tough time getting accustomed to the interior of an aeroplane. To avoid any crankiness caused by the journey itself, plan your trips to fly during the child’s bedtime. This way, the child will be asleep for most of the journey, making it easier for you as a parent.
17. Do the pre-trip research
When it comes to travelling, it is important to ensure that you do all the pre-trip research necessary to ensure a comfortable trip. This is twice as important if you are travelling with children.
For instance, you may want to know beforehand the destination norms on breastfeeding in public or find venues and sights which are child-friendly. Whatever it is that you are looking for, do your fair bit of research to ensure an enjoyable trip.
18. Don’t always go for low-cost
When travelling with children, the low-cost option may not be the best option. Low-cost air tickets may have long transits at other airports or may have smaller seats in general. This may make the experience of travelling with a child worse.
Hence remember not to opt for the low-cost option and that paying a bit more will actually make things more comfortable for you and your child.
19. Check-in online
Waiting in line is twice as hard when you are with a child this age. Hence when it comes to checking in at the airport, make sure to that online to skip the queues and go straight to security.
Not only will this save a lot of time for you and your baby, but it will also make the whole process of getting through the airport a breeze.
20. Keep plenty of time in hand
Remember that when you are travelling with a child, the worse thing that can happen is for you to find yourself in a rush. Hence regardless of where you are going, make sure to keep ample time at hand; be it the airport or sights.
It is better to have to wait then have to rush, so keep this in mind when you are travelling with children.
21. Write down worst-case scenarios
It may be a helpful tip to actually write down any or all of the worst-case scenarios that you may face during your trip. This way, when you face such a situation, you will be prepared beforehand and will have a course of action.
This will prevent you from panicking if things go wrong, and make sure that you are prepared to face anything that may happen during the trip.
Things to Remember When Travelling with Toddlers
When it comes to toddlers, the experience of travelling can become more rewarding for the child and yourself. This is because toddlers tend to engage and interact at different sights which enables you to explore your destination better.
If you are travelling with a toddler, it is important to plan out your trip in such a way that the child finds sufficient time to rest and re-energise. This could include simply resting or even hitting a playground. Toddlers also enjoy swimming, hence this could be a great addition to your itinerary.
Try to keep your child in open spaces. The more room the child has to walk and roam, the happier the child will be. You may also meet some local parents who could give you some advice on where to take your child for child-friendly activities.
When Travelling with Older Children
When it comes to children older than toddlers, you really have to consider the interests of the child first. You should plan to do what they want to do and get them involved in the planning process of your trip. Ask them where they want to go and what they want to see. Ask them about the activities in which they would like to partake in. This engages the child further enabling them to have a better time during the trip.
Ask them to choose between activities, help them make the decisions but don’t simply drag them along on a trip that is not meant for them. Do the research and find out all the places which offer activities for children. For instance, if you go to the beach, ask them if they would like to spend some time fishing or going snorkelling.
The best way to enjoy the trip with children of this age is to go with what they like to do. You will find yourself having a better time when the child enjoys themselves. Hence make them a part of the trip and decision-making process. With teenagers, you can usually allow them to plan out part of the trip. That way, you get a good overall say in what you do on the trip, at the same time the child has a good time too. Choose attractions that would be appealing to teenagers and plan out your itinerary accordingly.
Don’t Add Everything to Your Itinerary
When it comes to travelling with children, you may find yourself with a whole lot that you want to do and see, which may cause you to add everything to your itinerary. It may be tempting to add as many activities as you can, however, this could be a major drawback in how you plan your trip.
You may find that you only have time to see some of the things in your itinerary. This should be expected if you overload your itinerary with too many activities. However, adding too many things into your itinerary may cause you to not enjoy any of the activities and rush through one thing just to get to the next thing.
Hence remember to be realistic with your expectations and plan sufficient time for each activity you want to do.
You could enjoy a nice tour or go to a nice child-friendly restaurant. Whatever it is that you choose to do on your trip, make sure not to rush through everything. That way, you will enjoy more of the little that you do on your trip.
Keep Calm and Enjoy it!
Though it may sound daunting at first, travelling with children is rather enjoyable and is a rewarding experience for both the child and parent. Regardless of the age of the child, think about the child’s needs first and you should be fine. Remember to pack well and ensure that you carry everything that you may need.
If as a new parent, you are worried about travelling with a baby, don’t worry, lots of people travel with young children and if you keep these tips and advice at hand, you should find it an enjoyable experience.