Travelling with kids is a special task, more so with toddlers. They are always hungry and always loud. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave your kids behind with relatives or friends. Traveling with kids is also a highly enriching experience. Having kids on vacation can and will be difficult at times, but it’s worth it at the end. If you plan well for your trip, the journey will be all the more awesome!
1. Plan ahead!
Well, of course you can’t plan what you’ll be doing every single minute of every single day. But we suggest, have a plan for every day. While unplanned trips are the all the craze these days, it’s never a good idea with children. You’ll have enough surprises even with a plan in hand!
2. Discuss your holiday with your kids
Brainstorm with your kids, ask them where they want to go and what they want to do. Don’t treat them like puppets who are going to be tagging along. If they want to go skiing in the Alps and you can’t afford that, take them skiing in Kashmir instead. Don’t take them on an archeological tour of Rome, it is the perfect recipe for disaster.
You do not want to be on holiday with a sulking child.
3. Visit your doctor
A couple of days before taking off, pay a visit to your family physician. Give him a lowdown of where you’re going with details about the weather, food, etc,. He should be able to advise you accordingly and warn you of any complications that may arise. In case they are prone to any allergies or reaction, make sure to carry all the required medication as this is one of the most difficult things to find in a foreign place.
Make sure you’re carrying a basic first aid kit with antiseptic, analgesic, antacid, band-aid and the like!
4. Don’t forget they’re kids
Don’t plan an adult trip, make sure there are enough fun and relevant activities for them as well. Don’t leave you kid alone, the best thing is do activities involving the whole family. Vacations are times when families come together, not the opposite.
If you’re travelling with more than one child, plan stuff for them to do together.
5. Documents Documents Documents
Make sure all your kids’ documents are in order. Some places have different requirements for kids and adults, do a thorough check.
You do not want to be stranded last minute.
6. Germ Control
Hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes are a must. However well-planned your trip is, there will be instances when these will come in use.
Don’t let lack of sanitation ruin your holiday.
Encourage them to keep a travel journal. Give them a kid-friendly camera to capture their own pictures of the holiday. Once you’re back you can compare the adults’ version and the kids’ version. You’ll be quite surprised to find how different your perspective on the holiday differs from your child’s.
Keep a collection of small, easy to carry toys and board games and puzzles handy for long flights or unexpected delays. If you have a smart phone or tablet, install a whole bunch of fun games and apps. Don’t be completely dependant on these as their battery lives aren’t very long!
9. Pack for the weather
Dressing according to the weather plays a far more important role in keeping your kids happy than you probably imagined. Get real time weather updates before you pack. If you know someone locally, all the better!
You know how fussy your kids can be about food. So plan accordingly. If your child has any special dietary requirements, make sure to inform the hotel in advance so everything is ready for you when you arrive.
Oh! And the most important thing to remember, don’t get put off by the million stares and annoyed looks you are bound to get while traveling with kids. Everyone will understand in their own time. You just need to make sure that you have a happy holiday!