Traveling is difficult. It’s full of the stop-and-go, the hustle, and bustle of public transportation, bag checks, uncomfortable seats, and long flights.
Traveling with children can make it even more difficult. Traveling with children at any age can add stress, especially in the toddler years. However, child, if you know what’s coming, some of their behaviors and needs won’t overwhelm you. And with a few simple tips, you can prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
Dealing with jet lag
Everyone will experience jet lag, including toddlers. Do what you can to book early morning flights or overnight flights for international travel to help provide opportunities to sleep on the plane.
Once you reach your destination, the best way to help your toddler overcome jet lag symptoms quickly is to stick to your at-home routine for bedtime and for naps. Having a travel stroller helps them doze on and off, especially during that first day when symptoms are at their worst, but after that, everyone should stick to roughly the same routine if possible.
Getting sick on the road
Once you’re on the road, make sure you have plastic bags. Plastic bags and baby wipes can help deal with any instances of motion sickness. The same can be true for on a plane or train. Thankfully, with a little bit of hand sanitizer, some simple travel wipes, and a plastic Ziploc bag, you can prepare for any eventuality, seal the mess, and keep everyone clean afterward.
It’s perfectly natural for people to get sick on the road or deal with air cabin pressure issues. It’s also natural for someone, somewhere, to complain as soon as your child sneezes or says they’re sick.
You can’t please everyone, and it’s essential that you focus on your child. If it comes down to your child throwing a tantrum, just don’t engage and ignore that passenger who complains.
Finding Kid-Friendly Accommodation
Focus on finding child-friendly accommodations. This depends on the age of your children. A cruise isn’t a good idea for people with toddlers, but it might work well for people with teenagers. If you have younger children, Beach vacations can be a great way to escape the city as long as the hotels are designed for children.
Tip: All-inclusive hotels tend to attract couples and child-free adults, so it’s better to find accommodations close to child-friendly facilities, have parks on-site, or offer kid-friendly activities. You’ll feel much more comfortable if you check in at a facility that caters to families and children.
The kid-friendly accommodations are something that should extend to your flights as well. There are family-friendly airlines like United Airlines that help keep children occupied with safe activity kits, child-size masks, travel journals, and more. If you can, find an airport that has family lounges where everyone can relax during lengthy layovers.
Take UV-blocking sunglasses for each of you
Pay extra attention to packing sunglasses with strong UV protection for everyone. Children are susceptible to bright sunlight, and if you don’t pack UV-blocking sunglasses, it can strain their eyes, resulting in a lot of temper tantrums and screams because of the discomfort.
Get enough diapers
Always get enough diapers. Your packing list should be small, like a smaller travel stroller, with only the essentials and some extra food in the carry-on. But with diapers, there will be plenty of situations where you can’t access extra diapers, like on a plane, train, or museum. Thankfully, diapers are one thing you can usually pick up when you land, so pack enough to get through your immediate travel and then restock at your destination.
Tip: Plan for one diaper for every hour of travel. You can also add pull-ups even if your child is still in diapers. Having younger children wear pull-ups during travel can be much less stressful than dealing with an accident on a flight.
Don’t forget your kid’s favorite toy
Don’t forget their favorite toy. Some toddlers like to hold their favorite toy with them as they move through security, while others are satisfied just having it in a backpack that they drag along the airport floor. No matter your method of travel, don’t forget your favorite toy, or your vacation will come to a stop very quickly.
Have fun toddler activities
Sure, you probably already pack activities, but bring some surprises. Kids love new toys, and they love to unwrap things, so if you are flying with a toddler, get something new that you wrap ahead of time. This will be just as exciting as their favorite toy.
Overall, travel can be complicated and stressful. Packing the right things, having enough diapers, and trusting that you are heading toward family-friendly accommodations make things much easier. So don’t forget to pack UV- blocking sunglasses for everyone, their favorite toy, and be prepared to implement the same sleep schedule on vacation that you do at home.