Traveling frequently with children has taught me that there are many things that can turn your eagerly awaited travel plans into a nightmare. The resulting mental stress can be enough to make you dread traveling for any reason.
While travelling with young toddlers and babies in your arms, remember the adage, “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”…and prepare accordingly.
- Before the trip, make a complete list of all the things that you need to do before embarking on a trip. Write things down so that you do not forget essential items.
- For far off or unknown destinations, make hotel reservations well in advance. Read all the details that you can get your hands on and make sure that you know all the ups and downs of your destination. If possible, know where you can go in case of an emergency.
- Pack wisely according to the length of your stay, destination, weather and health needs. Again, make a list of all the things you may need, and check them off as you pack them to ensure that you do not leave anything important behind.
- Whether flying or driving, divide your things according to immediate needs and later requirements. All essential medicines, baby food, diapers, clothes etc. should be at an easy to reach place.
- If like me, you travel with kids on a regular basis, keep a separate bag full of nutritional snacks and water for them.
- It is best to carry some books, puzzles and coloring material appropriate to their age.
- Make traveling a fun and learning experience for older children by pointing out various features of the airport, train station, motorways, etc.
- Make them draw pictures to keep them occupied.
- It is best not to let children eat heavy meals before flying in case they feel sick during flight. Also, keep a spare change of clothes with you for emergencies.
- Most importantly, have the right attitude. Complaining, being over-emotional or stressed out will make your journey seem intolerable. Enjoy the experience and seek help if anything goes wrong but otherwise, try to enjoy the trip and focus on the experience rather than the problems that you may encounter.