Traveling With Kids Doesn’t Have To Be A Nightmare
As parents, our children are our pride and joy. But no matter how much we love our kids, there’s no going around the fact that it’s hell trying to travel with them. There are so many bags to pack, vitamins to remember, tantrums to prepare for, and flight adjustments to make in order to make sure that neither of you will be in pain or exhausted on your trip.
Whether or not you’re travelling with little babies or teenagers, even just the planning part of the trip is a daunting task. You spend several nights recounting your lists, and going back and forth each of the bags, making sure you have everything. But it can be done.
The I’m-Travelling-With-My-Kids-Please-Help-Me Checklist
1. An evening flight. These flights are much more expensive but it makes things much easier for you and the rest of the passengers if your child is sound asleep.
2. The right seat. Depending on you and your child’s needs, you’ll need to seriously consider whether you wanted to be seated at the back, middle, or front of the plane.
3. Adequate accommodations. As a struggling young adult you probably started off with hostels and moved to comfy hotel rooms. But if you’re with kids, it could be much more expensive and constricting if you need to cook. Consider vacation rentals and make sure that they’re easily accessible; no steep hills, no long and winding staircase, no far away rooms or cabins.
4. Create or buy tags for their bags, or bracelets that they can wear that contain your name and phone number. It would be better if those bracelets had GPS so you could track them using an app.
5. Stroller, sling, carriage? Go over your destination and itinerary so you can decide which one is the best option to bring with you. A common choice is a light stroller that’s easy to carry.
6. Lots of research. Does your child need a visa? Do you need any type of medication? Can you breastfeed in public?
7. Early schedule and lots of time. Everybody else will be running around trying to catch their flights or do other stuff before their flights. You don’t have that chaotic luxury anymore so get to the airport early and move at a comfortable pace that will keep your child feeling at ease.
8. Contingency plans. And lots of it. You need to make a list of every single thing that could go wrong in your trip and what you and your partner intend to do.
To Do List
1. Call a family meeting and plan out your itinerary for the entire trip. If you have teenagers, ask them what they want to do.
2. Check the baggage guidelines for things you can and cannot bring, weight limitations, and more.
3. Pack everybody’s clothes into one big suitcase and separate the little necessities into each family member’s carry on. Don’t let the kids pack their own bags but be open to some packing suggestions.
4. Pack in some medicine and a first aid kit. Kids somehow always end up getting sick when you’re away.
5. Pack a lot of baby wipes in every single bag you intend on bringing.
6. Pack some healthy snacks to keep them fed without dealing with sugar rush.
7. Prepare a journal, some games, books, and other activities to keep them preoccupied as they’re waiting for and while they’re on the plane.
8. Check your airline for any meet and assist services. Availing one ensures that airline staff will be there to help make things easier and more comfortable for you from boarding to arrival. You also get priority boarding which is a lifesaver when you have three impatient toddlers and only two adults.
Traveling with Babies
It’s harder to travel with babies. Usually because it means that this is your first child and you’ve only recently come to realize just how much you could love one person and how much it terrifies you that something could happen to them. But also because they’re small, incredibly fragile, prone to crying, need a lot of things, and can’t pack for themselves.
Pack as much baby food as you can. Most airports let you carry milk and baby food in containers over 100ml. Check your airport and airline guidelines to make sure that is still the maximum.
When you get to the airport, remove the things strapped or put on the stroller and get ready to fold and put it through the x- ray machine.
Don’t forget the baby food. Planes allow them, even the ones in cans or jars.
Take the baby’s liquid- filled teether with you to help with some anticipated plane crying.
You’ve planned everything to a tee, you’ve given yourself so much time to do everything, you’re at the plane, and you’ve got a great itinerary. The only thing left for you to do is enjoy!
Alice Francisco is a mother of seven. After enduring a six hour flight with 2 teenagers, four little ones, and a baby in her arms, she believes she is an unstoppable force of nature. And so she has created a blog, is writing a children’s book and parenting book, and writing about difficult things to overcome like addictions