10 Tips for Traveling with a Toddler
Those who nurture their babies know it’s a big mistake to consider babies as tiny and immobile. Planning for a trip keeping in mind the special needs of a toddler is time-consuming, exhausting and bound increase the stress levels. If you imagine yourself whiling away on a sandy beach sipping a glass of wine and your kid is building a sand castle beside you, things of that sort are too good to happen in reality. Between all of the planning, packing and waking-up at an odd hour, if you do not plan carefully you might almost forget that you are on a vacation.
It’s a real badge of honor to change the nappy while flying 35,000 ft in the air, spending hours feeding the baby and picking up the fallen crayons and co-passengers having to deal with a rambunctious can become daunting at times. Still, the experience of flying with a kid is filled with a lot of happiness and good moments and attracts occasional kindness and generosity from others.
Babies prefer to stay close to home
Holidays that are closest to home are perfect enjoyed by kids as they love routine. As a rule young kids do not travel well. Even while traveling to a far-off destination, its perfect to carry stuff that kids are familiar with so they don’t fret when suddenly exposed to a brand new world.
Familiarise them before setting out
Before setting out show the kid the pics of where you are headed to. Photos of the hotel or new people he is going to meet make him prepared for the travel.
Involve your kids when planning for a holiday
Probe what kind of places do they like, show them the pictures of places and ask them to select the perfect ones they like, find out what animals do they like to see or which theme park do they want to visit?
Kids have short attention spans
Children have shorter attention spans and also don’t have as much stamina as grown-ups to tread on a difficult place, so they need plenty of time to get around at a single new place. It’s perfect not to crunch in too many visiting spots in a day’s itinerary.
Plan the trip at the right time
Don’t expect the kids to sleep during the flight time. Early morning and overnight flights are perfect when traveling with toddlers as they will be too drowsy to run in the aisle. It’s far better than boarding a plane at a regular hour where you have to spend hours dealing with the tantrums, spend the entire flight time playing games, singing songs or looking out of the window.
A well rested toddler is far better to handle than an overstimulated, cranky one on a trip at least. It’s perfect to plan a trip in such a way where a part of the trip passes by while it’s the kid’s time to take a nap or sleep. Nothing is more peaceful than watching a kid dozing off quietly in the back seat of the car either.
Break up your journey into phases
Break up your drive and be prepared to make short stops every hour or two so you can stretch out and detour to a fun place like a park or a pet store that can add more excitement for the kid.
Take the crew into confidence
Talk to the cabin crew, once they know that you have a kid traveling with you they will make sure you get to place your bags properly in the overhead bin or allocate a better seat in case one is empty and available. They may give an extra snack or a drink if the kid is getting cranky.
Pack like a travel pro
Check out on Google about the essential list of items that are mandatory to be packed. Carry a backpack stuffed with all the in-flight necessities, which are essential when you’re traveling with a toddler. Pack first aid kit stuffed with prescription medicines that your child may need. Download as much games, movies and hours of entertainment are a good idea.
Pack all the necessary items before traveling
Packing right is the most important aspect of travel and it’s not overemphasizing to discuss every nitty-gritty involved in packing. Ask each child about their favorite things and pack the bag accordingly. Drawing books, crayons, stamp pads, foam stickers, illustrated pictorial books to read, toys without loose pieces and an iPods that have their own kind of music are all a must have in the bag.
Great food plays an important role in how you feel and behave. Airport food may be a convenient option but hardly packs the right amount of nutrients a kid requires and is expensive too. Nutritious light snack items such as a box of mixed fruits, rice crackers and munchy nutri bars can help prevent kids from going cranky. Hogging on junk food that you get at the counters will make them sugar high and even more erratic.
Needless to say, kids will require diapers, wipes and even medication like Tylenol. Put these items in the hold baggage instead of the checked bags.
Carry a combination of familiar things and toys so the kid doesn’t feel out of place, but it’s essential to carry some new and vibrant toy that keeps the kid intrigued and engaged. Heading to the Dollar store without the kid for brand new toys, games and puzzle and coloring set is a good start.
Do carry a stroller, its great to carry a tired infant or a toddler across miles in the airport and wading through the parking lot plus its sturdy enough to saddle 2 pieces of luggage or bags.
Don’t be hyper and carry too much stuff you won’t be using which will make you dig for things when you need them. Don’t carry minimal stuff either so you are forced to survive on a pickle fast later.
Choose a family-friendly hotel
A hotel with a list of amenities for kids is a blessing. Not many will cater to the special needs of kids like a baby pool, free day camp or babysitting service for kids.
While facing a tough situation while staying overnight it’s perfect to keep the routine as normal as possible and make the kid feel at home. In case you are not sleeping with the kid, show him where you will be sleeping.
Traveling with kids can increase the anxiety levels, especially when you are new to traveling with a child. There can be many aspects of travel never thought of before like the right time to travel and how to search for kids friendly destinations and accommodations.
There would always be hiccups but the perfect way is to be flexible and be prepared with the To Do list of things before traveling. Traveling with a toddler has its own complications; however, it can also be exciting at the same time. Be prepared to make room for exceptions, like allowing your kid to watch 5 back to back episode of Sponge Bob Square Pants or not freaking out when they insist for a soda until it’s one too many or there are choices available; because it’s just a matter of few hours or days when traveling with a capricious toddlers with an impulsive mood.