Traveling is something I always look forward to. In-fact, i dream of having a job as a full-time travel blogger and i intend to do more traveling and document my journey as much as possible this year. However, planning a trip can be a bit of a hassle especially when i travel along side my nieces and nephews as they are usually restless and can not be confined to one place. My sister who I travel with most of the time however has 3 kids and a toddler and manages the situation well, in fact, I always find myself looking forward to the trips, either alone or with the kids.
After doing enough research about the destination and what the visa criteria might be, here are some of the tips we have adopted over a period of time whenever we travel with the kids:
1. BOOK YOUR FLIGHT AHEAD OF TIME
This saves us a whole lot of stress and money too as we get to check for cheap flights ahead of time. Struggling to queue up to pay with the kids is not something you want to get into. Another advantage of booking ahead is that it allows you to choose a flight based on your time convenience; you can check what suits your baby’s routine the most(for toddlers) and also you’ll be able to choose convenient and comfortable seats. Traveling direct flight as opposed to connecting flights is a plus too.
2. STOCK UP ON A LOT OF SNACKS AND TOYS
This is no-brainier. Always come prepared with some snacks (and drinks where possible) even when your flight service is full service as it may take longer than expected to get these items. However, try to keep the sugar moderate, trying new snacks on the kids before the flight would help know which one would really get them excited.Toys and handy games can do a lot at keeping them busy for a period of time. iPad with games and TV shows as well as coloring books and their favorite toys would do. audio-books are a great help too depending on the age of the kids.
3. DRESS APPROPRIATELY AND PACK EXTRA CLOTHING
Having done proper research about the destination country, the kids should be dressed in clothing that suits the weather conditions of both countries perfectly. My sister learnt this the hard way on her way to the US last Christmas holiday after her 2-year old baby caught a cold and they had to battle that throughout the holiday. An extra leather jacket could have made the whole difference!
(PS: check for cheap flights to USA and thank me later guys.)
Also,messes can happen, so always have an extra outfit (and diapers if appropriate) close-by and easily accessible.
4. GET TO THE AIRPORT EARLY
Especially for international flights, I’d advise to arrive at least three hours before the flight as it takes a huge burden off. you are more relaxed and calm and you get to check-in at your own pace and have enough time to settle down before the flight begins. it also pays to get on the plane early if you can. this would allow enough time to go to the bath-room if need be.
5. TAG YOUR KIDS
The airport is mostly always crowded especially during the holiday seasons or festive period, If you’re going with more than 1 child, then ensure you tag your kids with boldly written tags or identifiers such as name tags, hand wrist tags and even writing your mobile number in a paper and putting it in their pockets/bag packs.
BONUS TIP: As much as we want to have access to what the kids need, remember to pack light. check Antonnia’s post here on more tips and tricks for traveling with kids.
PS: Check-out this info graphics from Travel Start which gives a summary of all the necessary tips required to travel with kids
DO YOU GET TO TRAVEL WITH KIDS? WHAT TIPS DO YOU USE TO ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE A STRESS-FREE TRIP?