8 Tips for Traveling with Small Children
Going on vacation or visiting relatives in distant places with your children can be especially nerve-wracking. But it’s definitely not impossible. Keep in mind that long trips can be a source of treasured childhood memories for your kids — even if you don’t see it that way yourself.
Here are a few tips for making these long trips go smoother.
1.) Make sure they’re identifiable
Silicone wristbands with your contact details are a good way to ensure that kids of any age are easily returned if they somehow get lost. You can learn how to customize wristbands for kids on the Complete Guide to Silicone Wristbands. The great thing about wristbands is that they’re extremely durable and waterproof, which means that they’re probably going to survive the trip with your kids, if not much longer.
2.) Dress them so that they’re easy to spot
Also make sure to dress them up in clothes that are easy to identify from a distance, even in a crowd. Bright colored caps and jackets can be an excellent way to ensure you’re better able to keep an eye on them, even when you’re occupied with something else. Avoid drab colors or camouflage, as there have been cases where kids have drifted off from their parents and seemingly disappeared, even if they were close by.
3.) Pre-book everything
Traveling with kids isn’t a good time to wing it with your bookings. Chances are that they aren’t old enough to appreciate off-the-cuff travel adventures. All they know is that they’re being made to wait for what seems forever for something they might not be all that interested in. Save the improvisation for those times you travel alone or with another adult you’re close to.
4.) Accept Murphy’s Law
Murphy’s Law states: if anything can go wrong, it will. This seems especially applicable to family vacations. You can prepare all you like — and you should. But that doesn’t mean there will be events beyond your control that can put you and your family on edge.
However, by simply accepting that things can go wrong before you travel, you can gain a significant amount of mental clarity and calm when this happens. That’s certainly more preferable to flipping out.
The key is to not be fatalistic. That usually only leads to under-preparation. The idea is to understand what you can control and what you can’t. If you found that you got into a situation that you couldn’t have prevented try not to take it out on your kids or other family members.
5.) You can never pack too many spare undies or diapers
Small kids may not be able to keep… things… together when they have to travel for long periods. If they aren’t yet potty trained, it’s important to not forget to pack just a few more diapers and spare undies than you think you might need for the trip, as well as all the essentials for cleaning up after a mess.
6.) Help them sleep
While it’s still hotly debated among parents whether or not it’s OK to give kids anti-allergy medicine to help calm them down during long trips, giving them at the very least, a neck pillow and a small blanket to help them sleep better is highly encouraged.
7.) Bring enough snacks!
Snacks can be a good way to help your kids stay occupied. Make sure to stock up healthy things like nuts or dried fruit rather than candy bars. The important thing is to have variety so that they won’t easily get bored with their treats.
8.) Bring a fully-charged power bank, tablets, and activity books
Long trips always have plenty of boring parts where you’re just waiting for something to happen. You’ll want to get your kids to be occupied during these times if you want to keep your sanity, so it’s important to bring a few key items that will help keep them entertained.
Hopefully, these ideas will help make things easier for you and your child. Long trips are almost always a treasured part of anyone’s childhood and can do much to bring a sense of wonder into a child’s life. With these tips, you should be ready for the worst that could happen and more.
What other tips for traveling with small children can you suggest? Tell us!