Traveling with young kids is not a good idea for some. For others, it is a total nightmare. While these are how some people describe their experiences, it is not often the case. In an article by Cameron Wears in Nomadicmatt blog, he presents traveling with kids as a good experience. One that is challenging but not daunting.
Traveling with kids don’t need to be a pain. It could be a surprisingly pleasant and rewarding experience with the help of the right bag packed full of the right things. Here is a list of things to bring for a hassle-free, enjoyable traveling experience with young kids.
- Smartphone containing all downloaded electronic confirmation of booked transportation, hotels, or apartments. Waiting in line to buy tickets is a dangerous endeavor when traveling with children. Young children have short attention spans and some have shorter tempers. Asking tired children to travel some more because the hotel you intended to go to is fully booked may induce some whining and crying. By booking ahead of time, parents can ensure an easier transportation and faster access to hotel or apartment accommodation. Parents can also choose to make many time allowances when booking ahead of time. This is important because with kids everything is uncertain. Irritability, toilet stops, and stalling must be considered when making travel plans. As for accommodation, it is important to double check that the accommodation is comfortable, the right size, and offers the right services needed. Hotels are usually good enough for sleeping in and leaving things to go sightseeing. However, it may be better to book apartments for longer vacations, people with special dietary requirements, and for larger groups of families. Service Apartments like Lalco Residency offers multiple bedrooms, living area, dining room, and a kitchen. This is good for those who need to self-cook and who wants all of the family to stay in one place.
- Antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers are a must. Sometimes travelers may have to eat at restaurants with questionable hygiene or those that lack facilities for washing hands. Wipes may be used to clean cutlery in these establishments while hand sanitizers can clean hands when water and soap are not available. This will prevent the discomforts that come with diarrhea and vomiting due to gastroenteritis.
- Medicines. Kids seem to get ill on the worst days including vacations. Reduce the stress of looking for pharmacies in an unknown country with different language by packing a travel health kit in your luggage. Centers for disease control and prevention suggests bringing medicine for fever or pain like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, anti-diarrheal medication such as Loperamide, and antihistamine for allergies. Besides medicines, First-aid essentials such as bandages and plasters, thermometer, nail clippers, and a hot water bottle are must-haves. Sunscreens are important all year round. There are various available sunscreens on the market. Check out this post from the Independent for the list of the 9 best sunscreens for kids.
- Comfortable clothes appropriate for the weather and terrain will make happy children. Don’t forget to check the weather of the location you’re going to. Pack rain coats, rain pants, and galoshes if going to a rainy destination. For hot days, it is advisable to wear lightweight and breathable clothes. For colder destinations, it is important to bring lots of layers to keep warm. It wouldn’t hurt to check forums and blog posts for advice either. Check out Travel Fashion Girl’s article to learn more about packing for multi-season tips.
- Toys and snacks. Children are full of energy that can cause trouble if suppressed. Make sure to prepare activities to keep children engaged during long flights, queues, and restaurant waits. Coloring books, word searches, and Rubik’s cube will pass time quickly. Travel journals will get kids drawing and writing about the new things and activities they have tried while traveling. If you want a lighter travel, filling your Smartphone with children-friendly apps is the way to go. Smartphone camera may also be used to keep children away from boredom. If there is no room for children’s apps on the Smartphone and there’s no space for toys in the bag, be sure to bring interesting stories and deliver it with style to captivate the attention of the kids. Snacks are good to keep children from hunger when delays happen. Keep away from sweets though to avoid sugar rush which can make the statement “traveling with kids is a pain” come true. Instead of packing chocolate bars, candies, and cakes opt for fruits, savory crackers and bread instead.
- Accessories. Accessories are not only good for the sake of fashion and beautiful photographs. Take, for example, Hats and sunglasses. These protect from the harmful rays of the sun during summer days. Gloves and scarves are for winter. Gloves trap warmth inside and prevent the hands from losing its grip due to icy temperatures. The grip is important for performing movements needed outdoors such as unpacking a backpack. Scarves protect the neck from getting hit by strong winds thus preventing neck pain. It also gives additional warmth.
- A file storage containing all important documents. Placing passports, visa documents, and insurance documents in one location will reduce time spent looking for misplaced documents. Searching for things is not ideal with kids around. Once the documents are found, it might be the kids who go missing next. Buying ID in necklace holders for the kids to wear is a good idea. If the kids get lost, the ID will help them find their way home. Sending email copies of the documents are also advisable in case the original files are lost.
It takes the right bag with the right things to make “traveling with young kids is a pain” into “traveling with young kids is an enjoyable experience”. Anticipating the possible challenges of traveling with kids is a good way of preventing stress and frustration that comes with hot, cross, and crying children. Equipped with the right materials, parents can prevent sickness, tantrums, and bored kids. Traveling with kids is a wonderful experience. It gives time for the family to get to know each other and spend quality time together. Discovering new places with children is not a nightmare with the right bag at hand.
About the Author: Lysha works at Lalco Residency – Luxury Service Apartments & Hotel Mumbai and she loves her job. Helping clients and monitoring the progress of business strategies along with her leadership skills make her perfect suit for Hospitality services. You can catch up with Lysha at Lalco Residency in Mumbai.