Tips for Travelling With Kids

If you’ve ever stepped onto a plane with a toddler and seen the baited breath of your fellow travellers as they pray to the heavens that you are not sitting in their row, you will know the stigmas that come attached to travelling with children. But fear not, most children travel really well as long as you are well prepared.

Here are my top tips for travelling with youngsters

Photo by Paul Schultz

  • No Sugar – This is always my number one tip. An air hostess friend of mine once recounted a story where parents were feeding their child Smarties to keep him quiet during a flight. If you have kids, you likely don’t need me to tell you what happened next! Of course the child’s behaviour became more and more unruly as the sugar kicked in and his energy had nowhere to go. Pack snacks that your kids like and don’t have often but stick to low sugar options so you don’t have to deal with any crazy sugar rushes. And no pop!
  • Protect Their Ears – Children have much smaller sinuses than adults so the effects of take-off and landing can be quite uncomfortable. Offer the breast or bottle to babies and toddlers, some form of liquid with a straw to older children. To kids that are old enough give a small boiled sweet (but no more than one!)or chewing gum to keeps those Eustachian tubes moving and unblocked.
  • Activities –In the weeks leading up to your trip, listen to your kids when they talk about new toys and activities they like and really want. Surprise them on the journey with a new toy or sticker book in the theme of their current fad. If you are taking a long journey, hold onto the toy until you need it (i.e., don’t be afraid to bribe your kids when travelling, we won’t tell!)
  • Electronics – Maybe you are reluctant to let your child play with your phone and laptop in the home, but travelling is a good time to loosen these rules. Programming a couple of child friendly games and movies into your electronics can do wonders to transform a wiggly dissatisfied kid into your dream child!
  • Luggage – Let your child pack his own carry on within reason. This way he will be excited for the journey and the toys and books he has chosen.
  • Travel Sickness – Expect it to happen. Ask your chemist about nausea tablets for kids and look at acupressure points for sickness (wrists and chest)
  • Sickness – Expect it to happen! Travel with a little first aid kit full of your usual medicines for tummy ache, scrapes and typical childhood minor illness.
  • Security – Invest in a leash. Yep your child’s not a dog, but the simple wrist band leashes are so helpful in busy tourist destinations. Using one of these means your child can still roam independently but is always within a foot or so of you.

Travelling with children does not have to be stressful but don’t expect it to be a dream either! By following the above tips, you will be part way to a breezy easy holiday!

Author’s Bio: Amelia Hurst is an avid traveller who regularly journeys with her two children. Currently she is researching camping holidays in France particularly campsites in Lozere in preparation for her 2013 summer extravaganza!

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