Travelling with young children can be challenging. There is always a lot to pack and kids get bored easily. If you aren’t well prepared, travelling with little ones can quickly turn into a painful experience. Here are a few tips and tricks to help keep your little ones happy while travelling, by car or plane.
- Pack a Surprise – Make sure to bring along a few brand new things (doesn’t have to be expensive, a trip to the local dollar store will suffice), like books, toys, art supplies, colouring books, flash cards, etc. When your child seems to get restless, you can offer them one of the new surprises and help keep them interested for a bit. If you are taking a plane, packing a carry on for your child, perhaps a child sized backpack that they can carry, filled with new things to explore, will help build some excitement and keep them busy.
- Snacks – Bring along lots of snacks! You never know if flights will be delayed, bad weather will hit, or you face some sort of car troubles. Bring along a few snacks to help keep your children happy. If flying, some connections can be tight and getting food at the airport may not always be guaranteed. Little ones, when hungry often get irritable and difficult, so ensure you have some extra treats to offer incase something comes up
- Sleep Schedules – Keep your child’s sleep schedule in mind when travelling or booking flights. Some parents swear by taking red eye flights so that their children will sleep through most of the flight. Scheduling shorter trips by car or plane during nap time can be good too because when your child wakes up you will be at or near your destination with a recharged battery.
- Keep them active – If driving, ensure that you plan stops where your children can get out and stretch their legs. Stopping at a playground or park can help your child burn off some energy and be ready to relax in the car once again. If flying, ask the airport if they have a kids play area to use before flights and when the seatbelt sign goes off take your child for even a short walk up and down the aisle. A slight change in scenery can help make a world of difference.
- Be patient – Don’t plan on driving 8 hours without stops. This will cause your children to be very unhappy. Try and make a few stops throughout, perhaps every few hours. If flying, make sure that you leave plenty of time between connecting flights. There is nothing worse then trying to run across the airport with your carry on baggage and children in tow. Make sure you keep enough time to get where you are going so you are not in a rush. This is a recipe for a cranky child and frustrated parents.