Making Travel and Vacations Kid-Friendly
Traveling with kids is something many parents dread. A lot of travel enthusiasts give up traveling the minute the become parents. It initially starts with the inability to travel due to the baby being too small, which eventually turns into a fear of the toddler throwing tantrums while you are on vacation, ruining everything. This fear is rather obvious, as when you see your child throw tantrums at home, perhaps not even allowing you to enjoy a trip to the mall, it is impossible to think that they will stay quiet while traveling.
However, it is certainly possible to travel with children, and here are a few hacks to make your vacation easier.
1. Carry travel friendly foods
This is one of the most important things to consider while traveling, as children likely become cranky when hungry (or sleepy, or both). Making sure that their tummies are filled is the easiest way of keeping them as calm as possible. A few travel friendly foods include:
BabyStaples Travel Packs
Did you know can order any of our products in 100g easy seal pouches through our website? Mix and match products your baby likes best and create your very own specialized packs that are super easy to carry while traveling! This makes sure that you do not need to lug around large packs of baby food cereals while traveling. Just cook in hot water for a couple of minutes and serve your child fresh, hot food!
Biscuits and cookies
Easy, storable snacks for those who are constantly on the go, biscuits and cookies make a much healthier alternative to chips and soda. Homemade cookies also last upto 2-3 weeks, so you can easily make them before you leave. Find our absolutely simple, four-ingredient cookie recipe here! (That’s right – they only need four ingredients you most likely already have all four of those at home!)
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits like bananas and apples are available almost anywhere, and one banana will completely fill your little one’s stomach. If your child is too young to eat, carry a bowl and fork with you so you can easily mash the banana on the go. Washed and cut carrots also make a great finger food that you can even season easily with salt (you can carry salt sachets if you’d like!)
Dry fruits and makhane
Makhane make a wonderful quick snack for people of all ages, and I have never seen a child dislike it. You can roast and season them with salt at home and store them for a few days, or you can buy prepared makhane online. Dry fruits are also a great, healthy tummy filler. You can carry some of all types of dry fruits to provide variety, or simply take along your child’s favorite.
2. Do not overpack your schedule
A lot of people tend to stuff their travel schedules up to the brim to try to make the most out of their vacations, but this is not the best technique to follow. Even if you are traveling without kids, a hectic schedule often ends up causing more stress, which is the opposite of what people seek from vacations. However, when traveling with children, a full timeline will tire your kids out even quicker, making them cranky and upset. Make sure that you create a relaxed schedule for your vacation, and remember to include activities that you know your children will like.
Go to a park, do some outdoorsy stuff, and most importantly – enjoy yourself. If you are stressed out yourself, the child will pick up on these anxious emotions too. Have fun, and remember that it’s okay if you don’t see everything you wanted to. And never, ever ask your child to hurry up because then you won’t be able to do everything you want – they are probably already trying their best.
3. Incorporate some of your daily routines into the travel days
Just like us, children turn on their autopilot modes for a lot of daily activities. Get up in the morning, brush, bathe, drink water, eat food, (if they are old enough) go to school, come back, play outside, do homework, a family reading time, dinner, sleep – something like that. But during travel, this entire routine is disrupted and filled up with strange things, changing your child’s entire schedule and confusing him.
To avoid the confusion and the tantrums that come with it, incorporate some of your child’s daily routine parts into the vacation days. Wake up and go to bed at roughly the same time. If you read to your child or do any other kind of regular activity with him, continue doing that. However, if you do need to change the schedule completely, start by changing it bit by bit in the comforts of your own house, so that nothing comes as a shock to the child.
4. Carry a kiddy pack everywhere
A kiddy pack is simply a bag full of your child’s favorite (portable) toys, books, activity sheets, pencils and colors, and other things that can help diffuse a tantrum. Taking along this bag everywhere offers a sense of familiarity to the child as he sees his own things, while offering you a simple way out of tantrums.
5. Travel light
Do not overpack. I repeat, do not overpack. You might think that carrying more options might be helpful on the trip, but the truth is that you are most likely not going to use every “extra” thing you carried. Lots of luggage can slow travel down and frustrate you even more, as you struggle to get your stuff together while your child is in the middle of a tantrum. Carrying more clothes to let your child choose his own and be satisfied can also be counterproductive as more options only leads to more confusion. Your child is likely not going to bother you about wearing a dress he knows you didn’t get, but if he knows it is there and remembers that while you are in the middle of a tourist spot, he isn’t going to be very happy about not changing into it immediately.
Carry just as many things as you REALLY need, and maybe a couple of more clothes in case of accidents (you don’t want your child to be stuck in the same clothes he just vomited on!). But no, your daughter doesn’t need all her hair-bands and bracelets and frocks, and your son doesn’t need all his cars and tshirts. And always, always dress your children comfortably. You can photoshop their dress, not their comfort or happiness.
6. Keep in mind the modes of transportation you will be using.
If you are traveling by air, carry cotton or earbuds to help your child deal with possible ear-ache. It is recommended to fly as early in the day as possible, when your children are either too sleepy to function, or fresh with the morning vibes – basically, they usually aren’t cranky. Children tend to get sleepy and cranky in the late afternoon or evening, making it a terrible time to travel. If your journey is long, try making it overnight when your children will be asleep. While traveling, make sure to dress your children (and yourself) in layers, as you can never truly predict the temperature of the flight or train. I have been in planes where I was just a smidge away from sweating, but I’ve also been on some where I was shivering even with a jacket on. Layers will prepare you for any situation!
So keep these tricks in mind and go ahead and travel with your children – don’t bind them to one little corner of this gigantic world. Be calm, patient, and have fun, and your children will do the same.