Travelling with children can be a very frustrating process, over the years we have learned a few tricks I think parent should know about to make it a lot easier. Of course the most important thing is patience, and that you are well rested in order to properly be able to deal with everything that happens on the plane and at the airport. It might sound like a great idea to have a few drinks on the plane before or during your flight, don’t do it. It will make you tired, and have to pee all the time with your kids crying in the background. Save it for when you get to your destination.
You need to mentally prepare your self for a crying baby with an ear ache, an antsy toddler, puke, poo or maybe all at the same time…. So what can you do to make this easier? You have to be prepared, and this is how you do it.
- Travel on a red eye flight during your children’s bed time. I put this as the first most important thing because it is. I am willing to pay a little more for this type of flight, but usually it is cheaper to fly this way. Your kids will be sleeping, in fact they may sleep all the way to your destination and you may even be able to get some sleep. You will not have to deal with feeding them, spilling on the plane, changing them or them touching everything picking up germs.
- Stay in a hotel or air bnb with a kitchen, this will save you a lot of money that you can spend elsewhere on your trip and keep them on their good diet that you have them in at home. This will also keep you in control of the cleanliness of the food. Many hotels in some country’s standard of hygiene is very low, I want to make sure my kids are eating clean food. It would be brutal to have to take them to a hospital for travellers diarrhea in a country that has questionable hospitals. My son once got sick on a cruise we were on for no other reason I can think of other than the food cleanliness. My wife made sure she was using hand sanitizer all the time on him and he still got sick. This was not a budget cruise either, it was on one of the biggest ships in the world! He puked in the restaurant and then they quarantined us to our rooms. It ruined several days of the 7 day cruise, we were just happy they had great doctors on board and he was better pretty fast.
- For long flights take a rest stop. Our next trip will be to Australia and to Fiji from Canada, we intend on breaking up our trip with a stop in L.A to go to Disneyland for a day and catch our next flight the next day. This will help our kids re-set and have fun on our stop.
- Bring 2 sets of clothes on the plane. Poop explosions and puke explosions happen at the most awkward moment, it would suck to have to sit on a 6 hour flight all wet and smelly.
- Bring along a double stroller if you have 2 kids or a single if you have one. We use a city select stroller and normally when we are catching our red eye flight both kids are out cold. We take it all the way to the gate
- Pack light, the more you carry the harder it will be. My first vacation with my child I brought way too much and I had to haul it everywhere. Beach destinations we now bring 2 swimsuits each, sandals, running shoes and the bare minimum for clothing. We try to bring light short and shirt instead of heavy. For example i would bring board shorts rather than jean short that are heavy.
- Buy a 40l carry on approved backpack. We have one each, we made sure when purchasing it that it would meet the airline guidelines, that it had multi-pocket for organization purposes and that it had a waist strap as well for support. These can be life-savers for parents as everything can fit in these and they can also be used as a diaper bag! I spent around $40 on mine on Amazon.
- Buy a reusable swim diaper. Most parents would buy a bunch of swim diapers back home and haul it with them. We bring a reusable swim diapers. Make sure you try to get your kids to go to the bathroom before you go in to the pool or ocean, changing poo form a sandy bum is not fun.
- Take Laundry detergent. Always take a small pack with you to clean the swim diaper and any item that gets dirty on you trip or use the hotel facilities if they have them.
- Gummy bears, gum, bottle or breastfeed on take off or landing to prevent their ears from hurting. This works like a charm, do not wait until the pain comes make it a habit to give gummy bears to toddler or something chewy that they will definitely eat (in our case gummy bear). Or breastfeed on takeoff or landing, most babies will sleep through while being fed and fall asleep while being fed. It is easier to do this rather than wait and have to work hard to calm them down while everyone around you gets frustrated with you screaming kids!
- Create a busy pack for toddler. Michaels has tons of lightweight items that kids can play with on the plane like pipe cleaners, stickers and other items. These are cheap and can keep them engaged for a couple of hours as long as you only introduce them on the plane.
- Hand sanitizer and wet wipes. As soon as I get on a plane I use antibacterial wet wipes to clean around any area my child will touch or I will touch. Hand sanitizer can be used anywhere you go, and will help prevent illness for you and you children on your trip.
- Iphone 7+ and an Ipad. Some parents will disagree with me on this for sure, but an Ipad with pre-loaded netflix shows can keep a child focused and quiet on a plane for hours. I want my experience with my children to be as stress free as possible, this helps for sure. The Iphone 7+ is amazing for photography and is waterproof. I no longer take a dslr camera with me and most travel bloggers agree that on vacation this is all you need. High quality photos and video especially with the new portrait mode included with the phone.
At the end of the day, you are going on vacation to chill, unwind and to give your family an experience they will remember forever. Hopefully some of these hints will help make travel easier with your kids. For more great info on travelling check out Adventugo.com
This site will also help you choose safe tours you can take your children on and a lot more.