This is a partnered post.
Traveling with children can be overwhelming, especially if you are used to traveling with only adults. Like most things, it will get easier with practice, but the key to success when traveling with children is preparation. Being prepared and planning when traveling with children will save you time, stress, and money.
Certain things will make family experience days smoother, and these are some tips to implement for your next family trip:
Snacks and Medicine
Children eat, and they eat a lot. A hungry child can quickly become difficult, so be sure to pack your snack pack when traveling with kids. Having extra granola bars and fruit snacks on hand can be the difference between your usually angelic child and a cranky child looking to act out. Traveling allows for a lot of uncertainty, and this can also extend to mealtimes. Due to certain travel issues, it can be a long time between one meal and another. Don’t let your itinerary get the best of you, and be prepared. Having a snack on hand will help appease your child (and adult) until your next meal.
Another necessary item for traveling with children is basic medication. It is not uncommon for children to get sick, and nothing will put a damper on a vacation like the entire family getting sick. Having basic medication will help appease common travel ailments like headaches and stomachs. New places can also result in new allergies, so it is best to be prepared with allergy medication when traveling with children. The last thing a sick child will want is their parents leaving to buy medication on their vacation. Having a few over-the-counter medications doesn’t take up too much luggage space and will save you a headache, too, if you are traveling to an area where it is difficult to access medication.
Allow Plenty of Time for Every Activity
Traveling with children is understanding that things will not proceed as planned. Allow yourself at least double the time that you normally allot for yourself and an adult travel companion. This starts from the beginning of the trip. Plan to arrive at the airport hours earlier than normal to ensure you have ample time to get in through the gates and board. Plenty of things can and will go wrong when traveling with your child, and you do not want to miss any important travel experiences because you didn’t allow enough time for your family to travel. Allotting additional time will make sure you, your spouse, and your child can get to your destination stress-free. Being rescheduled does not usually fare well with children, and you don’t want extra stress on vacation, so be prepared!
To mitigate the chances of things going wrong, it is a good idea to pre-book as many things as possible. Traveling is easy when you pre-book flights and lodging, but with children, you should also consider pre-booking activities. Having a set schedule helps you plan accordingly for the day and also reduces the likelihood of activities being overbooked. Anything you book ahead of time will be one less thing for you to worry about on your family trip. It can be hard to travel with a child, so having one less thing to worry about can greatly reduce the stress of family travel.
Safety should be your number one priority when traveling with children. If your child is older, it could be a good idea to give them your contact number in the case that they get lost. It is obvious that parents will watch their children diligently but sometimes accidents happen. It is easy to be wrapped up in an activity and have your little one wander off within the 30 seconds you spent talking to the ticket issuer. Some parents opt for identical ensembles (commonly referred to as “mommy and me“) to make it easier to identify their children. It can also help a kind stranger find you if they happen upon your child, and it is a stylish family choice. Ensuring your child is safe, whether it is something big like having your contact info or something small like wearing matching shirts, can lower the chances of panic if your child happens to get lost.
Parents are vigilant and diligent, but children are tricky. It is hard to imagine someone so small can have so much curiosity and free will. Children are naturally curious and can wander off at a moment’s notice. Holding your child’s hand and having them in your line of sight is common parent knowledge. If you have a particularly tricky toddler, you could consider getting a GPS tracker to attach to their clothes.