The beginners guide to traveling with children!
On the road, TRAVEL, Tips
No matter if it’s your first trip as a family, or your 100th with your fourth child. Traveling with children will always be challenging. From what to pack to how to get there. However, there are some great tips that can help you prepare, and save you some grey hairs. Lunamag.com has created 'The beginners guide to traveling with children!'that includes top tips for traveling with babies, toddlers and children. And parents too!
Traveling is the best school and is a great experience for every member of the family. An eye-opening experience for children of all ages with new foods, sights and discoveries. The quality time spent together as a family, creating memories and getting to know new facets of people. This, nobody can take away from you!
But we will not hide the fact that it can also be challenging! Packing, tired kids, different time zones and and and. To make sure that you can focus on the positive part, we created this guide.
We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
1. Preperation & Research
Prepare your trip and do re-search.
- Does your baby need a visa?
- What jabs do you and the children need?
- No passport is expiring?
- If your child is new to flying and/ or traveling in general, talk them through it.
- Let the kids to feel included in the planning of the trip. Ask them for ideas for adventures, read books about the country and show them Duolingo to learn a few phrases.
- If your kids are older they can do their own research and see what they would like to see and do.
2. Adjust expectations
The trip is about you A N D your family. Spending time together, experiencing a new country and culture and having fun. It is not so much about the latest hip restaurant you saw on Instagram or the pop-up shop that is only open from 12-13h on Sundays.
The beauty and joy is in the simple things. Street food, foreign supermarkets and parks for example!
Take advantage of the moments and go with the flow. It might be difficult in the beginning but you will soon enjoy it very much.
3. Tips for flying with kids
Best advice, always: Pack each child a plane bag! Do not let them see it before you get on the flight. A mix of cheap pocket money toys like little Lego bags, stickers, crayons, colouring books, tiny books and snacks including sweets will keep them busy.
Take an empty water bottle and fill it when you get through security. Pack dry snacks. If you are traveling with an infant you can take liquids such as baby milk or baby food that is not subject to the 100ml rule.
Bring Wet wipes
Bring extra sets of clothes and WIPES! Lots of wipes. You already know that wipes are life safers, don’t you?
Plan for screen time
Download new shows and games on the iPad. Screen time during flights is very welcome.
4. Stroller vs. sling!
Tricky question, but a good one.
In the perfect scenario – both. A sling and a light weight travel stroller.
It depends, of course, where you are going. Easy streets or tiny ones with lots of up and downs and potholes? How warm will it be and what does your child likes most?
But we think that a light stroller is a good general option. They can be taken right up to the gate, they are light and breathable and can be insulated with blankets and a rain cover. They’re good on almost all terrain and can be used as a temporary bed for afternoon naps too. If you will walk lots (city breaks) a light stroller for a 4 year old is a good thing to bring as well. Even if they usually do not use it at home anymore – walking, maybe a jet-lag and all the new things will make them tired more quickly.
4. Do not over-pack!
Almost everything can be bought abroad. Pack only what you need!
Always pack a small medical kit that includes child pain relief, mosquito repellant and stop-itch creams in case of bites. Living simple, carry less – is a good motto.
Do not let the children pack their own rucksacks, or at least make sure that you double check once they did. Children pack and pack and forget about weight. A heavy bag is a fun killer for sure!
5. Traveling with a baby
Small babies are actually quite easy travel companions. They are happy as long as you are around and create a comfortable environment.
Plus more and more companies today loan out baby gear. Which makes it easier than ever today for parents to travel with their infants because they don’t have to bring as much stuff along.
Bring along their favourite toys and books and make sure to do stops and breaks. Babies need some stretching too!
6. Traveling with a toddler
Toddlers are fun and curious. Make sure to plan plenty of down time to let them release and refuel their energy by hitting a playground or a pool.
Toddlers have a hard time sitting still on plane and car rides so you need to have ways to keep them happy. Make sure to bring that backpack and always have some crayons or little toys with you.
A great idea is to give toddlers their own very robust and child-friendly camera. (great idea for a birthday before the trip) It will encourage them to observe their surroundings and focus on what interests them.
7. Planning Your Days
Less is more. Do not plan every hour of your trip. Do not plan full days with loads of sights and activities. You will be disappointed if you will not visit all. Half a day of sightseeing and the rest of the day is ‘relax mode’.
The greatest thing you can take is extra time!
And last: Do not forget to bring sunscreen and sun hats!
Enjoy your trip and every little bump along the way is part of the adventure! Enjoy the journey.
Here are 20 ways to entertain a child on a plane! Super useful, even for frequent flyers…