Remember the good old days when you’d just plan a sweet and adventurous vacation with your partner without having to think too much? Bungee jumping, skydiving, water sports – you would do it all with no worries in the world. Travelling came naturally to you both till you became parents! Oh, the sweet (not so much) little kids. No really, kids are great! They are real blessings (mostly). But we all know that travel with your kids can be an adventure in its true meaning. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to avoid all the extra stress while you are traveling with your kiddos, you just need to work on these 7 simple tips.
1. Being Proactive is the Key
You have to be prepared for anything and everything kids related. Make a checklist if that helps! But before your flight takes off, all the boxes need to be checked. Be it stroller, high chair, favorite book or toy etc., you have got to take it with you or you will have to go through the unnecessary pain to first mollify your child for not bringing his/her stuff and then going out of your budget to spend on the things that you could have just brought with you. Seriously, nobody likes that feeling.
2. Try your best but don’t obsess
If you are able to, try and make advance bookings. It’s good to have a rough idea of where all you have to visit. It makes your travel with kids a bit organized and thus less hassle for you when you get there. But if there is already too much on your plate, don’t sweat it! You can take things as they come. Try and involve your kids in all the travel preparations. Make them write a To-Do List if it is age-appropriate for them. These activities make them feel a bit mature and more responsible. So the bottom line is that be prepared to travel with your kids. But travel with kids, you can never really predict anything, so just take it all naturally and don’t sweat over it! We are all just humans and kids can be really handful at times, it’s a universal fact!
3. Taken off? Take a chill pill now
While you’re booking the flight – do check carefully what they are charging for children or infants. Also make sure as to whether or not there is a fee for carrying a carrycot or stroller on the plane. By doing all this, you are saving yourself from the possible uncalled for the behavior of the staff while boarding.
After you have booked in, make sure to check-in early so you can get seats together. Try and have your hand luggage as a backpack, so your hands are free for your children. Have your children take cute little backpacks for some snacks and their favorite tiny toys, to keep them busy during the flight. While you are in the air, make sure to let yourself relax. Speak to your children about the things you will do when you get to your destination, make fun plans with them. Keep them happy and excited.
4. Jetlag, jetlag, please go away
Try your best to match the flight timings with your Kid’s bed timings if possible, if the flight is long. We all know that jet lag is quite unavoidable and kids get really cranky if they don’t the right amount of sleep. Hell, even adults get grumpy! So if the timings don’t match, you can have a stopover for the night in between. So per se, if you are planning to go to Australia, maybe have a stopover at Singapore? You can check the Universal Studios out there, it’s great!
5. Detours with kids
At the end of the day, you will only be able to enjoy if your kids are having fun. Or else the “When will we go home?” “I’m so hungry!” “I’m sleepy”, “Are we there yet?” questions won’t stop swinging by. So isn’t better that you tweak your plans according to your kids choice as well. You might have to make a detour or two while you are heading to your desired spot, since your kids might want to take a little stop at some pizza place or for a Popsicle.
Also if your munchkins are old enough, why don’t you ask them to help your decide on the activities.
6. Don’t be afraid to try new things
Just because you are traveling with your kids, doesn’t mean that you don’t explore as much! Don’t be afraid to try new things and explore all you want. Your kids might not like those architectural buildings at first – but what if they develop a liking? What if they like it so much that they want to do more research on it!
Same goes for eateries – don’t just keep playing safe and go eat those hamburgers alone. You should try local cuisines and ask your kids to the try them too. Tell them about the different ingredients that are used in those dishes that might also be locally grown! Try and see if there is some cooking class happening around your hotel. Children love to experiment! While in Italy, you could try their gelatos!
7. Keep the fun alive even when it’s over
Don’t just go into those post vacation blues. You have to keep the fun alive by making a fun art corner at your home and maybe paste your souvenirs on them. Make your kids help you with this fun activity and while you are at it, ask them to tell you what they did in those particular spots. Paste your pictures on that soft board. You can also ask your children to maybe write a small essay on what all they did during their travel and what are their favorite highlights!
Tell your children that if they behave nicely, maybe you will plan to travel with them soon again!