Travelling with children can be a gift and it can be a curse. It’s great to show them the world, to give them a new perspective, and to open their little minds from a young age but let’s face it… it can also be a real pain. Here are some useful and practical travel hacks to make travelling with kids a lot easier.
1. Be smart about snacks.
Avoid things that can spill or produce too many crumbs. Be sure everything is reclose-able and easy to munch on, and if you have more than one child, bring don’t bring just one bag of each type of snack to reduce the chance of during-travel fights (and embarrassment!).
2. Also be smart about toys.
Don’t bring toys with tons of small parts and attachments that will leave you bending over and crawling around the floor of the car, bus, train, or plane for your entire trip.
3. Prepare your babies or children for take-off and landing.
Make sure you have your young children chewing gum and your baby either nursing or drinking from his or her bottle to prevent painful ear popping (and for a non-obvious distraction). Calmly explain to your children what is happening or what is going to happen, and turn it into a game to make a potentially stressful situation go smoothly.
4. Let other passengers off the plane first.
If you’re flying, staying patient and letting other passengers off the plane first will prevent you feeling rushed and forgetting something on the plane and provides a great opportunity for your children to people watch.
5. Remember baby wipes!
They’re so useful. Whether it be cleaning up little spills or cleaning up your baby’s bottom, you’ll be glad you brought extra.
6. “Brand” your children.
It may sound a bit odd, but especially if you’re taking public transportation and traveling through busy airports or other hubs, be sure to write your contact information on your child’s body somewhere – just in case!
7. Plan your outfit beforehand.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t wear shoes that hurt your feet after you walk for a few yards – you may end up chasing your children around on many occasions. And if you’re breastfeeding, be sure to wear something loose and flowy to prevent extra struggle when your baby gets hungry.
8. Keep important documents safe and together.
Especially if you’re traveling with more than one child, you’ll undoubtedly have many items – toys, food, extra clothes – strewn all over the place. The last things you want to leave behind on your train or plane are your tickets, passports, or any other important documents!
9. Bathroom breaks will be your best friend.
Making sure everyone uses the bathroom (even if they “don’t need to”) when the designated times for bathroom breaks come around will keep everyone happier and feeling a lot less flustered.
10. And if you’re worried about your baby crying on long-haul flights…
…you can always try bribing your flight neighbors with cute presents like these parents did!