Traveling is always fascinating. You can explore new places, learn new languages, meet new people and recharge yourself. But, the story is different if you travel with children, especially young children.
My family love to travel and for the past two years, we always travel with our little son. He is now 28 months old and he has been travelling with us since he was 6 months old. Based on my personal experiences, I would like to share 5 practical and easy tips to travel with young children.
1. Come Earlier
Yes, there are always chances of having delayed flights, but it is better to be safe when you bring young children with you. Come earlier and check-in, then you can enjoy the look-around, meals and do all the cares you need (clothes or diaper changes).
Sometimes you also need extra time to re-arrange your extra luggage. It happened to us once when we traveled to Australia and since the time was quite tight, I was doing the re-packaging for 4 times and finally gave up. I told the officer that she better charge with an extra luggage charge, so we could run to the waiting room and get ready for departure. We lost several liquid gifts (read: body lotion) that we bought for our relatives because of the extra weight. We could not think of any other solution and need to prioritize the small window of time that we had.
2. Arrange the Best Time to Fly
If you are flying out for a short flight, then you need to worry a little. One or two hours of flight is manageable and most young children will be able to pass it quite easily (some are not though!). But, if you are flying a long haul, choose the time when during typical days your children are sleeping or resting. It will be easier for everyone.
I noticed that for a long-haul trip, evening or midnight flights are preferred by many parents with young children. I compared that with our option to fly out in the afternoon and I could see less numbers of young children in that flight. If you are prepared with the necessities (next point) and getting yourself and your children ready, then believe that everything is manageable.
3. Enough Supplies
You are the best person who understand what your children will need along the way. Bottles and milk, food and water, diapers, extra clothes, blanket, wet tissues, and others. Having extra supply is always better then getting panic to do last-minute shopping.
I remember one time when I walked to the airport waiting room, I saw a young mother with her baby and their family. The older woman said that the baby needed some changes since the smell was so strong. The young mother said that she packed all the diapers in the luggage and none left in her bag! Oh dear!
4. Prepare Some Activity Supplies
Let’s put gadgets aside.
It is better to bring supplies that your children love. Storybooks, notes (for them to draw and scribble), colored pencils, stickers (magical!) and their favorite toys. It is important not to bring too much and be creative along the journey.
The younger the age of children, the shorter the capability to concentrate and be engaged in any activities. Therefore, as parents, you better prepare numbers of selections in your bag to ‘entertain’ your little ones along the journey.
5. Be Relax
The worst nightmare of every traveling parents is having their children cry for hours in the plane. I am sure if you ever hop in planes, you know how difficult it is for parents to calm their crying babies.
The more panic you are, the tense the situation. This is why you need to bring enough supplies and activity tools.
Just be relax. All children cry here and there, and sometimes inside the plane.
I am wishing you all a happy holiday and have a Merry Christmas!