Traveling with children is not for the faint of heart.
After some years of experience, I have gathered some of the top tips and tricks for traveling stress-free with children. You have to be on your game and prepared for everything as a mommy traveling with the little ones. Read on to learn how to make your travels with the children pretty much stress-free.
Bring your phone/tablet/dvd player
If your children are getting fussy or you need to focus on something without interruption, hand over your phone, tablet, or DVD player. Sometimes us moms like to use this as a last resort solution, but when you are traveling it’s okay. Your children will stay entertained and engaged which will make your stress levels decrease.
Bring drawing/colouring/crossword activities
Activity books are great for keeping the children happy. Before your trip, bring your little ones to the toy store to pick out some new activity books. Get them really excited about them and tell them they can play with them only if they are good while traveling. It creates some incentives and rewards your children for being good. They will be consumed with the activity books for some time.
Take a pillow
Why not make your time on the plane as comfortable as possible? Check with your airlines what size pillows are allowed on board or ask if they provide pillows and blankets. Get your children cozy so that they can catch some sleep and you can sit back and relax.
Pack snacks and toys in your travel bag
Don’t forget snacks and extra toys in your carry on! Of course, you will get some snacks and a drink on board, depending on how long your flight is, but your children will get hungry. Also snacking keeps them happy and busy.
If traveling with a baby, use a backpack as your carry-on so that hands are free to push the pram
Make your life easier and be sure to use a backpack as your carry-on so that you are freed up to push the pram around. Remember, you only have two arms and hands!
Courier your luggage instead of waiting around to retrieve it at the airport
To cut back on wait time upon arrival, have your luggage shipped to your destination. Believe it or not, it is sometimes cheaper than paying for luggage check-in through the airline. Do your research for the most cost effective option and think about what will make your arrival easiest.
Be an early bird to immensely mitigate your stress levels. Get to the airport at least a couple of hours earlier before boarding so that you don’t have to worry. Nothing creates more stress than being late.
If you live a distance away from the airport, maybe drive nearby the day before your departure and book a room to stay overnight in. One time, my family and I had to get a flight from Gatwick to Nice and spent the night before in a hotel close to the airport. It was great as I didn’t have to sit through rush hour traffic with three excited and at times, restless children.
Check the rules about buying seats for your children
It may not be necessary to buy seats for your children if they are under a certain age as they can share with you! Call or check the website of your choice airlines to get more details about the necessary booking details. For example, with KLM airlines, if your child is under two years they must travel sitting on your lap. An adult can travel with two babies, but only one can sit on your lap and the other will need a booked seat. You have to contact the airlines directly when booking a seat for a 0 or 1-year-old.
Do your research and see if there are any necessary vaccinations to travel to your destination. Make sure you get them well in advance of your trip. It is better to be safe than sorry!
Pack painkillers and medication
It is not always easy to get simple medications and drugs in certain places around the world. Furthermore, it can be a little nerve-wracking if the labels and ingredients are in a different language, so do yourself a favor and pack your own from home.
Speaking from my own personal experience, don’t ever travel without travel insurance. There are hundreds of providers but do your research and find the one that fulfills your needs. Also, when it comes to payments while traveling, load a prepaid card or compare travel credit cards. According to NerdWallet, here are the best travel credit cards of 2017.
I hope these tips help to make your next travel experience with your children stress-free!