*Whines like a baby*
I hear my cousin, frustrated and mad, crying out loud, for her son had just messed up the freshly packed bags, because of his curiosity to see the contents of the bag.
As adorable kids are, the very fact that they have the capability to ruin something absolutely perfect with their natural behaviour is enough to get us all jittery and panicky and of course, annoyed as hell!
More often than not we forget that even otherwise, we as ‘adults’ are capable on our own to screw up things without learning how to manage a crisis.
Looking at her, I knew I was right.
Maybe we can’t control everything but having a good system at hand shortens the road to the goal.
So here is an ultimate travel guide for young parents travelling with their kids and some tips to travel hassle free and not commit those avoidable mistakes.
Here’s a Travel Guide for Young Parents from the Beginning all the way to the End:
1. The beginning
They say the only source of knowledge is experience, but doing a little bit of research will do you no harm. In fact, in the long run, it’ll help in making your experience in some of the exotic locales serene and pacific.
It could be about the language, best sightseeing spots, or even the culture etc. It doesn’t hurt to look up children friendly places like amusement parks, museums etc. These are some other things Google can help you with.
1b. Sky high problems – mentally prepare yourself
The excuses we give once we finally find a little discomfort in exploring are innumerable.
So why spoil that little break you have gifted yourself and your family, even if it was for the shortest time? Do some good research on the weather changes too, in the place you wish to stay, and your experience will be unforgettable.
1c. Be a smart booker
Get some connecting rooms with excellent staff service to help you with your ‘kiddy’ needs. Catch up on some sleep and ‘ME’ Time while you are at it.
1d. Pocket-full of Money
Finalising details by checking in on the availability of facilities and blocking important dates for events is absolutely necessary.
Moreover, with the right kind of planning, you can save up on a lot of money with advance bookings.
So while travelling you will feel financially secure and safe with some extra cash.
1e. Pack light
Irrespective of the destination or travel purpose the importance of packing light cannot be emphasised enough.
Even with kids, carrying the least number of backpacks has many benefits: not only does it provide you with a lot of mobility moving around, but it also helps you not stress about cabin space. A lot of people rush into the plane and stand first in line so they can get on board sooner and find space for their carry-on bags before the cabins fill up. With just one bag, place it under the seat and you won’t need to stress about cabin space.
Pro tip: Keep a foldable bag in hand with hanky and water bottle for the children.
With the bare necessities packed in that including phone, first aid, a few pairs of clothes and emergency contacts at hand, you are good to go.
2. Dates are Closing in on you
2a. Double/Triple check your schedule
Different airlines have different rules. Don’t be surprised when you are charged more for one thing, while with another it’s free. Keep in mind to get the variations parents need to be aware of when flying with babies or young children.
Explain the security obstacle course to kids and how the classic ‘bomb’ jokes are not acceptable;
Also how toying around with security and disturbing co-passengers is a strict no-no.
Run them through the whole process if they are old enough to understand but young enough to not be aware of the same.
2b. Enough food and drinks at hand
Always take your own snacks and food on to the plane. Usually looking for healthy options like green salads, fruit salads, and bean salads ought to do the trick as the younger ones in your family are easily prone to getting digestive problems.
Also, you may not have access to restaurants when you expect to because of obvious endless holiday travel delays.
2c. Carrying an extra pair of clothing
Let’s face it.
It is bound to get messy. From changing diapers for the infants to carry covers if they get sick and nauseous. Having those extras will be a lifesaver- it will help you get through from any embarrassing and dirty situation anywhere.
2d. Packing their favourite toys for distracting them
Barbie or Pokemon or Power ranger figurines and motorbikes.
Include stuffed toys too if possible.
Anything to keep them engaged and distracted from the arduous journey.
Plan it right! You know your kid better than anyone.
2e. Bassinet or stroll through
Make the best arrangements for their travel time. An all-around good option is a light stroller. Easy to handle, they can be used as a temporary bed for afternoon naps; they’re light and breathable. A plus point is they can be insulated with blankets too.
Give them their space.
This could be a game changer. If they are made to feel protected and covered in their own space it will help them deal with the change in the best way possible.
2f. Opt for shorter durations of travel
Your body is strong enough to handle long journeys but choosing to travel lesser distance for a quality family time with your darling tots is the wisest thing to do.
Scheduling trips based on their sleep schedule would not only make YOUR journey easier but will also make it less tiring for THEM.
3. Once you get there
3a. Home away from home
It is advisable to unpack as soon as you check in to the hotel room and create a homely vibe at the earliest. This will help you trick your kids into adjusting faster and more comfortably.
3b. Not lost- Safe and sound
Fear of losing kids is something all parents have so apart from keeping an eye on them all the time in a foreign place, you could also write a phone number on their hand so that when found by a stranger you could be contacted immediately. This will work everywhere you go! You could also invest in a GPS tracking device and make your kid wear it as a watch or band. This helps you track their movement immediately!
3c. Take care Mommy! Take care Daddy!
Kids can choose the worst time to become whiny beasts and make you feel like you are living in hell, but all you gotta do is take a deep breath and try to keep calm.
Also while pouring all your efforts into project managing your offspring’s on board, in-transit behaviour, don’t forget to look after your own wellbeing and comfort. Give yourself some me time and concentrate on yourself first and the rest will take care of itself. That time you’ll be able to cope with the inevitable tests thrown at you by your errant charges in a better way.
There you go. The simplest way to get through troubles while travelling with kids.
Follow them through and you will be at peace.
Also read: Guide for packing when travelling with kids