Travelling can be a daunting task and when it’s with kids, especially under 5 years, it seems all the more formidable. But like any other challenge, there are tips and tricks to make it easier. Let’s take a look at how you can turn your travel into a pleasurable experience.
- Plan-Plan: The key is planning well in advance. Once you have your tickets booked, start by making lists-several of them! From what you need to carry to what you need to buy, let everything be written down so that you can cross-check items as and when you get them. You will be surprised at the number of things kids need, so it’s best not to rely on memory alone.
Eliminate the Unnecessary: Unless you are going on a remote safari with no civilization for miles, do remember that most other cities and countries will have most of the stuff you need for your children. From diapers to formula to munchies to activity books; most of these are available at airports or even at hotels. Lighten the load you need to carry, especially if you are travelling solo with your child.
3. Book Flights Sensibly: The first time I had to travel alone with my toddler I made sure to book flights that coincided with her nap times. As a result, the moment we sat on the plane and she started having milk, she was asleep! If you are going a short distance, book afternoon flights as most kids get tired out of the entire airport experience and are likely to snooze. For longer flights, night time is the best.
4. Pack Smart: It’s not just what you pack in your check-in luggage; it’s also what you pack in your carry-on luggage that matters. Stickers, activity worksheets and ribbons are some excellent ways to keep children busy on flights. You also need to carry snacks which they can keep munching so that you are not dependent on airline food. An extra set of clothes is a must to take into account any mishaps.You should also keep a spare set of emergency medicines at hand- for fever, vomiting and tummy upsets.
5. Board Last: Contrary to popular belief, I have always found it far more sensible to be one of the last to board when I am travelling with my child. The last thing you want is to be stuck on the flight with over 30 minutes left before it takes off. There is nothing like the cramped space of a flight to make kids restless. Also, make sure you do the last washroom round before getting onto the flight. Airline toilets are the smallest places imaginable, especially with a squirming child so it’s best to avoid them whenever possible.
Last but not the least, enjoy the adventure. You will realize that each trip with your child is a different experience. There will always be hiccups but try not to lose your cool. The excitement and curiosity that kids have at airports will make the whole trip worthwhile!