Travelling with children can be really hard, especially if you have a baby or a toddler. A lot of things can go wrong at any time during the trip, and trying to prevent public meltdowns or tantrums can be very taxing.
However, the challenges shouldn’t stop you from letting your kids see the world with you, as the benefits of travelling with them go far beyond a few good family pictures. In fact, studies published on The Telegraph reveal that going away on a vacation helps facilitate your child’s brain development by exercising their play and seeking systems. Not only that, it’s a great way to connect with your children on a whole new level, as travelling allows you to build trust and make new memories together.
So whether you are planning a big family trip to Disneyland or heading out of town to visit grandma, here are some tips that can help make travelling with your little ones a breeze:
Make a game plan with your partner
First of all, it’s important to plan with your partner ahead of time and ask each other what you would both like to achieve during your family trip. This allows you to make a schedule and determine who looks after the kids during particular activities. Allot specific times for the family to bond together and for mum and dad to do their own thing — whether together or individually. This way, every member of the family gets to relax without compromising each other’s sanity.
Pack smart, not light
Your children might need a lot of things to keep them comfortable, but it doesn’t mean you have to bring half the house along to keep their things with you at all times. Baby Centre has a handy holiday packing checklist that includes the most important items — from breastfeeding and pumping paraphernalia to your children’s nappy supplies. Make sure you to pack a capsule wardrobe that you can mix and match easily so you don’t have to bring a lot of clothes. Additionally, don’t forget things that can entertain your children. A post by iCandy suggests investing in a tablet and filling it with child-friendly games, cartoons, and books. These can be especially handy during flights or long car rides. Stuffed toys, clay, and building blocks will also keep them busy in your hotel room.
Learn how to handle tantrums
When your kids start bawling their eyes out for not getting what they want, the last thing you want to do is get mad at them. Family Lives emphasises the importance of remaining calm no matter how hard that is to do. Avoid giving in to what your child wants and don’t worry about what other people think. Look at your children in the eye and give them a hug. Sometimes, children have meltdowns because they’re feeling tired or overwhelmed, so shouting and getting mad at them won’t help. Holding your children close to you allows them to feel that you are in control of the situation and that they are safe with you.
Ask for help
Airports, stopovers, and almost all tourist destinations have services that can help you care for your kids while you’re on vacation, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need someone to watch over your kids, opt for local agencies as they make an effort to screen their employees and require the necessary certifications. List all emergency contacts, and keep them close in case of emergencies.