Traveling can be fun and rewarding, but it also is a rather exhausting endeavor. Between planning in advance, packing, transportation, and all other factors, traveling can take its toll on of you and your partner. The difficulties of traveling increase exponentially when you throw a young child or two into the mix. Naturally, it only makes sense that you would want to prepare a little extra when you’re going to be traveling with a tot, so here are a few tips for vacationing with little ones.
Prepare them for Security
If you are flying, your child will have to go through security just like an adult. This means that children old enough to walk are supposed to pass through the metal detector all on their own. It also means that your child has to part with their possessions, such as that doll or teddy bear they won’t want to let go of, before they walk through the X-ray machine. This can be confusing and traumatic for children, especially if they set off the metal detector. Let them know what they have to do in advance, and stand close by to alleviate any concerns they may have.
You may think your child is the cutest thing in the world, but that doesn’t mean everyone else does. If your children are loud — whether they’re crying infants or hyper adolescents — you should be aware of how this impacts other people. When on a plane, take your baby to the back if he or she starts crying, so you bother fewer people. When going out to eat, find kid-friendly restaurants, or sit outside. The less your children annoy other travelers, the less stressful your trip will be.
A common mistake made by parents traveling with young children is thinking that they can get whatever they need wherever they go. That’s not the case. Don’t count on being able to buy diapers and baby food in airports, hotels, or at the first exit off the freeway. When in doubt, be prepared. Pack everything you’ll need for your child, and you’ll avoid a lot of panic and stress.
Accommodate your Children
If your kids aren’t having fun traveling, then you won’t have fun traveling. Make sure that you do activities and see sights that are enjoyable for your young children. If there are places you and your partner want to see that are less interesting to your kids, you can do so once your kids fall asleep. But if you make traveling feel like a chore for your kids, they won’t have fun, and will make your life more difficult as well.
Find Easy Modes of Transportation
You may not worry about transportation for your kids when you’re home. Perhaps they’re willing to walk a lot, or you can carry them a far distance comfortably. When you’re traveling, though, you’ll want to be prepared to cover larger distances than normal. You may find that while you’re traveling you have to walk further than normal, either for fun, or because it’s the easiest way to get from point A to point B. Consider packing strollers, kid backpacks, or family bikes: they are a great way to make sure neither you nor your child gets overly exhausted.
With these tips, you can make traveling with your child less work, and more fun!