You’ve always had a love for travel, but recently, you’ve taken on a few extra responsibilities, one of them being your growing toddler. For most parents with toddlers and babies to think about, the idea of squeezing into a tightly cramped car for a road trip or spending a day on a plane packed with people can be a nightmare.
Travel sickness, boredom, tired toddlers and an overall lack of facilities can ultimately create a recipe for disaster. The good news is that you don’t have to give up your adventurous lifestyle until your child is older. With some careful preparation and planning, you can transform your trip with the little ones into a fun and exciting experience for everyone involved.
When traveling by plane
Traveling by plane is one of the easiest options for cutting down on the trauma and discomfort of exploring the world with youngsters. It is a faster way for you to get from one destination to the next, and it can help you discover a range of new vacation destinations. Of course, flights come with their own set of worries to think about, from painful ears during takeoff to rushed check-ins and bored kids.
One of the best ways to minimize your risk of problems when traveling by plane is to plan ahead and allow plenty of time so that you don’t feel rushed, stressed or overwhelmed when getting through the airport. Kids love an opportunity to explore their surroundings, so be certain to give them extra time to stare out of the windows or watch the conveyer belt go around.
When it comes to getting on the plane, try to plan your time in 15-minute slots. This means making sure that you have a range of activities to keep your child entertained throughout the journey. Since a lot of toddlers will end up napping during a flight, you might not need too many options to choose from, but it helps to be well prepared.
Additionally, make sure that you’re fully packed with all the necessities in your hand luggage, including extra wipes, snacks and even a spare set of clothing. This helps when toddlers have an accident mid-flight or end up tipping their meals onto their laps during a bout of turbulence.
When traveling by road
Loading up the car can be another great way to get around with kids when you want to take things easy and avoid the hassle of airports. However, logging those miles in the car can become exhausting when you’re being driven mad by cranky youngsters.
To prepare for your road journey, start with a quick safety check. Make sure that your child’s car seat is properly installed, pack plenty of water to keep your child hydrated and ensure that you have emergency basics such as a flashlight, first-aid kit and jumper cables on hand. You might also want to bring an extra battery for your phone, just in case.
When you’re stocking up on the essentials from your favorite baby gear outlet, make sure that you think about the entertainment options that can be found on a shopping site. You’re going to need items to keep your youngsters entertained as well as extra diaper bags, bottles and wipes to help them feel clean and comfortable.
Keep in mind that no matter how well prepared you are, you may still need to stop frequently to give everyone a chance to stretch their legs. Ideally, you might want to think about how you can synchronize your driving with the routines of your kids. For instance, think about when your toddler usually sleeps and eats.
If you leave home before lunchtime and let your kids eat in the car, then they could be napping while you get some peaceful miles in on the road. Some people even buckle their kids into the car while they’re still wearing their pajamas so that they can begin the travel at bedtime. This can be a great idea if you’re happy to drive at night.
Traveling with toddlers
Regardless of whether you choose to travel by train, plane or automobile, it’s worth remembering that an adventure with a toddler is always going to be a challenge. Confined spaces such as cars and planes, turbulence when you’re in the air, traffic, delays and cries of “Are we there yet?” can be very frustrating.
The important thing to remember is that at the end of it all, you’ll have been able to enjoy yet another incredible travel experience, and you’ll have created some memories with your family too.