10 useful tips when traveling with young kids

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Holidays are a time for fun, relaxation and when many of us squeeze in a family vacation.  Traveling with small children if not done right can easily trigger a ton of extra anxiety and ruin those happy and special moments.

1) Pack ahead of time: don’t wait until the day before to start packing, chances are you may need to buy something –  adding more to your plate at the last minute will create more stress. Another important point, when you pack at the last minute there is a  tendency to start jamming luggage with unnecessary items.

2) The “backpack”: having a backpack with all your essentials for the trip is a plus since you don’t have to start checking every single bag to find what you need. The backpack can also be a life saver in the event your luggage gets lost or delayed … I personally like to use Ziploc bags to pack items, this makes it easier to find stuff inside the bag and protected against any spills. What to put in the backpack:

  • For your chid: pajamas, spare clothes, diapers and/or underwear, wipes, snacks, blanket, bottles, favorite toy and/or activity book.
  • For you: spare clothes (chances are they spill something on you), first aid kit (or at least thermometer and fever medicine), earplugs (for your neighboring passengers LOL), bubble gum (helps to release stress).

3) More than one kid? if you have more than one kid chances are they will have at least one quarrel… so what worked beautifully for my family on a very long trip from Miami to Hawaii (with 2 small kids and 1 of them just starting potty training) was to divide the forces. My husband and my son sat several rows up and my daughter and I sat near the restroom for potty training purposes. It was a peaceful and smooth trip-  believe it or not! Taking the fights out of the equation HELPS A LOT plus handling just one child versus 2 makes it more manageable.

4) Potty stops: if traveling by car, just make sure you know the route and identify ahead of time the service stops. If traveling with small kids, you may want to pack a portable potty to avoid accidents on the car… or reverting back to diapers.

5) Healthy snacks: during a trip it is very important to pack healthy snacks that your child likes to eat. Try and avoid trying something new that can upset their stomachs. Keeping your child with a satisfied belly will help avoid irritability and tantrums.

6) Dress comfortably: we all like our kids looking super cute at all times but when it comes to travel make sure you avoid hard fabrics such as a denim or collar t-shirts. Instead go with play clothes and confortable shoes.

7) Traveling at the right time: if you have the choice to select your departure time, pick the hours that you think will fit best with your child’s routine. Some kids do better traveling during nap time but keep in mind every child is different so follow your instincts.

8) First Aid Kit: when traveling chances of your kid getting sick are high since they are exposed to new things like restaurant food and bacteria.  This goes with the territory so be prepared and carry medicines you think will be useful. These are the items I always bring when traveling: thermometer, fever and pain medicine, band-aid, Neosporin, anti-allergic and something to treat upset stomachs and motion sickness.

9) Stroller: unless your kid doesn’t fit in a stroller anymore, I highly recommend traveling with one. Strollers not only carry your child but can also help you carry handbags / backpacks. Bringing a stroller will let your child nap comfortably anywhere and let them feel safe in crowded places. Your back and hips will be eternally grateful!

10) PACK A LOT OF PATIENCE! let’s be real, traveling with young children can be stressful and nerve racking.  Try to not forget that everything is temporary! Do your best, focus on important things like keeping your child safe, SMILE at all times and most of all – enjoy the moment!

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