Contributed by Writing Judge
Travelling with kids is much harder than doing it alone or with your friends. After all, you will have way more responsibility and you will need to follow some rules to ensure that everything is as it should be. Below, we’ve put together five helpful tips for those travelling with kids.
5 Important tips for those travelling with kids
1. Do the planning
Planning is probably the most important part of having a good trip while travelling with kids. If you plan travel time around sleep time, you will be able to make your children fall asleep much faster. You will need to schedule your flights in a way that will ensure that your children still get their sleep (this will depend on their nap times).
Try to keep in mind the sleeping conditions of your travel. If you know that the only sleep you will get at the beginning is the one during your flight, then make your plans according to that. If you know that you will be able to get a nap right once you arrive, then that could be a good thing for the overall sleeping schedule of your kids.
Sometimes, if you want to save some money, you could book one bed for yourself and one of your younger kids. Babies won’t even need a bed, but you will need to take a crib with you. Whatever you do, try to make it as comfortable for your children as possible.
2. Make sure you’re well-rested before you depart
Before starting your trip, it is always a good idea to get well-rested beforehand. Of course, during your flight, you could still get enough sleep; but you should be fresh and prepared for all the checks you will need to go through at the airport.
One interesting tactic would be to do practice runs. Take your kids with you when you are going on a short car trip somewhere and see how they behave. Travelling will more often than not excite them, but if they get used to being asleep while in the car, there will be fewer problems when you actually start travelling for long periods of time.
You could also try to exhaust your kids (in a good way!) before the flight so that they sleep on the plane. This counter-tactic will work better when you have lengthy flights such as eight-hour or 10-hour ones; but don’t use it if your flight is only a few hours long because your kids might not be rested enough after sleeping in the plane.
3. Book an accommodation that suits your family’s needs
A good accommodation is one of the most important parts of travelling. It doesn’t matter if you are doing it with kids or by yourself, you need to find a nice place (or several places) where you will be staying during your travels.
There are several options that you could choose from. Firstly, there’s the buying option. If you are planning to stay there for quite some time (or even move in at some point), you could simply buy a house or an apartment in the area. This also works for those who want to come back regularly (e.g. every summer).
Secondly, you could rent or reserve beds for yourself and your children. Once again, it could be a house or an apartment, but a hotel could also work. Just keep in mind that children always need good living conditions, so a motel that might be okay for you will not be suitable for them.
4. Prepare to adjust to new circumstances
One of the most important things about travelling, especially with kids, is being flexible and being able to adjust new circumstances. Here are some tips and tricks that you could use:
Recreating bedtime routines can make your child adjust to the new circumstances much better than they would otherwise. You need to make sure that your kid goes to sleep and wakes up at the times that they did back home.
Squeezing in naps as much as possible can help your children get enough rest and be energised for when they need to be fresh. At the same time, you could be taking naps yourself to restore your strength.
Take note of time differences
Always keep in mind time differences and remember about jet lag when going abroad. This is especially true for when you will be flying for many hours and crossing through many time zones.
Put rules in place for your kids
Breaking rules should not be something that you are afraid of. Instead, think of it as something fun. Likewise, when you get back home, try to get back on track as soon as possible and adjust to your initial schedule immediately.
5. Bring sleeping accessories and your kids’ essentials with you
Sleeping accessories can actually help both you and your children to get rested much better. For your children, these could be their favorite stuffed toys or their favourite blanket they always use. However, there is one more thing you could do.
There are apps that will run white noise or simply play soothing melodies that will help your children fall asleep. Besides, many parents also enjoy listening to such music because it is relaxing for them, too.
It’s a good idea to take accessories for yourself too, because you will need to be comfortable during the flight in order to be fresh when you exit the plane. Inflatable pillows, blankets, and blindfolds can all help you fall asleep faster once you know that your child has settled down.
If you are travelling with an infant, you will need to keep in mind that all the diapers and other items you usually use during the day will need to be used on the plane too, especially during lengthy flights — so don’t forget to take them!
All of these tips will be very useful to anyone who is considering or planning on travelling kids, especially if it’s for the very first time. Follow the tips listed in this article to get even better results and enjoy your trip, no matter the circumstances!