If you’re a first time mother or father and you start travelling with your kids, it can seem like the most stressful thing in the world. You start to imagine your kids with you on the holidays you taken in the past to romantic destinations and the thought seems almost impossible. Where do you go? How do you take them on a plane? What do you pack? We’ve prepared a list of things you should bear in mind when travelling with kids.
Documentation for travelling with children
Before you leave home you should make sure you have all your necessary documentation for you and your whole family. Make sure you’ve all got your passports and tickets. If you’re travelling with babies they will have to sit on their parents lap for the duration of the journey.
First aid kits and other essentials
It’s not necessary to take half of the pharmacy with you when travelling but you will need to think about some essentials. Depending on where you are going to go, think about what they might need, if it’s a cold place they may catch a cold, if it’s a hot country, bring sun cream and mosquito cream. Remember other basics such as plasters, bandages and wound cleaner. Also check your children’s medical record to make sure they are all up to date with vaccines, especially if you are travelling to a country which needs a special medicine before going.
ID for children
If you are worried about your children getting lost during your travel, one idea is to place a bracelet on their arm with your phone number on it. This way if someone finds them they will know exactly who to call.
Bring their favourite toys
On holidays the last thing you want is drama and crying from your children so try to keep them calm in a strange place by bringing along their favourite toy or even a nightlight. This can be very comforting when travelling a long way on a train or when going to bed at night, it will help them to feel at home.
Flying with babies
Flying with babies doesn’t have to be your worst nightmare for you or your child. Children under the age of two years can travel on the lap of their parent. Although if you really want them to have another seat you can book an extra one for your child to have a bit more space.
To stop your children crying as much as possible when on the plane, bring a dummy or a bottle with you. If your kids are a bit older they could bring chewing gum or mints to comfort them and reduce the pressure from the plane. If you have any concerns before travelling with kids, ask your child’s doctor beforehand.
It’s recommended that you arrive to the airport 2 hours before the flight, with children you should definitely come with plenty of time to spare and be ready for any unexpected events.
If you are travelling with small children, remember to bring the pram with you (preferably collapsible) you can even bring a car seat if you will need it at the other end. Different airlines have different regulations for children, so make sure you check before you set off.
Suggestions for travelling with children
Plan your trip with kids, but be flexible
it’s best to plan your trip in advance when travelling with children. Book your flights, accommodation, plan where you would like to go and how you plan to get around. But this doesn’t mean everything will run smoothly, things will probably not always go as planned and you should be prepared for that too. The Museum might close before you arrive, your children will be hungry at unexpected times but it doesn’t matter!
Adapt to your child’s pace on holiday
Don’t forget that your kids are in fact kids and holidays which are tiring for adults may be even more difficult for them. They may not be used to the hot sun all day, they don’t understand why you think a building could be so beautiful and they might want to sleep in the middle of the day. Adapt to their pace so that things can run more smoothly.
Your kids should be a part of your travel experience
Let your kids know where you are going to visit today and get them excited about it too. Transmit your adventurous spirit to your children and they can be a part of the experience too. Try out some games on the way to make it more fun and show them how incredible travelling can be.
And there’s one last thing to remember when travelling with kids, have fun!