Traveling with Kids
12 Things to keep in mind while travelling with toddlers and kids
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Traveling plans with your partner are totally different from the traveling plan that you need to make while traveling with toddlers and kids. When you were traveling just with your partner you did not need to make any travel plans ahead. You can just decide and get out of the house in a wink. The things you just needed were some CD’s, pair of clothes, your mobile and your clothes and boom your travel began. You were able to book the tickets just a day in advance and travel. But, once you have toddlers and kids with you the whole scenario changes. Here are some tips on things to keep in mind while traveling with toddlers and kids.

Things to keep in mind while traveling with toddlers and kids

To begin with, you need to start packing a few days in advance. You need to prepare a checklist of things that you need to do while you plan a trip

  • Decide the destination
  • Diaper bag for toddlers
  • First aid box
  • Medicines
  • Baby food and formula feed and snacks
  • Kids toiletries
  • Toys and other entertainment activities
  • Clothes and kids gear according to weather
  • Travel documents
  • Electronic accessories and books
  • Strollers, car seats and other accessories
  • Mode of transportation

Decide the destination

When you are planning for the destination for holidays you need to consider a lot of factors. You need to call up and check with the hotel that you have reserved for a lot of things like if they provide with the type of food you give to your toddler and kids. Discuss with them any other special needs that you might be having for your baby. Also, make sure that the destination that you are deciding should have a lot of gaming activities and museums to visit for kids to keep them entertained. Also, you need to check with them if they have a medical practitioner on call or not. After going through all these things you need to decide the safest destination to travel. Also, if your kid is too young you may not take the risk of traveling for a long distance.

Picture Credit: Continental Kid

Diaper bag for toddlers

If you have a toddler or a kid who is still in its diapers then you also need to prepare the diaper bag in advance. The diaper bag must contain more than enough diapers. It is a no big deal if you have more than required amount of diapers. At Least, you will not have to worry about the shortage of diapers. You also need a pack or two of wipes. You will also need an alcohol-free hand sanitizer in the diaper bag to disinfect your hands after changing the diaper. The diaper bag should also contain a rash free cream of any brand for the application if the kids get diaper rash.

First Aid box

A first aid kit is always a necessity when traveling with kids. The kids tend to run around a lot while traveling. In the process of running around the kids and the toddlers might hurt themselves. At that time we immediately need a first aid kit. The first aid kit should contain a tube of antiseptic ointments like soframycin or betadine.  A small bottle of Dettol or savlon. Some cotton, a gauze pad and some adhesive tapes. For minor cuts, you might also need a Band-Aid tape. You may also want to put a small thermometer in your first aid kit. You may need the thermometer if your kid falls sick and starts having the fever.

Medicines

The first and the foremost and the never to forget thing if you are traveling with kids. Before traveling make sure to pay a visit to your pediatrician and ask him or her to prescribe a few basic medicines for the kid. It is recommended that you check with the airline and the airport authorities if you are allowed to carry the medicines with you and in what quantity. Also, if you are making an international travel make sure that you check with the other country rules and regulations. The airline might also need a letter from the pediatrician for the medicines that you are carrying with you.

Baby food and formula feed and snacks

If your baby is very young and not eating solids then make sure you are carrying an ample quantity of baby food and if your baby is on formula feed then an ample quantity of formula feed also. In that case, you may also need with you an ample quantity of sterilized bottles, a sterilizer, bottle cleaning accessories etc. If you are traveling with a toddler who can eat solids make sure to get some healthy snacks for the kid. It is highly possible that there might be a delay in the travel plans and you may not reach the hotel or restaurants at the destination on time. If you are traveling by air make sure to check with the airline if they are providing food on flight or not. If not, get something for the kid from the duty-free shop that is there after you check in.

Picture Credit: Gypsy Momma

Kids toiletries

Kids and baby’s skin are very sensitive and hence it is highly important that you carry the toiletries including soaps, shampoos, and lotions used by kids at home. We adults can use the toiletries provided by the hotels. But, most of the hotels do not have toiletries for the kids. And the kids might have an allergic reaction to the toiletries provided by hotels. So, make sure you carry all the kid’s toiletries including baby brush, toothpaste, bath soap, shampoo, lotions and other needy things in a small travel size quantity in a pouch. This will keep the kids relaxed and happy.

Toys and other entertainment activities

Kids are very fickle minded and lose interest in things pretty easily. Kids are full of enthusiasm and are really hyperactive. So, while traveling you need to pack a few of your kid’s favorite games and activities. You may need some good books, games for kids and some good movie Cd’s that you can put on for kids on a portable cd player. You should also make sure that you do not give all these items to the kids at the same time. Then the kids will get bored of all of them easily. Make sure that you give it to the kid one by one at a particular time interval so that the kid does not get bored of it and is interested in playing the games that you give him or her. Also, if you are traveling with a baby make sure that you pack the kids favorite teddy or other toys that the baby can play with and also can get to sleep easily with it.

Clothes and kids gear according to weather and destination

Picture Credit: JohnWyne

Think about the destination that you have planned for vacation and then accordingly pack clothes for your baby and kids. You do not want your baby to be extremely hot or cold. If the weather at the destination is going to be warm and humid then pack some light summer clothes for the kid. If the weather at the destination is going to be cold or snowing pack warm clothes, blankets, hand gloves, woolen socks etc.  Also, check about the activities for the kids that are available over at the destination. Accordingly, you may want to pack swimming costumes, trekking gear or skiing gears for the kids.  

Travel documents

Most of the time we pack everything, but, in the hustle and bustle, we tend to forget the important travel documents. You need to have your passports, tickets, hotel reservation vouchers, your identification proof etc handy. You also need to see that you have your kids travel documents in order and with you. The travel documents should be placed in a place where it is easily accessible and you can get it fast when you need to show to the security personnel. You may also need to keep your kids birth certificate handy if your kid is less than three years old. For kids below three years of age usually, there is no ticket or tickets are available at half price. If you are making an international trip you may also need the passport for your kid and visa approval for all of you.

Electronic accessories and books

While going out on a vacation you should also carry electronic items. These items include a camera to take a lot of pictures, your mobile phones, chargers for digital cameras and mobile phones. You may also want to carry a portable CD player for your kid. You can play some DVD on the portable player for your kid or baby to keep him or her calm during the travel time and to keep him entertained. Also, want to carry your earphones to listen to some music. Also, you may want to pack a book or two for you to complete during your travel.  But, make sure you do not pack an access of all these things. It will just overload your luggage and make it heavier.

Strollers, car seats and other accessories

Depending on the mode of transportation that you are using you may need car seats, strollers, booster seats etc for your baby. You may need to fit the car seat in the car that you are traveling or take it with you by air or by train. If your baby is young and cannot walk for long distances you may need to carry a stroller with you. It is highly necessary that if you are traveling by air, you check with the airline whether they will allow car seat and stroller with you. Also, if traveling by air it is a huge discomfort of removing the baby from the car seat or stroller and then putting the car seat and stroller on the conveyer belt. So, looking at all these things it is advisable that you get a rented car with car seat and a rented stroller for your baby at the place of travel.

Modes of transportation

It is advisable to use the mode of transportation that is comfortable and fast to reach. You can travel by car, train, bus or by air depending on the convenience. Make sure that you reach at the point of travel early. To keep some time in hand. While traveling by air, start boarding the plane when they make the earlier announcement. Do the same while boarding the train. This way you will get more time to settle down with kids. There will be less fuss and ruckus while traveling.

It is a huge responsibility to travel with kids and babies. Please keep all these factors in mind while traveling. This will help you enjoy your vacation with kids and babies with ease and fun.