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10 Tips to Make Travel with Kids Easier!!

By Palka Chopra @arrayofthoughts

by Palka Chopra

10 tips to make travel with kids easier!!

Gone are the days when I and hubby would just decide over the weekend that we needed an escape from the current hustle and make an impromptu plan to vanish from the current scene. In our BC years... (by BC here i mean before child and not before christ...) we would actually pack our bags and just drive off in our car after work hours not knowing where we would land up... while he would be driving out of the city, i would be over the phone talking to different hotels and getting our bookings sorted. It would give me such a rush as i have always been a very planned kinda soul, but living with a non-planned sort of a guy has it's benefits (...sometimes !!).

And now here we are in the AC era (after child era i mean..), where we just ended our first real holiday after our second born turned ONE. And the amount of planning it needed was no joke! From the flight bookings, to the hotels, to the sight seeing and of course to the shopping, everything kinda had to be looked into in great detail.

With my daughter who's almost 6 and a half now, i've travelled quite a bit and even alone many a times. But with kids, most of the stuff never goes how you plan and you have to think on your feet majorly. There are a lot of things that i pre-plan while packing and also during flight time. Here are some tips that work for me...

  1. Plan your bookings- Be it flight bookings or hotel bookings, make sure you are at your comfortable best. By flight bookings i mean make sure you get the most comfortable seats, if you are traveling with an infant make sure you book for the baby bassinet seat, as it has more leg room and your kid can happily play in the front. If it's a long haul flight, try getting a separate seat for your toddler, do everything that you can to make the kids and yourself comfortable during your air time. AND ALWAYS BOOK A DIRECT FLIGHT (much much easier than making those connections). Same goes with the hotel, be smart while choosing a place to stay make sure it has spacious rooms, kid activities, kids menu and kid pools, so that it's easier for everybody to enjoy.
  2. Use a smaller stroller- Make sure you never bring a mountain buggy to the airport, it just creates a hassle. Just keep one small easy to fold stroller for your travels, i have done it with both my kids and it has been a life saver.
  3. Always pack snacks- Snacks in your luggage can be such big help. Try and carry easy to use packs of dry snacks like rice cakes, granola bars, raisins, cereal loops etc. They can also help during melt-down phases.
  4. Bring first aid and medications- That's the most important thing i feel, be sure that you pack enough first aid material, and also some panadol (that did come in handy on my latest trip) and some antihistamines, you never know what can get those allergies started in a new place. Also, make sure all your prescription medicines are in your hand luggage, you never know when your flight gets delayed or one of your bags gets lost- such medicines should always be with you.
  5. Use a backpack- While traveling with kids you need both your hands free for holding on to racing kids, for wiping noses, to grab onto boarding passes and what not. Backpack is the most important invention for the people with kids.
  6. Anti-bacterial wipes and sanitizers- Get that along in your hand luggage as well as checked in ones, they'll be your best friend on the entire trip. They are always my go to when i have to clean that baby chair in a restaurant, or that tray table on the plane or just when there is no soap and water in site.
  7. Pack extra clothes- I always take two sets of extra clothes on the flight for my kids and one for me, you never know when they spill water, or have bathroom accidents. I have faced vomitings before boarding planes as well, so it's always good to have them handy. Also, try and pack a jacket or some full sleeve clothes in your check in baggage (especially for the kids) even if you are traveling to a tropical region, you never know when rain can play a spoil sport and sometimes those airconditioners can just go wild (people living in Hong Kong, will definitely know what i am saying!!)
  8. Never pack last minute- Packing for a trip with babies and kids can be very over-whelming, but leaving everything to the last minute will not help your anxiety levels. Make sure you start making a list of things to bring and what needs to be shopped much before the actual packing day, so that you don't forget anything and you can deal with the packing trauma in a civilised manner.
  9. Make sure you are ready for shocks- Melt downs and other shockers will happen especially on the flight or anytime during the trip. So don't be surprised, just be prepared! On the first day of our latest trip to Bali, our daughter got a tummy bug and was down with real high fever, thankfully it lasted just a day and she was soon feeling better. Our son, who was on his first holiday trip ever was a star flier during our flight from Hong Kong to Bali but when we were coming back he was just too tired and wouldn't stop crying, it took me about 90 minutes to pacify his howls and put him to sleep. One more tip, you might just have to ignore those gazing eyes of co-travellers who would think that you cannot even mellow your own child, just ignore them coz they are not gonna give you a hand and you know that you are always trying your best to comfort your child. For the bigger kids who understand a bit more, try carrying a meltdown prevention kit of your own, mine contains little treats, gadgets, paper and colours, noise free toys, puzzles etc.
  10. Be nice always- Especially with crew at the airport and on the flight, they are the ones who can make your travel more comfortable, talk to them if they can give you better seats, and help out on flight by heating that milk bottle or food. Never shy away from asking for help. Even good hotels would go out of their ways to make your and your child's stay the most comfortable, ask for special meals to be prepared if your child is sick or has food allergies, i am sure they'll be happy to help.

I guess i'll stop here, it's been a pretty long post as it is. But i really hope, these check points will make your travel better and easier with the kids. And i would love to know more of your own pointers which i may be able to use during my next trip this summer. Thanks a lot for reading, hope you all are enjoying your Easter break!!

Filed Under: Tagged With: Travel The Places adapt, changes, children, experience, learn, learnings, life, lifestyle, living, places, travel

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