Traveling with little ones can be tricky even during the best of times; there are so many things to think about, from keeping everyone fed and entertained to making sure everyone stays safe for the entire trip. Illness is another concern, especially when traveling by plane; no one wants to travel with sickness going around! Yet summer is a busy time for families, many of whom want to get away for a warm-weather vacation, so it’s important to find ways to make a trip easy and fun.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to reduce stress during a trip; mostly, it starts with good planning and packing. Thinking ahead will allow you to be prepared for just about anything, which will in turn help your loved ones enjoy the trip without worry or discomfort. Getting good rest during the trip is essential for everyone, so make it a priority while you’re away. A lack of adequate sleep can take a toll on your mood and ability to function well, which is not only bad news for your enjoyment of the trip, but can also be dangerous.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to make your trip easy and fun.
The goal for any successful trip is to plan well, but make it a point not to get hung up on a schedule, as this will cause you stress if there are delays. Traveling with little ones often means changing things around to accommodate them, and if you’re flying, there’s just no way to predict whether or not your flights will be on time. Plan the route, estimate an arrival time, and prepare for stops whether you’re traveling by car or plane, but leave a little wiggle room.
Packing well is half the battle when it comes to traveling with your family. If you’ll be flying, consider dividing up everyone’s belongings and packing half-and-half with a buddy; this way, if your luggage gets lost, you’ll still have a few things packed in your spouse’s bag, for instance. Think about the essentials for your destination, such as bug spray, sunblock, and weather-appropriate clothing.
If you’re taking a road trip, pack quick, easy, healthy snacks--such as fruit, string cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and turkey wraps--in a cooler so you can stop at a park or rest area and let everyone fill their bellies. Pack a separate bag for everyone that holds only their toiletries, a change of clothing, and pajamas so you can quickly grab them from the car if you’re stopping for the night at a hotel.
If you have a baby or toddler who needs toys for entertainment, or if your 3-year-old can’t live without his stuffed bear, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for disinfecting those items during the trip, especially if you’re traveling by plane. Bring empty, gallon-sized plastic resealable bags to hold toys that have fallen on the floor or been exposed to germs; these can be cleaned with soap and hot water once you arrive at your destination. Stuffed animals can be spot-cleaned with a cloth and hot, soapy water or hand sanitizer. If you’re traveling in the car, bring a small spray bottle filled with equal parts water and vinegar to clean off toys quickly and easily. For some great tips on how to keep small toys clean on the go, read on here.
Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. With some planning, you can create a trip that everyone will love while ensuring that your family stays safe and healthy. Remember to leave some wiggle room in your schedule in order to prevent anxiety.
Guest writer: Alexis Hall