Tips and Tricks for Traveling with Children
Tips and Tricks for Traveling with Children
Nothing can drive parents to their knees faster than travelling with children. It seems that there is just no way to minimize the misery for you, for your kids, or for those around you. Flying gets you to your destination quickly, but it puts you at the mercy of a strict schedule. Plus, you never know how your child is going to behave on an airplane. And the only thing worse than dealing with miserable children is forcing strangers to deal with tantrums or crying. Driving allows you to minimize the impact on others, but sometimes it simply is not feasible. Last-minute travel needs, family emergencies, cross-country road trips, etc. all make air travel a necessity. Besides, between long times on the roads and endless bathroom breaks, traveling by car is not much easier. So, what is the solution?
Well, if you came here for a magical formula to making travel with children feel like a day at the spa – well, sorry. There simply is no fix-all solution. What you can do, however, is take steps to minimize discomfort and boredom for your kids, so as to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Children are unpredictable and often uncontrollable. So do not be surprised when problems arise. But by taking steps to minimize the most common issues associated with travel, you can increase your chances of having a (relatively) smooth travel experience with your kids.
- Use slip-on shoes.
Slip-on shoes can make travel much easier, whether you are going by air, train, or car. With air travel, taking off and replacing shoes in the security line can be a real pain for everyone, but when you are traveling with children, having to take lace-up shoes off and put them back on takes time and hassle. Slip-on shoes such as these Buddy Navy Paints Sneakers can save you valuable time. Even if you are avoiding air travel, you can easily slip these shoes off and on your little one in the car to keep your child comfortable while helping you adhere to your schedule.
- Dress your child comfortably.
Your child’s clothing while you are traveling can make a bigger difference than you think. As an adult, one of the unfortunate facts of life that we have gotten used to is that we cannot always wear what we want or feel as comfortable as we would like to. Children – bless their hearts – have not yet had to accept this reality. And given that most children do not understand the need for or benefits of travel, you should allow them some degree of control over their travel clothing to the extent that you can. Therefore, dressing your child “comfortably” means more than just breathable clothes – it also means allowing him to wear something that he likes. If that means Superman pajamas, so be it. Your child will be happier, meaning that you (and the people around you) will be, too.
- Snacks, snacks, snacks.
A hungry child is a grumpy child. And when you combine grumpy children with the cost of food on the road, you can get one ugly, expensive result. Pack snacks that you know your child likes, and remember to cut back on sugar. The last thing that you need is a crazy child on a sugar high running up and down the aisles of the plane or wriggling out of her car seat. Having snacks on hand can also prevent unnecessary stops during car trips.
- Games and movies help pass the time.
If your child likes movies, then you should download some movies onto a mobile device before you leave the house. And do not forget the headphones! Buy a headphone splitter if you will have more than one child using the same device. You can also download some new games for your child to play, as the novelty of having something new can often be a good tool for distracting bored kids.
- Do not be too hard on them – or yourself.
Traveling with children is so stressful. But keep in mind that kids are, after all, just kids, and that they do not have the same comprehension levels or patience as adults. Things like delays, being stuck in small spaces, and having to keep their feet and hands to themselves can be difficult for kids to understand or to remember. And when it comes to you, remember that you are doing the best that you can. We have all been there, and you likely have the sympathy of the parents around you.
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