Traveling with Kids - My Top Tips
Traveling with kids can be fun! Yes really, I promise! Read on for more.
Let me begin by telling you that a version of this article first appeared on www.mumstheworld.net, a wonderful resource for all things related to kids and travel so do check them out.
Anyone who has traveled with kids can tell you that there are 3 things that you must absolutely take with you wherever you go; your sense of humor, patience and the mantra "I will probably never see these people again". One you have that down (especially the patience bit), the rest is easy! ;-)
Our travel strategy as a family is to keep it easy till the kids are a bit older (I have a 7 and 3-year-old). We travel mostly to beach destinations with a sprinkling of cultural experiences and have decided that we will keep Europe and some of the other destinations that require more appreciation for when they are older. It works for us ☺
I have a couple of tips that have helped me travel with my kids, which I would like to share. I’ll try and break it down by age (to the point that I have something to share) I have also included some budget friendly product suggestions that might help.
Before we go on holiday, let’s talk about the flight! I have a trick that makes life very easy on the plane. I pack a carry on full of things I need, plenty of diapers, snacks, and toys, change of clothes etc. And into this carry on I also pack a smaller bag that folds down which can easily be stored under the seats. I fill essentials required for 3 hours (toys, snacks and 2 diapers) into this bag and this way I have more space and only ever need to reach above for things every 3 hours or so. It's always the little things, isn't it?
Moving on to age specifc tips...
Babies – Before kids start to walk, is the golden age of travel. Pack a sleep sack, bottle/nursing cover; a couple of teethers, a bit of basic first aid and you’re good to go. You can pack bowls and spoons if you like when they’ve begun to wean but personally, I found it easier to just pack spoons and use bowls and plates available at the hotel.
Toddlers- Now, there is a challenge! More than ever, pack your sense of humor ☺ I have found that the key to keeping the holiday easy with toddlers is to do less; nothing worse than an overtired toddler on holiday. Really.
Familiarity is key. Make sure you pack that favorite blue cup (or the world will stop spinning!) and the familiar toy, spoons & clothes. Snacks are your friends. Lots and lots and LOTS of snacks.
Ages 5 to 8 – Congratulations, you are now at an age where you can plug them in on the plane and do a lot more with them while on holiday.
My top tip for this age would be to start asking them to make scrapbooks, with drawings when they’re little and the older ones would be able to write their experiences/memories. It is such a lovely thing for them to see their own scrapbooks from when they were younger and I have found that it helps them retain some memories of the place.
Headphones, a couple of travel games and books for down time are perfect!
Ages 8-12 - I’m not here yet but I am told by those in the know (other mums!) that this is a bit like having a travel companion. Pick destinations they are learning about and interested in and keep the scrapbooking going. Walk, talk, eat and enjoy ☺
I know I promised products. We have tried to make it easy for you with a bag of curated activities by age from baby to tween to keep them occupied on the flight and then whilst on holiday. Check them out on http://www.kidore.com/toys-everywhere/mum-of-boys-mabel
We would love to see pictures of your travels and hear about your experiences so do connect with us on social media. @kidoreme is our handle on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter :-) Happy Travels!