Tips For Traveling With Children
Hotels-Fairy.com has compiled a brief list with tips for traveling with children safely. There are a lot of different things that a family is going to need to take into consideration when traveling with their children, and the first thing to really take into account is how old your kids are.
If you aren’t going to be able to handle a screaming child running through the aisles, you might want to reconsider your travels. Plan for the worst, hope for the best, after all.
It also depends on how you plan on traveling. If you’re backpacking, your considerations are going to be much different than if you’re traveling on a cruise or staying at a high-star Western hotel.
If you feel comfortable traveling with your children, no matter what age, there are a good deal of additional things that you should be adding to your planning lists and mental checklists.
Before You Go
When traveling with children, make sure you know their habits inside and out. Does little Sally crash and nap at around 3 in the afternoon? Does young James hate spicy food?
Know the do and do not lists, the yes and no lists, their typical daily (weekend, if they’re in school) schedule, and make sure you pack all their medications and necessary accessories. Medications, of course, should be in your carry-on luggage.
If you’re traveling to locations that are a bit more out in the wild, you’re definitely going to want to consider bringing things like –
- bottled water
- fork(s): Traveling in Asia especially, a fork or two will come to the rescue often for your children – unless they have already been exposed to chopsticks, they may find them quite difficult to use, and many restaurants may not necessarily have forks on hand.
- power adapter & converter
And of course one thing that you are going to want to do, especially if this is the first time your entire family is traveling somewhere out of the country, is to sit down with the kids in the family and explain some of the differences between the culture that you are currently in and the culture that you are going to.
When You Get There/While You’re There
Perhaps the biggest thing when traveling with children is finding ways to keep them entertained that also keeps you entertained and able to enjoy the scenery around you.
One of the easiest ways to keep your child from getting too bored is to give them a pen and paper – they’ll draw, doodle, write…or, if your kids are older, give them a map and tell them either to mark out where you all have been or where they would like to go – and it can become a great memento, as well.
Here are a few other items you should have on hand when you’re actually traveling with your children –
- Books on CD
- Puzzle Books
- Anything else they would enjoy!
When you’re traveling with children, especially if there is long car or bus travel involved…stop more often than you normally would. Not only are there the standard necessities, but children tend to get more ancey. Give them time not cooped up in a car or bus, if that is something that you can control.
Don’t forget about jet lag, either – children can be much more susceptible to it than adults, simply because they are more likely to sleep when their body tells them to then when the clock tells them to.
Sleep when they do, and hopefully you are going to be in your location for a bit more of an extended period as your adjustment to jet lag will probably be more gradual.
If you want to help with the jet lag, one of the best things to do is to get out in the light of day! Take a walk around your new “neighborhood” and see what it’s like locally before venturing out further.
When You’re Back
Traveling is something that can have a profound impact on children. Talk about what you did, create a scrapbook, get your favorite digital photos printed and framed. Remember the experience, and travel as much as you can afford to with your children – it’s something that they will never forget!
Jade Evans the author of the “Tips for traveling with children” is a freelance writer who works for London travel agency. She likes to travel with her children across the US and abroad.