While traveling with kiddos can seem daunting (you may feel like you hear echoes of “Are we there yet?” already), some pre-departure preparation will make the trip a lot easier for you, and for them. Whether you’re traveling by car or by plane, you’ll be ready to enjoy the journey, and your adventure, together.
What are your child’s favourite activities? Whether it’s colouring, puzzles or games, it’s likely that there’s a travel-friendly version of them that you can pull out when they’re feeling restless. Look for inexpensive activity packs that your child hasn’t seen before, and savour the extra few seconds of interest in something new. Load some age-appropriate games and shows on an iPad when the need for quiet time strikes. ( we have some seriously adorable Binkybro children's blue-light glasses at the shop!) If you’re traveling on an airplane make sure to pack decibel-limiting headphones; the other passengers don’t want to hear Paw Patrol for the entire flight!
And how could we forget the snacks?! Pre-packaged baggies of carrots, crackers and fruit will come in handy as you handle never ending requests for snacks, even when on the go.
Whether you’ll be cruising down the highway, or soaring through the air, get your child used to the idea of traveling, especially if it’s their first big trip. Little road-trippers will love hearing about where you’re going, where you plan to stop, and what they’ll have access to during the trip. For those who are getting ready to get their wings for the first time, walk them through what to expect before you even get to the airport. Create fake tickets, and take them through the boarding process, even if it’s just onto their bed! The more they know, the better they can handle unfamiliar or new experiences.
Even toddlers can help pack their own bags (with lots of direction, of course!). Get them to count out how many shirts, shorts and pairs of socks they’ll need for the trip, and explain why they might need any special items like swimsuits, bike helmets or scooters. Let them choose their travel outfit to get them excited for the actual journey.
We all get restless when we’re stuck on a plane or car, and your child is no different! Help manage any extra energy by making a conscious effort to get moving before you go. Get your steps in by accompanying them up and down the airport terminal, or have them do jumping jacks in the backyard to help manage some of the pre-travel excitement.
Easier said than done, being able to roll with the punches when traveling with small children will make the overall travel experience better (we promise). Preparing ahead of your departure will have you ahead of the game, but we all know that littles like to follow their own schedules and whims, even at the best of times. Chalk it all up as part of the adventure, and savour the memories you make along the way.