We asked award-winning mummy blogger Jenny Taylor (of Let’s Talk Mommy) to share her top tips and essential items for a peaceful and easy journey with the kids.
Our family loves traveling the world together, seeing various countries and new cultures along the way. We also love exploring our own country, so we’ve had quite a bit of experience traveling with children by car, train, and airplane. If you have never travelled with your children or are planning on taking your first lengthy trip, here are a few key points and top tips that I would like to share.
My biggest tip here is start packing early, especially if you have a young baby. Babies need more things than you can imagine when traveling. Lay out your suitcases and keep checking your checklist to make sure everything is packed the week before you leave. Also, make sure anything you’ll need urgently is at the top of your suitcase. It’s a nightmare rooting around for the formula with a tired, hungry baby.
When you are traveling alone or as a couple, you don’t have to put much thought into a carry-on bag or your day bag. However, when it comes to traveling with children, you will need to become a pro at planning what to put in that small bag. Our changing bag has to have enough snacks, water, entertainment and extra clothing for all of us. I advise staying away from sugary drinks and snacks; no one wants to try to contain a sugar high toddler on a plane or train. Also, try to not pack the biggest and heaviest favourite toy. Your back will thank you.
Whether it’s a camping trip or a foreign country, there’s always a chance your child might catch a cold or need first aid. Pack a small bag for Calpol, plasters, antibacterial cream along with their special creams they might need like Sudocrem.
It may seem obvious, but I can think of countless times when I just checked the forecast for the first few days and didn’t pack enough warmer clothes for the second week when the weather drastically changed on us. Pack clothes that layer and extra clothes for those accidents. Let’s face it; all kids have accidents, whether it’s the potty kind, the ice cream in lap kind, or juice at dinner kind.
There is nothing wrong with doing your research before you go away and planning out your days in advance. Even if it’s a rough draft for guidance on where to go, what to see and what to do, being organised will mean you have more time for family fun.
Often, we only think about planning and packing for the holiday itself. But what about the long car rides to the airport and from the airport to the hotel and back again? When you’re traveling with children, every minute has to be accounted for. We have about an hour’s drive to the airport when we fly and I don’t want to use everything I packed for the flight, so I have a separate bag in my car for transportation needs. This goes for road trip, too. You can get a back seat organiser to hold your all your child’s essentials for the car ride. They roll up nicely and can be connected to the back of the airplane seat too for easy-to-reach items while you fly, as babies don’t usually use the pull-down tray. One of my favourite items to always have in the car is a back seat iPad holder that easily straps to the back of any seat and fits a standard iPad into it. This is a definite must-have for long road trips with children. And don’t forget those easy-to-install window smart shades to keep the sun off the kids and the glare off the iPad.
The most important tip to remember when traveling with children is that it’s all about keeping the peace. If your child is happy, you are happy. You can’t prepare and predict everything; something will always come up that’s challenging or unforeseen. But as long as you stay relaxed and take it in your stride, then you can enjoy a wonderful family time together wherever your travels take you.