Traveling can bring all sorts of freedom and fun, especially when you’re spending time together as a family. However, it can also be a challenging process when your kids are young. Here are some tips to ensure everyone has an easy, stress-free trip.
Prolonged journeys can offer extremes. They may be full of excitement and new sights, or they may be interminably dull. No matter whether you are flying or driving, it’s wise to have some activities prepared beforehand. Use your children’s interests to your advantage. Are they passionate about superheroes or animals? Download related apps, or get a themed sticker book. Do they have a favorite author? Bring one of their books. Once you’ve chosen some activities, pack them in an accessible travel bag. Consider limiting use of any favorite toys, like tablets or activity books, a few days before leaving. Knowing they will have unfettered access to these things can be an incentive and make playtime all the more absorbing during travel.
Food on the Go
Part of staying healthy is what we eat. Travel does not mean you have to rely on starchy foods. There are plenty of healthy, practical options for the whole family. If you are going to be traveling by plane, you could pack fresh fruits to snack on. If you are going on a long road trip, healthy snacks will be essential so as not to have to stock up on unhealthy choices at gas stations. Look to basics like mixed nuts, dried fruits, hummus, tortillas, and combinations that include standards like peanut butter and sliced bananas. Even string cheese and peeled hard boiled eggs can be valuable sources of protein when you’re on the go.
Travel is a great platform for learning. Even if you are waiting in an airport, you can teach your children the mechanics of traveling. For instance, you could explain why it is important to arrive early, why they should look after their passports, and how to pack a certain way. If you are traveling by car, you could introduce them to how you navigate long distances. Travel also offers broader learning opportunities. Stimulate their innate curiosity and offer insights into the places you drive through or fly over. Prepare them for a new culture by going over a few words or phrases. By using travel as a way to teach, you can keep your children occupied and engaged. With their minds focused on learning, you may find that time passes by for them without any of the restlessness that might otherwise happen.
Keeping Things Clean
There’s no escaping it, but kids are curious and can be all too happy to touch unfamiliar things and surfaces. This can be particularly problematic if you are flying with them. Airports and aircrafts can be full of germs, so it’s wise to be as vigilant as possible to elude picking up any extra ones. Remind your children that they should try to avoid putting toys on potentially dirty surfaces. As a precaution, stock up on anti-bacterial wipes. Use these to disinfect toys and surfaces that your children are exposed to. If you have to use toilets on your travels, it’s wise to have your family use tissues to act as a buffer between door and toilet handles. A plane’s atmosphere can also create conditions ripe for germs, especially on long flights. Your child’s nasal passage may become dehydrated, leaving it more susceptible. Guard against this by using a smidgen of petroleum jelly inside the nose, together with a saline solution.
Remember, if you prep well and keep things clean, you’ll have a much easier — and healthier — time while traveling. With the right equipment and planning, you can make travel fun for your little ones. After all, that’s what taking trips is all about.