Traveling with your little one
Whether you're planning your first holiday as a family or just in dire need of a family retreat, proper planning is needed! Check out how to plan a successful family holiday with your little one and how to make it as stress-free and fun-filled as possible.
When his folks were going for a trip to Sarawak with 3 year old Ryan in tow, he couldn’t understand why his parents made a big deal out of it. The day had been very frantic with his parents scurrying around last minute. Packing, booking cabs, collecting tickets – it seemed to be a mad rush!
On reaching the airport they went through the check in, security checks and an hour at the waiting. Mom seemed apprehensive, "I hope I have taken his baby wipes, his swim trunks? It’s going to be his first vacation, hope it goes perfect."
Just on entering the flight Ryan tugged his mom, "Mummy, are we there yet?"
"We have just started," she retorted.
"If this is a holiday mommy I don’t like it. Let’s get back home," he cried tears gushing from his eyes.
Mom and dad tried to comfort Ryan. The flight crew and co-passengers looked on. It all seemed to be of no use!
* * *
This could be any parents’ nightmare. Travelling is a wonderful way for a family to spend quality time together, so don’t avoid that fun trip you have been longing to take.
Here are few ways to successfully plan the perfect fun-filled vacation for your child.
1. Plan ahead
It’s all about planning. Make a to- do list for each of the days. Cover every detail in your plan like transport, hotel, costs and services offered. Do the reservations for hotels and cabs much ahead. Complete your shopping and packing before the day of travel. You have to be stress-free so your child is also calm and composed while travelling.
Keep it short and simple. Include activities your kid loves. Ask them their choice - beach or roller coasters, wildlife or resorts. According to their preference find out location which suits your budget. Avoid cramming in too much. Go for a slow pace especially with infants and toddlers.
Make a packing list. Pack comfy clothes and accessories in accordance to the destination weather. Take along multi-utility pram and well equipped travel bags to make moving easier. Don’t forget the first aid kit for unseen accidents, along with a fully-charged camera to cherish the fun family moments during your vacation!
This is one thing parents are wary about. Taking a safety harness to keep a check on the energetic tots is a good idea. Discuss with them about stranger danger. Keep a Child ID safety card on your child to avoid accidental separation.
Fun activities you can do while travelling
If you're going on a long trip, your child may get bored relatively quickly. It's good to keep them occupied to avoid a tantrum with these fun activities:
- Doodle pro or an erasable board – Play a game of ‘tic-tac-toe’ or Pictionary on them. You can draw something on it and your toddler can guess it or the other way round.
- Prepare age appropriate riddles or search online ‘What Am I?’ puzzles - Challenge your little geniuses to them “I’m red on the inside and green on the outside. What am I? A watermelon,” Let them take their own time to guess and get their young minds working.
- Kid’s educational tablet - Preload the tablet with children’s games, books, music, videos and educational apps. These are fun but avoid getting them addicted to it.
- Sticker books or a favorite story book - During takeoff and landing when no electronics are allowed.
- Play a game of ‘I Spy’ - You can play the game using the airline magazine or a book.
How to put your child to sleep
It is difficult to get your child to sleep while travelling. A little rest helps them to relax to enjoy the trip further. Follow these tips to get them their forty winks in no time:
- Travel during nap-time - Schedule your travel during your child’s nap-time
- Feed your little one on the flight - As soon as the flight takes off, offer your baby a drink, either bottle or breastfeed. This will help to ease the pressure in their ears, as well as prevent dehydration. This makes the baby feel cozy and nap easily inflight.
- Let your child sleep in the car - While driving by road the motion of the car will doze your child off instantly.
- Sing them a lullaby - Sing to them same songs or familiar bedtime story to give them a home feel while sleeping.
- Follow normal bedtime rituals - Make them feel safe and secure by following the at home bedtime rituals.
- Create a dimmed environment to help your baby sleep - Keep the environment dark by covering a blanket over the bright window. Inflight try switching off the lights and close the windows.
- Let your child nap - With the immense change in schedule your child ought to be tired. Even a small nap can get them refreshed.
- Return to your child's normal sleeping habit when back home - When they are home don’t let them keep their vacation sleep habits. They might take a day or two to get back to their usual sleep routine.
So put on the holiday cap and gear up for the perfect holidays kids in tow. Happy globetrotting!