With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, are you all set to fly again, but bugged by how one can journey smoothly when you would now be traveling with kids in tow?
The pandemic recently has left us stranded in our own countries and it is likely that some of us may have grown our families!
So, are you a new parent or grandparent, and hoping to finally travel abroad again, this time with the kids or grandkids?
Find out how you can overcome the struggles of traveling with kids with MEIDE’s 5 Tips for traveling with kids, right now.
An Overview Of This Article
Tip #1 Plan down to the DETAIL
… but be prepared to dump it all out. (See Tip #3!)
So should you plan? Of course! A detailed travel itinerary can never be too detailed when traveling with kids. Traveling with kids without a detailed travel itinerary is simply courting disaster.
We strongly advise against last minute travels, when bringing your children along, unless there is an emergency.
Your regular travel plans (those you used when you were single) are insufficient. Besides noting down the dates, timings, durations and budgets in your travel plans, these are more essential travel plan details required when traveling with kids:
- Your airline and flight provisions for children;
- Your overseas accommodations’ provisions for children;
- Is your travel route child-friendly? Are children safety seats in place?
- Is your packing list complete with all essential kids’ items?
- Emergency numbers to dial and nearby emergency departments that can treat pediatric cases;
Tip #2 Allocate for large luggage space and allowances
Here is a non-exhaustive packing list you would need to ADD on or consider on top of your regular stuff:
To help you, we have thrown in quick hacks alongside the list of items!
- Baby first aid kit including thermometer, paracetamol, syringes, band-aids, ice packs, cotton balls, diaper creams, and so on;
- Baby identification documents, health booklet/list of allergies or medical conditions, and vaccination records;
- Baby towel, clothes, socks and shoes, and cap (duh);
- Diapers – opt for pull up pants if suitable!
- Wet wipes and tissues – plan for “pit stops” to top up the supplies if you are travelling for more than 3 days;
- Utensils, and Hot and cold water flasks – we recommend bringing at least 2;
- Milk bottles and milk powder storage bags/containers (oh and don’t forget the scooping spoon!);
- Milk bottle washing tools like brush, and sterilizing tools;
- Baby toys – essential to keep them distracted lest you can tolerate incessant crying!
- More toys and books – offer them one by one once they show signs of boredom with the initial one(s);
- Baby carrier or sling;
- Baby pram or stroller – be sure to know the dimensions and folding capabilities to determine if they are cabin-friendly, or need to be checked in;
- Breastfeeding equipment (for breastfeeding mums);
- Travel Portable Boiling Kettle;
- Alcohol wipes and hand rubs;
- Sunscreen and mosquito repellent (pick non-DEET ones for children!);
- Travel cot (optional);
- Baby pillows (optional);
- For even more detailed packing list(s), especially for newborns, check out our DETAILED NEWBORN CHECKLIST here.
As you can see, there is plenty of stuff to pack in. Thus, when signing up for the flights and travel routes, be sure to allocate larger luggage spaces and additional weight allowances!
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Tip #3 Check if your travel itinerary is “baby-friendly”
Similar to what we mentioned earlier, you will need to make sure your itinerary is not packed with activities and time-tight!
Instead, when traveling with kids, your itinerary needs to have PLENTY of buffer and lax time. For one, be prepared to shelve off plans easily due to unexpected situations. Yeah, as the famous adage goes, “expect the unexpected”… when traveling with kids.
For example, you would likely need longer meal times to cater to your child, possibly kicking up a tantrum and refusing food, or spilling soup all over him or herself. Or, you may need to bring your kid urgently to the restroom whilst en route to catch a connecting bus/train. Yup, you get it.
Additionally, plan for “pit stops”. This means stopping by convenience stores, or baby shops, to replenish your perishable supplies like wet wipes, baby foods, powder and the like. This way, you would need to worry less about having insufficient baby items!
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Tip #4 Be prepared to deal with medical conditions
When traveling with kids, be prepared to deal with a variety of accidents and medical situations.
To list a few, falls, constipation, common colds, traveler’s diarrhea, motion sickness, fever, dengue, rashes, and earaches are common conditions you would encounter when traveling with kids.
The specifics of how to recognise and handle each condition is beyond the scope of this article. Instead, we would advise you to read the beneficial advice from CDC website here!
At this point, we also want to share essential pointers to prevent these conditions and stay healthy throughout the traveling with kids:
- Keep your child and family members vaccinated – there are specific immunization jabs recommended for some travel destinations;
- Keep your first aid kit stocked, updated and bin expired items;
- Visit your family doctor or GP beforehand to get medications and professional advice;
- List down nearest clinics and children emergency departments, including the contact number and opening hours throughout your itinerary;
- Stay well hydrated throughout the trip – use every opportunity to sip and gulp clean water!
- Eat regular meals and a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, don’t binge too much!
- Resist the temptation to try street vendor, exotic, raw or uncooked foods;
- If in doubt, stick to official bottled and sealed water as many countries do not have drinkable tap water. Boil the water before consumption or even toothbrushing;
- Keep everyones’ hands clean frequently with wet wipes and hand rubs;
Tip #5 Keep relaxed
This may sound contrary to our first tip, but it is vital. Yes, keep relaxed during your holiday! What is a vacation with too much stress anyway?
Once you get our first 4 tips in place, rest assured that you and your little ones are all set to enjoy the first vacation as a family overseas!
It is important to keep relaxed because you would likely be the leader for this trip and your mood and composure determines the exact mood and vibe of the trip. When you are cheerful, the other members in the trip will feel so too. When you become stressed, it is likely the others will feel so too.
Here are bonus tips from MEIDE on how to keep relaxed and enjoy traveling with kids:
- Bring along family-friendly card or board games to entertain yourself and kids (eg. during a long transit time);
- Plan for family activities like amusement park visits during your travels;
- Bring extra memory cards and phone and camera batteries for the photo and video spamming!
Indeed, it is too often that we see couples and families end up being MORE tired after their overseas trip than before it. Remember, your itinerary time, dates, so-called “highlights”, and “to dos” of your trip may actually be much less important than your inner peace and happiness.
Place your and your family’s well-being and health ahead of the “trip bucket list”, always!
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