World Citizen Wednesdays #6: Tips for Traveling with Kids
Each week we pose a question to members of the fabulous Multicultural Kid Blogs group and share their answers here.
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This week we continue to share answers to the question:
What is your top tip for traveling with kids?
Jennifer of The Good Long Road: Here is my post for traveling with 2 1/2 year old and baby by myself earlier this year. My best tip for flying with a baby is to nurse during take off and landing. It helps the baby with the ear pressure adjustment and (if you are lucky) will put them asleep for the first part of the flight. I have also found it very useful when traveling with babies to bring some type of wrap/baby wearing device – makes it much easier to get through the airport and during the flight often keeps the baby very content being snuggled close with mommy.
For my toddler/pre-k boy, whether it is a flight or drive, having a new book (new to him) or two (or 3) is great. On our last weekend getaway, we popped into a Goodwill at the start of the trip and I grabbed a 25 cent truck book that came in handy. Finally, pack snacks that they like/that comfort them. For my little ones it is making sure I have enough milk and also bringing granola bars.
Joanna of Mamá de nuevo a los 40: We take a trip in our car two days a week for at least 2 hours going and 2 coming back. We have water to drink, some fruits, books, a portable dvd player, audible books, kids songs, etc. We try to match the trip with nap time too. When we went to Peru on our last vacation, because it was our first plane trip, we drank some tea, ran a lot in the airport and we choose an hour early in night, watched a couple of videos, worked in an activity book with stickers, colouring pages, ate some light food and slept half the time in plane. We spent all the time in trip with both kids, talking and playing (almost 2 and almost 4 years old). Was a good trip without scream or crying kids, we are planning our next trip to Cali, Colombia!
Mia of Pragmatic Mom: Let your child pack a backpack of snacks and entertainment. I shop for small toys and games to pack it also.
Becky of Kid World Citizen: Be prepared (with snacks, extra clothes, surprises), have a sense of humor, and remember that you probably won’t ever see these people again:). When my daughter had rotovirus and we had to travel home, I had to wash my white blouse in the airplane bathroom, try it with paper towels, and then wear it the rest of the flight. She went through 3 outfits and ended up in just a onesie wrapped in my pashmina scarf. I don’t think the young guy next to us will EVER have kids after witnessing that much body fluid on the long flight!!!!
Jody of Mud Hut Mama: Know your kids’ limitations. My older daughter has been a pretty easy traveler since birth and from a very young age she has taken long flights, long drives and crossing time zones in her stride. My youngest, not so much. We have traveled to the States (a 30 hour trip from door to door and a 7 hour time difference) two times since she was born (she’s two and a half). Both times she screamed for much of the trip and we were those people that no one wanted to sit anywhere near. Even after the journey was over the time difference did a number on her and she just wasn’t herself which put a strain on her and made the trip stressful for everyone. That is part of the reason we are staying on this continent this year and doing a more manageable trip for her (11 hour trip with no time difference and only and 2.5 hour flight). As she gets older she will be better able to understand and adjust to long flights. Even next year she will be old enough to use headphones and will have a longer attention span so she can watch movies and understand that she needs to sleep in her seat but right now we have to make accommodations for her age and her temperament so that we can all enjoy our trips.
Varya of Little Artists: When my older one was around 1 year 10 months, we had to take a 5 hours plane ride with 1 stop over. She was quite restless, wouldn’t sit in one place. Whatever I prepared for her was not of her interest. An air-hostess finally came and offered to give her a tour. 20 minutes later I went to see what my daughter was doing – she was on the floor at the back of the plane crushing the packing foam. I was terrified and ready to grab her but the air-hostess said it was fine and she was watching her. I sat at the back of the plane and occasionally glanced over. My tot was engaged for 1.5 hours. She made A LOT of mess which I was not allowed to clean up (how nice!).
Now we make sure to take a lot of coloring pages, books, range of crayons and even portable paints. We also load our phones and laptops with tons of cartoons. We aren’t happy with our children staring into screens but considering how difficult it is for them to fly or take long train/bus journeys, we resort to screens when everything else has been tried! I think the most important thing is to WANT to spend time with your children on the journey and not try to get rid of them and keep them quiet.
Our top tip? Your fellow travelers are much more sympathetic than you’d expect. Many are also parents and have been in the boat that you are in now. We have always been pleasantly surprised at how kind others are in helping entertain our son or even just that smile that gives you the boost you need at a bad moment.
To find out more about these amazing bloggers, check out the Multicultural Kid Blogs Facebook page. And watch for our group website, coming soon!