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6 Tips For Traveling With Young Children

Travelers Today       By    David Thompson

Updated: Mar 24, 2022 12:48 PM EDT

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6 Tips For Traveling With Young Children

(Photo: Yeo Khee via Unsplash)

Planning for a trip takes some time, even if it's just you going out of town. Throw into the planning mix small children, and you may feel a little overwhelmed - especially if this is your first trip with small children. While it's critical to know how to protect children when traveling, other tips make your journey easier, from what you need for the car, train, or plane to what you want while you're at your destination. Let's look at some tips for traveling with young ones in tow. 

First Aid Kit 

If you're traveling in your vehicle, you may already have a first aid kit in the car - if you don't, buy one now to keep it there permanently. If you're traveling in another way, say by plane or train, pack a small first aid kit in your carry-all with you. You never know when you'll need band-aids, pain relievers, or anything else. Luck favors the prepared, so cover your bases with a first aid kit. 

Time Consumers 

You want to have things on hand to keep your little ones occupied for the journey. While "getting there is half the fun," this isn't always the case with toddlers and very small children. iPads and tablets are great, but you may not have Wi-Fi, so including things like personalized books with photos, coloring books, and small toys is a must. If you are taking a road trip, coming equipped with a playlist of songs the children enjoy is a great idea - this is an excellent memory-making opportunity, too, as the whole family sings along. 

Healthy Snacks 

Sure, fast food is delicious, and sometimes you have to grab convenience items from gas stations or airports. But, with a bit of planning, you can make sure your children are not only satiated but nourished. Convenience foods are full of over-processed ingredients that don't do anything good for the person consuming them. If you have a small cooler, items like chopped veggies or fruit, cheeses, and yogurts are great go-to's. If you don't have a way to keep things chilled, nuts and granola mixes make a great snack option. 

A Positive Attitude 

Like anything in life, it's a good idea to expect the unexpected. When traveling with young children, it's a great idea to keep yourself in a mental space that fosters a positive attitude. Children don't understand layovers or setbacks like adults can, so rolling with the punches with a good mindset is critical to keep them from melting down. If you're traveling with another adult and need to take a minute to yourself to regroup, discuss that with one another ahead of time and honor it. 

Essential Toiletries 

While you may pack your makeup in your suitcase, you want to have essential toiletries on hand - you can consider putting them in your first-aid kit but may not have room. Items on this essentials list are things like SPF (which should be worn year-round, no matter where you're going), insect repellent, and creams for burns or wounds. You may think that you'll buy these things when you get to where you're headed, but you might find yourself in need before arrival, and chances are they'll cost more in a vacation environment than at your local drugstore. Save yourself some money and gain peace of mind by packing them ahead of time. 

Set Expectations Ahead Of Time 

If you've never traveled with a young child to a place where they will see all new sights, sounds, and stores, you could be in for some severe meltdowns if you don't set expectations around spending ahead of time. You can go the route of a set budget per child to spend on vacation or whatever constrictions you are comfortable with. But, letting the child know that they can't have every souvenir they see is best discussed before arrival. 

Traveling with children is exhausting, but it's more joyful than tiring. Watching them experience the world through their young eyes and hearts is one of the most memorable experiences and feelings in the world. Don't let your trip be more stressful than it needs to be by implementing the earlier tips to make the journey and the destination as carefree as possible. Happy Trails!

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