How to travel with young children

Travelling can be a gruelling experience, even when you’re doing it on your own. Throw young children into the mix and it and be downright overwhelming. That said, while travelling with babies and toddlers can be tricky, there a few steps that you can take to help ensure it goes smoothly.

Plan ahead 

I like being spontaneous but with young children it is important to plan ahead including itineraries incorporating family-friedly activities, and travel documents. Check that your destination does not require any visa to enter. Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to get in. A passport might be enough but it’s crucial to double check well ahead of departure. It’s easy to get visas online, though. 

Pick The Right Seats

When you go to plan your trip, I would recommend booking seats towards the front of the plane. That way, it’s a little easier to get on and off. The front of the plane also tends to be a bit quieter, so your toddler will likely prefer it. I would also recommend getting an aisle seat. This will make it easier to make trips to the bathroom. It will also allow you and your toddler to get up and walk down the aisle in case your little one feels the need to stretch their legs.

airplane

Pack Light

The less that you have to lug around the airport, the better. Your toddler might be able to walk around a bit on their own. But, you also might end up carrying them. So, ideally, you won’t be carrying too many heavy bags with you. To the extent possible, I would recommend renting or borrowing a car seat when you reach your destination instead of bringing yours on the trip. Same goes for strollers, and any other bulky toddler related gear.

Pack Some Toys

Like all of us, toddlers can get bored on flights. To help keep them entertained, bring a couple of their favourite toys. Some small cars or toy animals can go a long way towards keeping them happy. It’s a good idea to bring a couple of different types of toys with you in order to mix things up.

A Book Or Two

Books are another great way to keep little ones entertained. Since these can get fairly heavy, you will probably want to limit yourself to just a couple. Luckily, most toddlers don’t mind reading the same books over and over again, as long as you’re up for it. Plus, when you get tired of reading, they might enjoy turning the pages and looking at this pictures.

Snacks Galore

Finally, a couple of snacks can help lighten their mood. Once they get tired of reading and playing, it will probably be just about time for something to eat. It can also be a good idea to have a snack during take off and landing. The act of chewing and swallowing can help relieve ear pressure and pain. I recommend packing finger foods that aren’t too messy in order to keep things easy. Dry cereal is a perennial favourite.

snacks

Travelling with young children isn’t the easiest thing in the world. But, lots of people do it every day. So, it’s not impossible either. Do your best to prepare for the trip, and when things get tough, just remember that sooner or later you will arrive at your destination.

 

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About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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