It begins with exasperated sighs. Then comes the drumming of tiny feet on the back of your chair. And finally, the dreaded “are we there yet?” Traveling with little ones is no laughing matter— from meltdowns to motion sickness, tykes make traveling much more troublesome.
But don’t put down your plane tickets just yet. Despite the drawbacks, venturing outside the four walls of their childhood bedroom can benefit your little ones developmentally. For one thing, exposing your child to new locations also helps broaden their mind. The curiosity and excitement that travel can spark in your child is a great launching point for learning.
However, with new experiences comes new complications. What are the common culprits of child conniptions? For one thing, a new routine (or lack of one) and irregular schedules can set an emotionally vulnerable kid off. Travel may interfere with naps or mealtime. What’s more, confined space during vacations can cause discomfort in your restless bundles of energy.
Are you hoping to minimize your family’s risk of travel tantrums? Rest assured that there’s no need to cross your fingers or wish on shooting stars. A tranquil, meltdown-free vacation is well within reach with these tried-and-true travel tips.
Choose your transportation wisely
Air travel means a quicker journey— but keep in mind that you’ll need to store every snack pack, change of clothes, and stuffed animal in your TSA-regulated carry-on. While less time-efficient than air travel, train travel is a novel and exciting way to explore unfamiliar territory. Consider booking tickets for times when your child will be most relaxed for the onboarding process.
For those parents cringing at the thought of lugging fussy toddlers onto a train or aircraft, a good old fashioned road trip is a great way to ensure the journey to your final destination is full-filled. Should you decide to take the risk of mid-flight meltdowns, you won’t have transportation once you reach the end of your adventure. Luckily, you can ship your vehicle to your vacation spot of choice, which means less time spent in a rental car and public transportation (presenting fewer opportunities for full-blown toddler travel tantrums).
Not to mention, the familiar interior of your car can help your child find comfort while traversing uncharted territory. Are you sold on the benefits of auto transportation services? If so, research reputable car shipping services providers like Guardian Auto Transport and set your little ones up for success.
Prepare for meals in advance
Will your flight or boarding time interfere with your meals? If so, try to find an alternate boarding time. If that’s not possible, then pack snacks. When eating out, avoid travel tantrums by bringing a special bag of entertaining toys to keep them preoccupied while they are waiting for their dinner to come.
Make sure that everyone is well-rested
A prime culprit for travel tantrums is lack of sleep. Make sure that the night before travel, everyone gets their full 8 hours in dreamland. While traveling, do your best to maintain an existing bedtime routine to maintain some semblance of stability and familiarity in your child’s schedule, even while on the road.
Try to identify and remove triggers
You know your child best. Keep in mind their biggest triggers for tantrums, and try to avoid them. Know your kid hates feeling sick? Have tums and gum ready. Know your kid gets bored quickly? Be sure to pack mobile devices and plenty of travel-friendly toys.
No one wants to haul around a million suitcases. What’s more, chances are your anxiety will be higher with more valuables to keep track of. That said, it’s better to pack light rather than cramming the contents of your child’s bedroom into a carry-on. This will help avoid travel tantrums.
Practice makes perfect
Help your child understand the type of behavior you expect during travel by walking them through it. Create scenarios and help your child navigate what you want them to do. This demo will help them in real-world travel situations they find difficult.
Traveling with kids can be challenging, but the occasional hiccups are well worth the scrapbook-worthy moments along the way. Travel tantrums be gone!