There was a time when travelling abroad with kids was quite an adventure and kids happily looked forward to seeing new places and meeting new friends. Unfortunately, with the heightened security at airports around the globe, travelling can be a bit of a challenge trying to keep kids occupied through long queues. Then, once on the plane, it’s another wait before take-off and even older kids can get a bit antsy in such cramped quarters. For those brave spirits planning a trip abroad with kids, here’s how to make it less stressful on yourself as well as for the little ones.
1. Don’t Travel with More than You Need
One of the biggest mistakes some parents make is to pack altogether too much when travelling. Only bring what you need because you will need to cart it around through airports and back and forth to your hotel. This goes for carry-on luggage as well. Yes, you have kids and will need to keep them entertained, but with a bit of planning you can limit what you bring so that it is just enough for the trip. Use sturdy luggage such as Rimowa that is lightweight, can handle heavier loads and is strong enough to prevent cracking and breaking due to poor handling in baggage.
2. Bring a Surprise Treat for the Kids
Some stewards and airline hosts have mentioned that there are ingenious parents out there who know the drill. They have seen kids delight in little gifts that are wrapped and tied with bows. Usually these are some kind of hands-on game or toy that will keep the kids busy during the flight. It has been suggested that a new toy they can unwrap will keep them much busier than playing with something they use every day. The novelty of a new toy will keep them busy for hours.
3. Prepare for Little Accidents
Smaller children still have accidents when they can’t get to the restroom quickly enough or are so distracted by everything going on around them that they forget to tell mum they need to go. Pull-ups are a great idea for children up to six years old so that if there should be a tiny accident in their seat it isn’t a big deal.
4. Keep Kids Out of the Aisles
Even though you may not be purchasing a hot meal or a beverage on the plane, others may be and those food carts can lose an item or two during mid-flight turbulence. Always make sure the kids are seated in inside seats, taking the aisle yourself to avoid any dangers of passers-by inadvertently knocking the kids.
5. Pack Your Snacks
Also, few flights come with complimentary meals anymore and even though there may be foods to buy in-flight, most will be expensive and certainly not what kids enjoy. Pack snacks and plenty of bottled water. It is suggested that you may want to purchase bottled water after clearing security so as not to be detained too long whilst the guards go through your carry-ons.
Travelling with kids can be quite a lot of fun if you plan for all those little eventualities. Just remember that kids, by nature, can’t sit still, so plan to keep them entertained. A bit of planning and these helpful tips should make your trip much more enjoyable and a whole lot less stressful.
6. Get Comfortable Footwear
If you are going to be doing a lot of walking during your trip, make sure your family has the proper footwear. You don’t want to end up needing to carry your kids because they are complaining of blisters or needing to stop and purchase new shoes in a foreign land. Shop on sites like Zappos for well known comfort brands like Toms, Stride Rite, Skechers, Sofft and Born. You can suite up your whole family in comfortable shoes.