Summer is here and, for some of you, you are probably getting ready for (and somewhat dreading) that long awaited vacation with the kids.
Travelling with kids is never easy and I just survived my first international flight with my two boys. Here are five tips that helped me make it through to the other side with my sanity in check.
Pack lots of snacks
Long distance travelling usually involves a lot of sitting and waiting around for hours. Having immediate access to some of your children’s favorite snacks, both healthy and not so healthy, would help to prevent the attack of the hunger tantrums.
A well fed child means that you do not have to interact with the moody, miserable and whinier versions of your kids that emerges when they are hungry.
Packing snacks will also prevent you from spending excess money on food in the airport.
Pack their favorite toys
Now I don’t mean carry their entire toy chest, although they will try to negotiate this out of you. But having one or two of their favorite toys will provide a level of comfort and familiarity that will help to keep them calm.
Having the toys will also give them something to do as they battle with the boredom of sitting around for a couple of hours.
Allow extra screen time
I know that this goes against everything that we mothers, who always put our children’s well-being first, preach, but an eight hour flight is not an occasion for limited screen time.
If they want to play a game on the tablet, let them. If they want to watch a movie on the laptop, let them. Anything that will keep them quiet and occupied for hours at a time is allowed while travelling.
Pack their favorite blankie
Your kids will get tired while travelling and, as we all know, getting our children to sleep under normal circumstances is a task in itself.
Similar to carrying along their favorite toys, having their security blanket, bedtime teddy or whatever item is used to go night night will help them feel more comfortable and may make falling asleep on the plane a bit easier.
Stop caring about what other people think
I don’t mean be inconsiderate and let your child kick the back of the airplane seat for the entire flight, because that is just plain annoying.
However, if your child cries, that’s ok. It’s what kids do. They cry and get a bit loud and fussy. So you should not be embarrassed by the looks of other passengers as your child expresses his frustration with travelling.
Travelling is a frustrating experience and it is tiring, even for adults.
Many mothers tend to make the experience more stressful than it needs to be simply because they are unnecessarily worried about what other people are thinking or saying and who may or may not be looking at them while their child is having a meltdown.
Instead, focus on making your child as comfortable as possible so that the experience is fun and memorable, and so that you can maintain a shred of sanity for the remainder of the vacation.
Let me know if you liked this post and if you are a veteran at travelling with kids share some of your best tips to making it through alive.