Travel is an exciting opportunity to get away from the humdrum of everyday life and show your children the great big world around them. Whether you’re going with Bubby and Zeidy or just the immediate family, there are so many exciting discoveries and treasured memories your children will keep for the rest of their lives. Make your trip smooth and fun with these helpful tips for traveling with little ones:
- New clothing? - It’s fun to travel to a new place all decked out in new shoes or a new outfit. Just make sure kids have at least one pair of comfortable shoes they can wear in case the new ones give them trouble. And be sure to pack extra sweaters for cold nights or overzealous air conditioners, even if you’re going to a warm place.
- Changing - Stock up with more underwear and socks than you think they need, unless you have a way to do laundry while on vacation. You don’t want to be stuck without these basics for your kids. Keep an extra change of clothing for each child handy in case of spills or accidents en route.
- Comfort - Sitting in a car or plane doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Load up on favorite pillows and stuffed animals that will make kids feel cozy and at home.
- Activities - Need activities to keep the kids busy during the ride? Bring along reading books, coloring books, crayons, handheld games, a dvd player, playdough, dolls...even homework. Each child should have his own stash so there’s no bickering over who gets what. A good trick is to give each child a surprise gift on the day of the trip that will keep them excited and busy for longer.
- First aid - Navigating your way through a pharmacy in foreign territory can be daunting, so it helps to be prepared. Pack basic medications such as band aids, cough syrup, pain relievers and chewable travel sickness pills. If you have any liquids, it’s always wise to pack them in sealed zip lock bags to avoid spills.
- Earplanes - If you’re flying, there’s an inexpensive little gadget called Earplanes that relieve ear discomfort, clogging and popping during flights. These are a big relief for anyone who’s traveled with a screaming baby. They come in both adults and kids sizes. Dramanine is another thing we swear by to help the little ones sleep during flights (some prefer melatonin).
- Keeping clean - Bring plenty of baby wipes, even if you don’t have diapers to change. They are great for cleaning sticky hands and faces on the go. And bring plastic bags for trash or soiled clothing - they don’t take up much space but are lifesavers when you need them.
- Food - It’s probably redundant to say this to Jewish parents, but just in case: make sure you have enough food. Hungry children are cranky children. Prepare individually wrapped snacks like crackers, veggies, chicken strips...anything that is easy to eat on the go. Keep the food on top of other items so it’s easily accessible whenever you need it.
Whatever happens, the main thing is to stay calm and relaxed, with your sense of humor safely secured. Surprise detours and unexpected discoveries are one of the great benefits of travel. As long as you smile and take everything in stride, your kids will long remember the laughs and good times you had together on family trips.
What are your tips for traveling with kids? Please share them in the comments below.
Until next time, Nesia Tova!