If you are a brand new parent, and you think that you can’t possibly travel with a little one in tow, do think again. If you know how to do it, you can travel quite well with a small child. In the interest of happy family vacations for all, we are pleased to present a few tricks and tips for traveling with a young family.
Travel as light as you can.
When packing for your family trip, don’t overdo it. The fewer things you pack, the easier it will be to load the car and scoot around the airport. Will you be traveling with an infant or pre-potty-trained toddler? Bring just enough diapers for a day or two, and buy more when you arrive at your destination. Not every kid needs their own suitcase. Pack a small bag for each child, then stuff all the bags into one or two large suitcases.
Bring an umbrella type stroller in lieu of a big one. If you don’t happen to have a travel size stroller, bring the big one anyway, and use it to tote luggage. Don’t even think of taking a big stroller on an airplane, though. The airline company will gladly stow it in the belly of the aircraft with your luggage, explains The Art of Simple magazine.
Pack snacks and carry cash.
Allot a backpack to each child who’s old enough to walk. In the pack, let them carry healthful treats such as raisins and granola bars. Include a coloring book, crayons, and other lightweight analog activities. In your own carry-on bag, stash a ziplock bag filled with baby wipes. Use them when needed to clean up sticky fingers, runny noses, and other little kiddy messes without resorting to an aircraft restroom.
Before you leave for the airport, tuck at least $40 in one-dollar bills into your pocket. When you travel with a herd of kids, it is especially appreciated that you tip service workers well. Make sure you have ready cash available to tip doormen, baggage valets, cab drivers, and food servers. Be remembered for your generosity, not your traveling circus of boisterous children, advise travel gurus at Huffington Post.
Set up your home-away-from-home asap.
The sooner your family makes itself at home at the Marriott Airport Hotel or wherever you are lodging, the sooner the kiddies will calm down and everyone can relax. If you have a folding playpen, set it up first. Wash baby’s face and change their diaper, then let them settle in with their most cherished stuffed animal. Create a play space for toddlers, and make a food zone, too. If your room has a kitchen, put kid-friendly snacks in the fridge and place unbreakable bowls and spoons in a bottom drawer.
Traveling with toddlers can be a bit of a challenge, but it can also be a delightful excursion if you travel light, travel smart, and remain calm. Other families have done it, and you can, too.