Keep Calm & Explore the World With These Tips While Traveling With Kids
In my household, the word travel can get everyone to toe the line, from cleaning rooms to setting the table and ending sibling squabble. Travelling is an annual event where we all forget our differences and somehow show our maturity, and work towards planning and executing an event harmoniously. I can safely say this is the time when my kids tick the box of every single wish that a parent may be secretly harboring. However, this was not always the case. Initially, traveling with kids ended with multiple pre and post-anxiety and shooting blood pressure.
Traveling with them was a kill joy, sucking out the pleasure, wishing it would be better just to stay put at home. Add to that social media pressure of perfect holiday pictures. I always wonder how the celebrities manage!! Ah.. of course, the huge entourage of maids and nannies. But what about those insta-mommies without an iota of worry line and perfect Zen-like demeanor??
Few Tips While Traveling With Kids
Throughout the years, I worried, researched, and tried out permutations and combinations of various hacks to have a calm, satisfying, enjoyable disposition while travelling. And post several attempts and numerous misses, I have been manipulating the small humans in my family to have stress-free travel memories. Sharing a few below tips to help you as you plan to explore the world.
Involve The Kids In the Travel Plan
So pre-pandemic, we mostly did two vacations in a year, summer to a colder place, winter to a sunny place. Earlier everything was planned and executed by yours truly. So even if the most insignificant mess-up, like forgetting to carry an extra pair of socks, could really play with my mental peace. Over the years, I have started including the kids in the overall plan. It’s also fun as kids have really weird ideas about travel, from wanting to put up at Buckingham Palace to following trails to Arizona’s forests. We list out everyone’s favorite and then agree on a destination together.
Day Wise Break Down of Travel Plans
We break down the travel into a day-wise itinerary; each day, we do the favorite activity of one family member. It can be visiting a famous restaurant, museum, park, or historical monument or simply doing nothing and enjoying the place through walks without agenda. We even got lost at a few places a few times, which only added to the shrills of excitement and stories the kids could share back home with their grandparents and friends. Here are some tips for getting through the airport quickly and easily with kids.
Encourage Own Suitcases / Packing / Carry-On
As a rule, we have our own luggage. Instead of lugging around one or two big suitcases, we each carry our small ones (rather the ones we can push across the airport). We each make lists of things and then put them in our respective luggage. We also each have our carry-ons for the flight. The kids carry their favorite toys, book, scribble pad colors, pair of change, snacks, and water. This has worked wonders as there is no “mamma, I want my toy, I want my snack “kind of situation. The kids also feel like mini-adults putting their carry-ons for screening, collecting, and being responsible for their things.
Flights, Sightseeing Planned Around Sleep & Meals
I always plan my long-distance flights in the evening or during the day while traveling with kids. Too early and too late flights mean a cranky lot of fellow travelers, leading to tantrums. Even if we are doing a road trip, we keep decent hours with breaks for proper meals. Also, I feed the brood before boarding their flights or before we pan out for sightseeing. Even if that matters to adults, Hungry kids are not a pleasant sight or good companion. Here are the Best & Healthy Snacks To Carry While Traveling with kids.
Set Realistic Expectations
We all want to explore every popular place when we visit a different city, state, or country. Let vacations not be marathons. There is no such rule that the same place cannot be explored from a different view. Therefore, we should be realistic to reduce our own stress levels for not meeting expectations. Try to plan what to be visited and what can be missed. Given that kids are included, I always try to include child-friendly places and sometimes even connect them to the things they are studying. This creates awe gasping moments where kids even oblige and give me free time during time to explore the city on my own.
To Sum Up
Most I feel that it is all in our minds; a vacation becomes an activity with a to-do list, therefore, self-induced stress. And after all, nothing can be perfect; things might go wrong. If we accept the moment and move on, we can be really calm in any kind of situation. Also, we need to shift attention from the situations. If my kid throws a tantrum on the flight or airport or, for that matter, while visiting a place, I just pretend to tell everyone around me that “I don’t know who he is !!” and just keep some distance between us. Throughout his life, he fears that he might be left there to fend for himself, and the situation gets better.
You could also have your tricks while traveling with kids. So, please share them to help us moms to keep calm and explore the world.