Are We There Yet? Traveling with Children
The bags are packed, the days of going stir-crazy are over, but unfortunately, you may still face a couple of challenges traveling with your kids.
Whether you’re traveling by plane or car, here are a few recommendations and guidelines to think through for your kiddos. Buckle up. Here we go.
- Prepare me: One thing is certain: Getting to your destination always takes longer than you expect. It’s important to also research your route and destination for any restrictions that may still be in place due to COVID-19. Know where checkpoints might be along the way and know that some kid-friendly activities or attractions might be closed, under modified hours or may require a mask or proof of vaccination. Make sure to include diaper changes or potty breaks along your route or itinerary.
- Feed me: Let’s be honest, children and grown-ups alike all get grumpy if we’re not well fed and nourished. While traveling, this is even more important. Prevent hunger meltdowns by packing food that travels well and will make it through security if you’re flying. Read the TSA’s latest about traveling with breast milk/formula and baby food. Also, many airports now have lactation rooms to make infant feeding easier.
- Medicate me: The worst feeling in the world is when your kid is sick and you aren’t able to help them. Don’t forget to pack all the necessary medications, vitamins and daily supplements that you and your child may need while away from home. A good starting list includes fever reducers such as Tylenol or Motrin, allergy medicine and electrolyte packets. An extended list of what to bring in your first aid kit, especially when thinking about COVID-19, includes masks, gloves, thermometer, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, bandages, sunscreen, bug spray, eye drops and ear drops.
- Entertain me: Depending on the age of your child, think about the easy things that will keep everyone busy for 30 minutes at a time. Whether that’s small toys, books, a smart tablet, cell phones or games, make sure you’re fully stocked, charged up, and ready for any delays in travel that may come up. You may even consider a wireless charger for those situations where you don’t have access to an electrical outlet.
- Protect me: Even though travel is getting back to normal, the germs of COVID-19 are still lingering around us. Make sure you are protecting your family with personal protective equipment as recommended by the CDC. Additionally, practice good hand washing frequently and use sanitizing wipes to clean any surfaces that you or your child may touch.
- Clean and comfort me: Bring an extra set of clothes for the kids and the adults, especially if traveling with a baby. Oftentimes, you’re ready with an additional onesie, but what will mom or dad change into when the explosive diaper or spit up happens? Baby wipes or wet wipes are a good thing to have on hand even beyond the diaper years. It is also recommended to wear something that is comfortable and easy to maneuver in or change out of. Lastly, bring along the small comforts of home, like a blanket, pillow or stuffed animal to add an extra layer of comfort for the child that will remind them of home.
- Work with me: For those of you who visibly cringe when you see parents with children board the plane, please keep in mind that the parents are just as nervous as you are about the trip. Most of the time, parents are trying their best and appreciate the patience of other passengers. Parents, review specific questions you may want to ask your airline before traveling such as flying with a car seat.
Traveling with kids can be a challenge, but with this list you’ll be a pro in no time. The only thing left to do now that you’re fully prepared is have a great time, take lots of pictures, and make unforgettable memories!