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 children. Buckle up. Here we go.
- Prepare me: It’s important to research your route and destination in advance for any testing or restrictions that may still be in place due to COVID-19. Know some activities or attractions might be closed, under modified hours, or may require a mask or proof of vaccination. One thing is certain: Getting to your destination always takes longer than you expect. 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 more comfortable.
- Medicate me: The worst feeling in the world is when your child is sick and you can't help them. Don’t forget to pack all necessary medications 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. Do not forget any prescribed medication your child might be on for example: an antibiotic, ear/eye drops, or any respiratory inhalers/spacers. Lastly, don't forget other necessary items such as masks, a thermometer, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, bandages, sunscreen, and bug spray.
- Entertain me: Depending on the age of your child, think about easy activities that will keep everyone busy for 30 minutes at a time. Some great ideas are small toys, coloring/sticker books, games, or a smart tablet. Make sure you’re fully stocked with activities, charged up, and ready for any delays in travel that may come up. You may want to consider a wireless charger for those situations where you don’t have access to an electrical outlet. Lastly, you may want to download videos/movies in advance to the smart tablet as you may not have access to reliable internet.
- Protect me: Even though travel is getting back to normal, the germs of COVID-19 and other viral illnesses are still lingering around us. Make sure you are protecting your family by practicing frequent hand washing and using 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 this 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. 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.
- Buckle me: Don't forget about transportation. For the airplane, review specific questions you may want to ask your airline before traveling such as flying with a car seat. Also, don't forget to either bring or rent necessary car seats or boosters.
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!