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My little man has been traveling since he was born! When he was 3 months old I strapped him in a Baby Bjorn and took him on an Amtrak to DC. When he was 4 months old, he took his first flight, to Maine, to meet his paternal grandma! By his first birthday he had traveled to Raleigh, the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Naples, Florida!
When we added baby girl to the mix, she completed our traveling clan!
So I don’t really stress about travel. I am a big believer in being calm, flexible and prepared. But it can be daunting for new parents to leave home with their young children. Today’s guest post talks about that very topic, how to keep family travel stress free and fun!
Keeping a Lid on It: Stress-Busting Tips for Traveling With Young Children
As a young family, you’ve probably been subject to those not-so-subtle eye rolls when people see you joining the queue. And you’ve definitely experienced the feeling that someone is happier to sit by the restroom than your toddler’s stroller.
Unfortunately, those traveling with young children are often judged before they’ve even had a chance to demonstrate how well behaved their kids are. And this can make traveling incredibly stressful.
However, by taking the time to plan ahead, you can overcome whatever hurdles (or tuts or shakes of the head) you may face en route.
Here are our favorite traveling tips:
Give Yourself Enough Time
Firstly, that trip to the airport is stressful, even if you’re traveling on your own. So when you add young children and the thought of getting safely through security into the mix, it can bring you out in hives. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’ve allowed enough time to check in, get through security, grab something to eat before your flight, and go to the restroom before the plane takes off.
To make sure the security queue involves minimal stress, try to plan ahead by wearing slip-on shoes, putting your belt on afterward, and having any liquids in your hand luggage in the front pocket.
Opt for Hotels with Child-Friendly Facilities
You want to make sure your life is as easy as possible while you’re away, so look for hotels that go above and beyond for families. The Marriott Protea Fire & Ice is a great example. Equally, if you’re heading to a resort, ensure there’s at least one kids’ club on offer because this will allow you to have a few well-deserved hours to yourself.
Put Some Snacks in Your Travel Bag
Grumpy toddlers can soon make themselves known when they’re hungry, which is something you won’t want to deal with while you’re traveling. To avoid this, put plenty of snacks in your carry-on luggage, opting for healthy treats instead of ones that are loaded with sugar. It’s always best to remove the risk of having a hyperactive toddler that suffers a huge sugar comedown mid-flight!
Pack Their Favorite Comforters
It’s imperative that your child sleeps while you’re traveling, particularly if your journey is going to last more than a couple of hours. To help them settle down, pack their comforters that’ll bring a touch of home with them on their journey, e.g. a blanket or teddy bear. And, if you have space, put a cushion in your carry-on luggage too, so they can get comfy while you’re flying.
Enjoy the Memories
Finally, it’s important to make the most of these family vacations, enjoying all aspects of it from the traveling to the relaxing. Make sure you’ve got plenty of fun-filled adventures lined up. Take plenty of photos throughout the trip. That way, you can all look back on this vacation with a smile.
By putting the right plans in place, it’s easy to enjoy a stress-free vacation with your young children. Granted, there will be the odd tantrum and mishap along the way, but when you’ve planned ahead, you’ll be able to deal with these situations with ease, turning onlookers’ frowns into looks of marvel.
Katherine Norton has always been a keen traveler, backpacking around the world in her 20s. The birth of her two kids hasn’t stopped her jetting off to explore new places, it just takes a little more planning now!
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