Saturday, April 24, 2010
Travelling with little people
We've done our fair share of travelling with our kids; planes, car trips, multi destinations, Asia, Middle East, Australia. I've learnt some tricks (and lessons too) and some must haves. I normally start preparing a week before we go. Here are my tried and tested tips.
1. I pack everyone's clothes into separate small bags. I use those cloth supermarket bags for each person. Easier to pack and unpack, and clothes don't get mixed up. For the kids, I've created little tags to tie on with their name or a picture so they can recognise their things.
2. For kids that may be fussy about their clothes, I show them what we are taking. I explain we need clothes for 'playing' not fancy clothes when we travel. The less you take, the less arguments.
3. Take spare socks instead of slippers or uggies for the mornings/evenings.
4. Pack layers in case of cooler weather.
5. If your bedtime routine includes books at home, take books with you. Mr Men's are good because they are small and light. You will also need books for reading on the plane.
On the Plane/Car Trips
1. Food, snacks and emergency lollypops. Things in small packets are good; crackers, sultanas, biscuits etc. When the kids start to get crazy (and the seat belt button is on), I've been known to hand out the treats. Chewing gum is good too for older kids.
2. Take your own drink bottles. Everyone gets thirsty on planes (and the food tends to be saltier) so bring your own.
3. Bring some spare clothes (for you too) in case of accidents/spillages. I learnt this after Zahara threw up all over my husband at 6 weeks of age on a flight to Queensland. And so on. Take baby wipes with you AT ALL TIMES. Same for disenfecting hand lotion and disposable baby change mats.
4. Keeping the kids occupied will be your greatest challenge. My rule on the plane - you can watch as much TV as you want. Bringing a portable DVD player with some favourites will make your life a whole lot easier.
5. Suggested activities - stickers, playdough, colouring in, colouring books, making a travel journal (older kids), some sticking activities (use a glue stick, not runny glue), beading etc. You can make the kids a little backpack or small bag with made up activities ready. Print out colouring pages from the internet (see this post).
6. Be prepared. Print out everything! Hotel confirmations, itineraries, websites of places you are going to visit, copies of passports etc.
7. Bring some games/activities for rainy day moments too. Depending on your kids ages, games like Uno or board games are great to kill boredom.
8. It will be tiring, but you can still have enjoyable moments. Try to keep your cool. Remember you are pushing your kids out of their comfort zone so cut them some slack if they meltdown. Kids still need plenty of fresh air and running around so make sure you build this in to your daily routine as well.