Whether you’re taking a road trip or an international flight, traveling with young children can be both a challenge and a joy. Here are five things to bring with you to add more points to the “joy column” when traveling with youngsters.
1. Distractions. Travel time (by car, train, plane, etc.) can be, let’s face it, kind of boring. Of course, most adults would call this time relaxing. And it still can be, even with youngsters by your side. The key is bringing enough distractions (books, art materials, iPad, etc.) to provide them with something to do. You can even turn this into a learning experience if you encourage them to read or make art about the place you’re traveling to.
2. Nourishment. Healthy snacks are the key to keeping blood sugar levels balanced and kids happy while traveling. Some of my favorites include fresh or dried fruit, natural snack bars, nuts, peanut butter sandwiches, and string cheese. Be sure to pack water and juice boxes too, to keep those little bodies hydrated.
3. First Aid Materials. I learned this one the hard way. Injuries happen when you least expect them to, so it’s good to be prepared. I travel with a small, easily accessible first aid kit that contains Band-Aids, Neosporin, anti-itch cream, and children’s Tylenol or Advil. IF your children have allergies, this would be a great place to keep epiPens or any other medication he or she might need.
4. Extras. Another thing I learned the hard way; always bring extras. This especially holds true for clothes and snacks. Kleenex, diapers, wipes, and other disposables also fall into this category. Think about the length of your travel time and estimate what you’ll need. Then add more.
5. Patience. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but it’s important to be extra patient with little ones on travel days. Travel can be challenging for everyone, but especially for youngsters who are shaken out of their routines and asked to sit (or stand, or walk) for long periods of time. Being patient with them will help make the journey more pleasant for everyone.
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