How to Pack for Travel with Babies & ToddlersWhen travelling with your children, you need to plan for every eventuality for the journey and the holiday. Some things may seem trivial or obvious but planning for food, sleeping and entertainment can mean the difference between a pleasant journey or a complete nightmare of a journey!
Below are a few useful tips to consider when travelling with children.
Favourite ToysDon't forget to carry anything that your child loves or needs to get to sleep as it helps calm them down and stay relaxed. For example, if your little one has a favourite cuddly toy, make sure that you include it in your travel bag. A familiar object like a favourite teddy can make a strange environment feel familiar and comfortable. A fave toy can help baby get to sleep in the car, on the place and even in your destination.
First Aid KitAnything can happen when you're travelling. It's no different to being anywhere else. Always carry First Aid Essentials with you. Children are no less likely to have a temperature, a tummy-ache, or even cuts and falls while travelling and accidents can happen at any time. Obviously when you get to your destination, you can look for a pharmacy but always have plasters, an antiseptic, a few plastic bags (for sick!) and some Calpol with you when on the move. If your little one has an earache on the plane, you'll want to help him or her. My other essential is a damp flannel in a plastic bag! It can cool little ones down and clean them up!
A Change of ClothesIt's a good idea to dress your child in darker clothes for travel as you can bet that they'll tip something at some point and end up a little grubby. At least if they're wearing a dark top and jeans (or similar) then they won't look so dirty. Dressing baby in organic cotton clothes is probably best as synthetic fabrics can get scratchy and uncomfortable. I always think it's a good idea too to pack a complete change of clothes for each child in case of travel sickness. Or at least pack a clean cotton top for each child. It's not a bad idea to pop a clean top in for you too if you have a particularly young child as baby sick seems to get everywhere. And always include a few organic cotton muslin squares for mopping up spills.
Spill-Proof CupsNo doubt you already have plenty of spill-proof sippy cups for your kids, but in case you haven't, pick up a few before your trip. Imagine the uproar on the plane if a whole cup of juice spills all over your little one. To be honest even if your child uses a normal beaker or cup at home, it's better to revert to cups with a top or straw for travelling.
DrinksTravelling can be dehydrating as we know. There's a reason why the flight staff keep bringing water around when you're on a plane. It is particularly important for children to stay hydrated during your trip. Make sure to carry plenty of healthy fluids especially water for your child. You may need to buy drinks after you've passed through Security as there is a limit to the amount of fluids you can take past check-in.
SurprisesIf you have small children, you will already know that their attention for new toys lasts for only a very short time. Try and be a bit creative, so as to keep the kids occupied and entertained for longer. Have a few extra toys in your bag which you can magic up at crucial moments. Ideally you should wrap these toys so that there's some added entertainment value to the opening of the toy!
Finally, remember it's not a bad idea to be sensible when packing toys for the journey. If you're travelling by plane, train or bus then be considerate of your fellow passengers. Your toddler may love that new drum but it will get terribly wearing and annoying to the people sitting near you on a plane journey to Florida!
Kathryn Crawford, parenting writer, Granny-to-be and founder of MrandMrs50Plus.com