There’s been a lot of talk recently about the benefits of going travelling with your kids from a younger age. Not only will it help introduce them to the wider world, broadening upon their own horizons, but travelling as a young family can also help strengthen your relationships with your children and partner. But we know how intimidating it can be to plan a trip with a toddler or two in tow, so we’re here to help! Here are a few tips and tricks for travelling with young children.
A lot of young families are seeking out serviced apartments over hotels or motels, simply because the flexible space available in serviced apartments is far more accommodating of families with small children. We know how frustrating it is trying to get a good night’s sleep on those spare ‘cots’ that hotels offer us when what we really need is a bed. So why would we expect our kids to make do with this too? Serviced apartments are usually larger than most hotel rooms, and are highly customisable to suit your stay. This means extra beds or even whole extra rooms if you need them, alongside full kitchen, bathroom, and even laundry facilities to ensure that everyone is feeling comfortable and cared for.
The secret to keeping younger kids happy on long flights, and other lengthy experiences in transit, is packing for mental stimulation and physical comfort. This means that you should definitely include a change of clothes for each young child, alongside baby wipes, a travel-sized first aid kit, water and snacks, as well as books, games like puzzles and handheld devices, toys, and other comfort items. It’ll also help to use packing cubes to separate all your items, making it easier for you to find specific supplies in a flash. If you’re expecting a lengthy flight, it might also be beneficial to pack bedtime supplies like your toothbrushes, toothpaste, pyjamas, and any stuffed animals or small blankets that may encourage sleep. Maintaining a familiar routine can help comfort younger children in particular on longer flights.
It’s always recommended that you have some structure when you travel with young children, and this is why family-friendly itineraries are so widely shared and easy to find. But a few extra pit stops along the way is an inevitable phenomenon for young parents, so these should be taken into account when you’re planning out each day in your journey. Aim for two or a definite maximum of three activities per day, and make sure that there’s not too much travel in between. You want to save the bulk of your travel for early in the morning or later during the day, to ensure that you’re less likely to be stuck in transit with bored kids who are wide awake and rearing to do something other than sitting around.
Make sure you also give your young ones room to stop and look around! Sometimes, the best memories are made in secluded stopovers or even in an evening in. If your kids are feeling the need to stay indoors for the evening and enjoy the view from your room, then let it happen. Take a break and order some pizza. You might end up remembering that night for a long time to come.
Finally, for all you first-time parents out there, it’s important that you understand that you’re not alone. No matter how much screaming or crying you deal within any given moment, no matter how frustrated you might feel or how guilty you might feel for disturbing the peace, chances are high that everybody around you has been in your shoes at one point or another. So don’t fret too much if you still get the occasional tantrum or lose a stuffed animal along the way. We’re all in your corner.