|Taking a long trip can be stressful if one doesn’t prepare enough for it. And you can make that double if you’re traveling with a baby / Photo by: Jozef Polc via 123RF|
Taking a long trip can be stressful if one doesn’t prepare enough for it. And you can make that double if you’re traveling with a baby. As you can expect, the best way to make the trip as hassle-free as possible and the stress to the minimum is through proper planning and being prepared.
The fastest and a convenient way to travel is, of course, by air although this can be a stressful one for a little child who is not yet used to airplanes. Motherly, a lifestyle brand that provides information about motherhood, said that traveling by air with kids must take a lot of strategizing and patience.
So, aside from your basic travel necessities, here are some of the things to keep in mind if you’re making the journey with kids in tow.
Don’t Forget the Baby Essentials
According to Dr. Tanya Altmann, a trained pediatrician from UCLA, parents should have a well-stocked diaper bag. This should contain “at least 10 diapers, a changing pad, diaper cream, burp cloths, a blanket, a pacifier, hand sanitizer, and baby wipes.” She cautioned, though, that parents should avoid over-packing because it could be a hassle to travel with too much baggage.
|Parents should avoid over-packing because it could be a hassle to travel with too much baggage / Photo by: Kaspars Grinvalds via 123RF|
Double-Check Your Travel Documents
Most airlines require their passengers to show proof of the age of children. The Points Guy, an American travel website, mentioned that passengers who wish to have a swift boarding procedure should always have the kids’ birth certificates, passports, and immunization records at the ready.
Since babies are vulnerable to diseases especially when the family is traveling, it would be best if the child is at least two to three months old before they go on a trip, suggested Candice Dye, a pediatrician at the University of Alabama. She explained that these are the usual ages when most babies have already gotten their basic vaccinations.
Plan Your Flight Depending on Your Baby’s Schedule
Convenience comes with thorough planning. Babies sleep a lot so it is advisable to book flights that will coincide with their sleep schedule. This way, parents can have the luxury of having a quieter time while in flight.
Aside from this, make sure that the young ones take their milk before takeoff and landing. The sucking motion that they will do while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding will help babies and little kids to equalize the pressure in their ears that is caused by the sudden shift in altitude.
Traveling by Land
Yes, it’s much cheaper and certainly has way less hassle, but it will take more hours to get to your destination, which means that there might be a lot of tantrums and wailing from your child. Just like you, babies can be bored too. This is why most of them throw fits while on the road.
To prevent an unfortunate and stressful travel experience, consider these things:
Let them join the preparations – If your child is old enough to share their inputs regarding the upcoming family trip, let them have a say in the preparation. This will surely make them more excited since they will feel that they are really included in the family trip. Make My Trip, an online travel company from India, suggested that families can start discussing their vacation in advance so that kids can look forward to it. Of course, avoid leaving them hanging by canceling the trip.
Expect the worst – Anything can happen during the long hours of the trip. With or without a child around, things can go wrong. TripSavvy, a website that provides expert advice for family and vacation travelers, noted that parents expecting things to go south can prove to be helpful in easing the tension and stress when these things actually happen. It is also advised to keep a good sense of humor during these situations. Blowing your top for one mishap or another will never help.
Plan your stopovers – The internet provides some good help in preparing your road trip. You can check if there are stopovers along the way so you can plan your breaks. Remember that children cannot be on the road for hours without peeing or eating. Plan for stops every 1 to 3 hours during the day, and 3 to 6 hours at night to change diapers, stretch the legs, or change into clean clothes. Also, refrain from unnecessary stops so that your schedule is followed and things can go smoother than expected.
Bring distractions – To make the preceding advice work, parents must know their children’s interests. If they want to spend most of their time in front of their electronic gadgets, make sure that you bring them with you as well as enough portable chargers to keep the fun rolling along. You can also prepare games that can be played in a moving vehicle in case the kids finally become bored with their gadgets but still don’t want to sleep through the journey.
|Land travel much cheaper and certainly has way less hassle, but it will take more hours to get to your destination, which means that there might be a lot of tantrums and wailing from your child / Photo by: believeinme33 via 123RF|