Being a mom and pursuing the passion to explore the world is a real challenge. Traveling with kids can be both, a joyful experience and a disaster. If you are willing to avoid the second option, you better do some preparations. There are lots of suggestions from the experienced travelers online. However, it is always more effective to rely on your own observations. You know your kids better after all. Do take a look at what people on the Web say, but do not have false expectations. Every experience is unique, as every child is. There are, however, some common techniques, which you can use to make your journey less stressful.
Do the smart packing:
You might think that making a list of necessary things is a bit old-fashioned or it is a waste of time. It is not, especially, if you are traveling with kids. You can surely let your older kids pack their bags by themselves. It will give them a feeling of responsibility and will raise the anticipation spirits. However, do remember to check what they have packed to avoid some drama later. Take into account the weather conditions in the region where you are going. With younger kids, it is a good idea to have spare clothes for both, them and yourself in your hand luggage. You never know what will happen on the way and you definitely would not want to be wearing a wet or dirty T-shirt for many hours until you finally get your suitcase back. Sometimes it can seem that you have too many things. In this case, check again. You might have taken clothes or other staff you will not need. Select the kids clothes carefully. Think of the place you are going to visit. Does your daughter really need a dozen party dresses? Be practical when packing.
Remember to have a first aid kit with you all the time. Of course, you know better if your kid needs any particular medicine. If he or she does not take any medication at the moment, you should still think of some meds which might be needed during the trip. Those are plasters, pain-killing syrup, and some antihistamines. Do not forget to add baby wipes, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent to this list. This is extremely important if you are traveling around Asia. If your kids are allergic or you do not like the idea of applying mosquito lotion or creme to their sensitive skin, you can use mosquito patches, which you can stick on to their clothes. Those will guarantee your kids are safe from the bug’s bites for many hours.
Keep them busy:
Whenever you plan a trip, you should look at the whole thing from the child’s perspective. Even adults feel bored if they have to wait for a long time. What about the kids who need their energy to be spent? Be prepared for the delays. It is easier to travel with kids now because we have all these devices to keep them busy. Even if you normally limit their time with their tablets or phones, you might wish to make an exception. It is advisable to download some useful educational apps or videos, though. There are also other ways to keep the kids busy. Those can be some new toys and books, depending on the age and preferences of your kids. Surprise them. It will surely pay off. Origami puzzles and word search games are on top of the list for older kids. Another thing which can keep them occupied is drawing a map or writing a travel journal. Believe it or not, kids will get excited to take notes during their trip and it can even turn into a wonderful hobby in future.
Use public transport more:
Some parents try to avoid traveling with kids by public transport in a new country. It is not the best idea. First, kids can have a chance to explore the new place and the local life. Next, it is much more exciting for young travelers to try new means of transport like boats, ferries and even Tuk-tuks. Finally, you can save money and time, since public transport is definitely cheaper than taxis or car rentals.
Make new friends:
Traveling with kids can be pretty tiring, but it is also much more fun. Kids make friends easier than adults. So, it would be great if you can encourage them to start a chat with other kids you meet on the way. It can be a start of a great friendship or just a way to spend some fun time.
So, having young or not so young kids should not stop you from traveling around the world. You can have lots of fun with them and experience new things together. The key to success here is being flexible, creative and patient. Try to look at those endless lines at the airports and hundreds of strangers waiting for their flight through the eyes of the kids. Think how to turn it into a fun experience and the new adventure will be awaiting you.