One of the first things which parents think of after having a child is the innate travel restrictions that would be put into place due to the new-born. Not many are ready to go through the hassles of taking their domestic or international vacation with a child to avoid packing extra baggage and handling them on the move.
However, some parents are taking a bold step of traveling with their toddlers. They are proving to the world that although it’s no child’s play, proper planning can make the preparations a lot simpler and easier to manage.
Here are our top 6 essential tips and tricks for packing and traveling with a toddler.
1.Follow this checklist for packing all the right stuff for your child
Categorize the stuff that you will need to pack for your child:
Clothing (depending on the place/s where you are going) – jackets, casuals, pajamas, nightwear, handkerchiefs, undergarments, skirts/ frocks, trousers/ jeans, caps, swimsuit
Footwear – regular walking shoes, bellies or sandals, slippers
Accessories – combs, hairclips & hairpins, sunglasses
Body essentials – toothbrush, toothpaste, bathing soap, body lotion, hand sanitizer, sunscreen lotion
Feeding – milk bottles, bottle sterilizer, bottle cleaning soap and brush, packaged baby food /milk powder, breast pump (if required)
Diapering – diapers, wet wipes, rash cream, portable potty seat, disposable bags
Medicines – Basic medicines/drops for fever, cold and cough, stomach issues, vomiting, thermometer
Travel gear – strollers, pram or kangaroo bags, comforters, traveling blanket
Entertainment – soft toys, storybooks, colors, pencils, etc.
It’s quite a large list, isn’t it? Remember to keep all the essential stuff and if possible, spare clothing and diapering items
2. Opt for comfortable backpacks and trolley bags
With the child occupying one hand, either for lugging around or holding their hand, you will need your other hand to be free. Use a trolley bag so that instead of lifting the bag everywhere you can simply drag it around without hassle.
Also, keep all essential items in a backpack with cushion straps so you can carry decent weight on the shoulders without bogging you down.
3. Pack smartly to maximize available baggage space
Now that you have made a laundry list of items to carry, it would be important to arrange them in your travel baggage smartly and efficiently. Do not forget that apart from the child’s stuff, you have to pack your items as well. Some useful hacks could be –
- Roll the clothes in the form of a cylinder instead of putting them flat
- Utilize vacant spaces in bottles, containers or any other boxes you may be carrying. Put fragile and leakage prone items in them to save on space as well as avoid spillage
- Maximize luggage compartments by opening any zippers or locks in the suitcase/bags
- Use the backpack to keep all the essential things handy in the event your main luggage gets delayed or lost during transit. The backpack should ideally be carrying everything required by the baby for a day.
4. Get your kid ready for the journey
Starting from one week before the travel, make sure that your child is in a proper health condition. Get them treated for any illness in advance. In case some vaccination is due, ensure that it is administered when there is at least a week’s margin before travel.
5. Make the flight/train journey comfortable for the child
Before boarding the flight or train, take your child to the washroom to relieve them before travel. The journey becomes more enjoyable if they feel lighter.
Many parents get flustered upon seeing their child getting cranky during a flight/train journey. They are not able to fathom the actual reason for their irritation and thus unable to alleviate the child’s issues. Mostly, children get cranky due to the surrounding noise, air pressure or the temperature within the aircraft or train. Ensure that the child is appropriately clothed and isn’t feeling stuffed unnecessarily. Also, as a precaution insert cotton earbuds in their ears at the start of the journey. In this way, the jarring noises and air pressure will reduce/ cancel out and the child will feel more comfortable traveling.
Another important point to note is the journey timings. It is advisable not to take an early morning flight as it disturbs their sleeping pattern. Choose a flight or train depending on your child’s sleeping habits to ensure maximum comfort for them.
6. Carry snacks and eatables for the child’s hunger pangs
Children tend to get hungry quite often. Stopping over for a proper meal every time can slow down your travel itinerary. It is better to carry in your backpack different snacks such as chips, baked savories, sandwiches, fruits or candies to satiate their hunger pangs till the next meal.
We hope these tips & tricks will come in handy when you plan your next trip with the child. If you plan properly in advance, the trip will turn out to be a lot more fun. Enjoy!