Monday, 3 February 2014

Things to keep in mind while traveling with small kids

Traveling is surely a fun activity for some, to some of my breed it is passion, to some others it is a good way to bond with their families and create memories. Either way when we travel we are certain to have an experience that stays alive in our minds for many decades to come. But what if we have a cute young member in the family? Here I am specifically talking about kids below the age of 5. How do you plan to take care of them while you travel?

I have a lovely devilishly naughty niece and last year we went on a long trip with her. The trip was amazing and we all had a lot of fun. But that experience made me notice how struggling it can be when you travel with kids, especially those who are younger than the age of 5. So today, I think we should talk about how to make our travel a little easier while traveling with small children.

There are some very basic points we all consider before embarking on a trip with young kids, such as:-

Food – we all understand that kids get hungry more often than the grown up. So, we all must pack some snacks and food items to satisfy their needs on the way. Just pack something they love to eat along with some juices and things will get a little smoother.

Nappies – when we talk about kids under the age of 5 years, we must understand that their urge to pee and other such activities can be really unpredictable and sometimes inconvenient. So, arm yourself with a good collection of nappies to safeguard yourself against such situations.

Medicines – this is not just for kids but for all of us. You really do not want to face health issues while traveling out of your hometown where you have little knowledge of hospitals and doctors. If it is about traveling in a place where you do not speak and understand the native language then it becomes more important to carry medicines and pain killers. With kids in the plan this idea can be life saving.

Road safety – at times it can be a little tricky to handle kids and cross a busy road at the same time. So if it is possible take their carriers and other such products.

The things mentioned above are something we all may think and plan about while preparing for the trip with our little ones because these are something which requires immediate attention. But, there are a few other factors that may get skipped in the hurry to pack and leave.

These can be:-

Toys, story books & music – kids tend to get bored much more easily than an adult. So, pack their favorite toys to keep them busy. A story book can be a nice idea if your kid is habitual to listening to bed time stories. My niece is a big fan of music. Since she was a new born she reacts to music instantly so now I never forget to load my phone with her favorite music while going with her. If your kid is also a fan of pop or jazz then don’t you ever dare to forget their favorite music behind on a trip?

Check the weather conditions – a dream destination may caste such a spell that one might forget to look for weather conditions. Although it is very vital to check the weather forecast of the place you are about to visit, it becomes even more important when you have a young soul with you. A sudden change in climate can make your kid feel uneasy. So, consider it before selecting a destination.

Spend time with kids like usual – your grown up brain is very much able to understand the limitations of traveling and being out of your home. But your kid might not be able to understand this. They have a habit of spending a particular part of day with you. For example my niece will not miss her father and mother until evening because they both work. But after 5 PM she needs her mother at home. Her mind is accustomed to this routine. So, while you are out try to spend time with your kid just like you would have at home. This makes them feel more comfortable.

Take turns in babysitting – if you are traveling with all your family members then it is the duty of all of you to take care of the little ones. Don’t leave the kid as the responsibility of just one or two members and take active participation in looking after them. This will keep them busy and make them feel more secure.

Set the days of traveling wisely – you maybe a vagabond at heart or as I call myself “A Gypsy by default soul”, but your kid still need to develop their abilities to take on the new environments and changes. Consider their health and set your travel days accordingly. With my niece I set the limit to a maximum of 15 days and make sure I do not stay at one place for more than 3 days so that does not get bored.

I hope you have a nice time spent with your family and kids and I wish that you create lots of memories to be cherished throughout the life and hundreds of photographs which you will show to your kids when they grow up.

By Prashant Rana

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