5 Tips For Traveling With Young Children
As parents, the dreaded “Are we there yet?” is a question that will haunt our minds forevermore. As we know, children have a very short attention span, but can be easily amused with as little as a packet of vibrant crayons and a Disney colouring-in book (as can we). Identifying what entertains your young child is a little more difficult, though. So, no matter whether you’re preparing to fly with young children for the first time after having applied for your ESTA visa (Go to estaregistration.co.uk if you need a little help!) or are setting off on a 4+ hour car journey, consider our five tips for travelling with your youngest.
1. Pack Snacks – lots of them!
Snacks or ‘finger food’ is a great way to keep your young child’s mind off of the long journey ahead, and avoids cranky child syndrome. We suggest packing multiple snack options such as raisins, string cheese, pretzels, cereal bars, apple slices and animal crackers. If you are flying with kids, you may be more limited to what you can and can’t take on board. Luckily, airplanes sell multiple food options suitable for kids including snack boxes fit for an adult. Plus, you can eat some to test it tastes ‘ok’ of course – wink, wink.
If you plan to keep your feet firmly on the ground, entertaining young children can be easily achieved. There are so many activity packs on the market and things to get emerged in the awe of, such as watching movies on the go or playing puzzles on the iPad. However if you play to fly to an exotic destination, keeping your children entertained for the duration of the flight is a little bit more difficult because you don’t get access to the internet 10,000 feet in the air – no matter how many times you try to refresh the page! We suggest keep your impatient children entertained in the air by bringing stickers, dolls and dot-to-dot games along with you.
3. Bring Surprises
A great way to travel with young children and keep tantrums at bay when things start to become really strained is to surprise them with a new toy, or two! Not only do kids love unwrapping things wrapped in fancy paper, but the obsession of a new toy will keep them entertained for a couple of hours at the very least, if not longer! Plus, it’s a fantastic way to get your young children excited about going on holiday if they aren’t already!
4. Consider Flying At Night
Before you even book your flight abroad, consider the benefits of flying at night, as long as your child doesn’t suffer with not being able to sleep anywhere but a bed. Overnight flights give both you and your young child the time to sleep, so when you wake up you’ll be in your destination! For those that struggle to fall asleep in the air, be sure to dress your child in comfortable attire and bring an extra blanket along for ultimate cosiness.
5. Plan Your Journey
Above all, the best tip to travelling with young children is to plan your journey on the duration. For a two-hour journey, you need at least 8 activities to keep your little ones entertained. That’s a new activity every 15 minutes! This way, you can keep them busy without having to stop at the service station an hour into the journey or be forced to buy ridiculously overpriced kids activity packs on-board and airplane or boat.
For more on traveling with kids, check out 15 TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH PRESCHOOLERS.
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Joe is a marketing manager and travel editor for Daily Mom.He grew up in Minnesota, so he enjoys any kind of outdoor adventures, but also knows his way around a video game console. He grew up playing many sports as well as fishing with his family. He usually can be found traveling around the world somewhere, writing, taking photos, shooting videos, working out and exploring. He’s been traveling around the world since he was 3 months old and hasn’t stopped since. He also loves to cook and very much loves to eat. He enjoys being quizzed on movie trivia and cannot help but quotes TV/movies in his daily life.