Some family time is what I can really use right now and what better time than the Christmas holidays! It is time to set on a new adventure and I can’t stop my heels from getting restless anymore. Though the adventurer in me is still damn alive and kicking but there is a mother in me who minds my prep for the travel now…..thank god for her! The best thing is that she has never stopped me from embarking on a journey, she only tells me to be well prepared and that has helped me tremendously in past three years. I have travelled with my four year old since the time he was a month old, and without many hitches!
Let me share these ‘up for grabs’ tips that come from my own experiences as a mother. These are going to make you and your child absolutely comfortable as you take that holiday together.
Weather the weather
Days of falling short on woollen and waterproof clothing are over! Catch cold all you want but the kiddo has to be safe and comfy. Check the weather and expected temperature at your destination on internet. We strongly recommend, call your hotel there and they will give you a live bit about the weather. These guys owing to their experience will also be able to give a reliable forecast to you.
Note- Keep one change of clothes handy. If you are travelling by Air then keep a change plus diapers in your cabin luggage. If road is what you are taking then keep one entire set of change on top of your clothes so that you can access it immediately without disturbing other clothes.
The meds definitely go in
My son has an issue with Paracetamol giving him constipation so I always have to buy a special prescription for him. On one travel I could only be too happy that I packed it because it was not available in any of the medical shops while we were crossing some countryside on our take-the-road holiday while he was about a year old. Make a small medical kit with a sterilising liquid, digital thermometer, bandages, band aids and basic cough, cold and fever medicine.Carrying the anti-nausea meds if you are going for a hilly ride or sea cruise is a good idea. We realized our son had altitude sickness when we were already on our way up and had nothing to stop the puking. It was not a great smelling ride, for sure!
One simple takeaway for foreign travel- carry the prescription for medicines you are carrying otherwise they will be taken away and shown dustbin as soon as you touch down.
The favourite toy
There are some toys that your child just falls in love with. My son has a teddy bear he adores and hugs him while he sleeps. The teddy bear has accompanied us on every journey we have made after my baby came along. The point is changing destinations and meeting new people everyday can be a stressful experience for the child even if it does not show. Their favourite toy gives them a sense of security so keep it to keep your bundle of joy joyful.
Kids need to be busy. Just because you love the views around you does not mean that your kid also does. Long hauls between flights and unending road journeys are particularly detested by children. Before you get caught in a wailing assault on your senses, keep things that can keep your child busy. Some games, activities that do not occupy a lot of space in your luggage must be carried. My son began with his rattles, graduated to his cars and now number and alphabet flash cards are his favourite. Keeping a colouring book or an audio story along that your child enjoys are some of the simple ideas. Many parents tend to give tabs and phones to kids; we are not particularly fond of that idea except if you can regulate the hours spent on them.
Wipes & Diapers
Kids have this uncanny knack of getting dirty at the wrong time and definitely at the wrong place.Carry lot of wipes- dry as well as wet ones with you. If the child is not toilet trained then carry diapers with you too. Do not depend on getting them at your destination because the brand that suits your child may not be available. One super tip to pack diapers- Take them out of their packet and stuff them in the small gaps within your clothes after you are done packing your bag! You will be able to pack more of them in the smallest of spaces.
Food, water and Milk
Water is one thing that can upset your child’s tummy easily. So keep bottled water with you at all times. Milk is another element you should be careful about so carry formula for toddlers and PediaSure or similar milk mixes for older kids. Carrying food mixes for younger children is highly recommended especially when you have little idea about the food at the place you are travelling to. Bread, cheese and butter are available at all places not to forget veggies like tomatoes and cucumber- a recipe for a perfect wholesome sandwich!Note- always keep munchies and knick knacks for the kids to eat.
It is always a good idea to get in touch with hotels that you are planning to stay in. Book in advance ones you have shortlisted your favourites. Do not assume anything about the facilities; inquire about them beforehand particularly when you are travelling out of country because the standards are not same everywhere.
Your checklist should include the following:
- In-house doctor availability, if not then nearest hospital or clinic;
- Provision of nanny services;
- Cot or separate baby bed availability;
- Kind of food served and whether food is served in the room;
- Warm water availability;
- Nearest city and how much time it takes to get there;
- Acceptance of credit and debit cards in the hotel and places nearby.
Traveling with kids need not be a hassle; in fact it inculcates a sense of adventure and exposes children to wonders of the world. Simple tips and proper preparation can help creating wonderful memories out of the holidays. As I compile and share these valuable tips with you, I wish you all parents the joys of their lives happy holidays!