Before we had children my husband and I travelled frequently, sometimes together and sometimes alone. A lot of the time it was at the last minute and it was so easy to whip out the suitcase, throw a few things in and take off. Flying was a breeze. We could arrive at the airport, check in, go and have a coffee or something to eat, board the plane, and if it was a long trip just sleep the whole way. Oh those were the days. Traveling with children is definitely different.
Since having kids it takes me an hour just to get them ready and pack the nappy bag to leave for a day out, so getting them ready for a trip away can be a nightmare. Imagine you’re driving to the airport and your toddler needs to go to the toilet but you’re on the highway and can’t stop, or your baby has just vomited his last feed all over himself. Imagine them throwing tantrums because their bored, or hungry, or whatever. At first it was so overwhelming but over time we have got better at it and it seems to be less stressful each time.
Here’s a few things that I can’t leave without when traveling with children:
Pram & Baby Carrier
Double prams are a nightmare, heavy and uncomfortable to travel with when flying and they take up a huge amount of space in the car. Taking 2 prams you have the same problem, where to fit them! This is where a baby carrier comes in handy. We usually take our big pram with us which can have 2 uses. My toddler will walk while the bub is in the pram, and then when he gets tired we put him in the pram and the bub in the baby carrier. So much lighter to travel with and easier getting around shops and restaurants.
Two spare outfits for each child
I always thought one spare outfit was enough, but for a baby you need at least two. You never know when a nappy explosion can occur and it may just happen more than once. And if your bub is one to throw up after every feed you may go through more bibs than you have on hand.
Pull Up’s for newly trained toddlers
Having a 2 year old who is newly toilet trained there are bound to be some occasional accidents. If I know we are going on a long trip I put his “special jocks” on, the ones with cars on them. If for some reason we are not able to stop in time I know that if he has an accident we won’t have to deal with the smell of pee in the car seat, and changing his clothes on arrival.
At least a whole packet of wipes
Wipes are my best friend. You can use them for a nappy change, for cleaning up dirty faces after lunch, and also for wiping the little ones hands if they start playing with the dirt! They also come in handy if you can’t make it to wash hands before eating snacks!
Little packs of your kids favourite snacks can be a god send when your lining up at the airport, waiting for a taxi, or on a long drive. Travelling can be tiring more so for children so they are hungry more often. I find if I have some of my sons favourites on hand it will quickly quieten down a tantrum.
Books & Favourite Toys
Books are always a winner with my toddler. He can look at them by himself or we can read a story together, they’re great to pass the time in the car or on a plane ride. If he has a few cars and motorbikes with him too then It’s even better!
For me this is a last resort. I am not one to let my son sit for hours in front of the tv or play apps all day but when travelling there can be desperate times where you need something quick to keep him amused when I have ran out of everything else. I have some great children’s language apps on our tablet that we use, and a few short episodes of his favourite shows. These are always a winner. It’s like Christmas has come early for my son when I tell him he can use the tablet!
Written by Chontelle Bonfiglio