Thursday, January 14, 2010 Posted by Shattered Paradigm
Author: Andrew Regan
Travelling with your children can be a truly rewarding experience, enabling you to witness their experience of new and exciting surroundings. However, it can also be an extremely trying task, as many young children can become impatient or fussy on long trips. Follow a few simple tips during your family travels, and help ensure the experience is pleasant for both you and your children.
No matter where you’re travelling or what mode of transportation you choose to take, there are a few essentials that you should always pack along. For instance, if your child has a favourite toy or blanket, bringing it on the trip can help them feel more secure. Packing a few new toys can also keep them entertained during the journey, particularly if you wrap them up and let your child open them. They needn’t be big or expensive– most toy stores offer a variety of affordable and compact toys to choose from.
If you’re travelling by plane, there are many steps you can take to ensure the trip is more comfortable for your children. To begin, enquire whether the airline you’re travelling with offers any facilities for young children. Many, for example, will allow early boarding, allocate aisle seating, and even supply activities or small toys for children. Airline staff will also usually warm up bottles and baby foods on request, and sometimes offer special treats for kids. However, snacks are another important thing for you to pack, as your child might not necessarily like what’s offered in-flight. What’s more, if you end up getting delayed at either end of your trip, it could definitely help to have some snacks handy. Use a backpack to carry toys, snacks, and other travel supplies, as this will leave your hands free in case you need to carry your child.
If you’re travelling by car, you might want to pack along some story and song tapes or CDs, in addition to their favourite toys. If you’re renting a car, also ensure you book a child seat or take your own with you. It’s always best to try and coincide your car journey with your baby’s usual sleep time; however, if the journey is long, ensure you take breaks along the way. Many parents might be tempted to get long stretches of driving out of the way at once, but children tend to get restless on long car rides – so make sure you stop every few hours. During the day, ensure the sun isn’t shining directly onto your child’s face, as this can make them uncomfortable. If it happens to be a sunny day, apply sunscreen to your child, or have them wear a hat. A window sunshade can also come in handy.
Finally, it might help to look into family friendly hotels for your stay. For instance if you're travelling to Chicago, you’ll find that many Chicago hotels offer services dedicated to children and families alike – whether it’s a play area, children’s meals, or even a babysitting service.
Keeping a few tips like these in mind can help ensure your travels are comfortable and enjoyable – for both you and your child.
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