Traveling with your little one: Everything you need to know
As a child nears the age of two, their restlessness increases and tantrums become common. At this point, traveling can be a difficult task. Fortunately, some tips are quite effective and come in handy when traveling with toddlers. People often connect traveling with toddlers to taking a herd of wild goats on a vacation. One can imagine, it's never going to be easy! They could be your own kids or someone else's kids, harboring a child's needs into your travels involves a lot more than just playing some music or taking a truckload of snack items.
You should take your time while sightseeing. The most important thing that you can take with you at the airport, for sightseeing or while getting from one place to another, is extra time. The little ones are quite inquisitive with a love to explore and do not care for the time pressures of travel that adults face. So, you are more likely to keep your calm and stay sane if you factor the gazing, stalling, toilet stops and tantrums into your timeframe the appropriate way.
Grandma's Tip: Don't be too lazy and book ahead of your time! You should book ahead of your time. It pays to book ahead, whether you are out camping or staying at a hotel. If you are trying to retain the sanity and spontaneity of travel you had before the little one came along, it does not pay off at all if you arrive at your destination to find you cannot bag the right room or food. It's pointless if you have to hit the road again with exhausted, hungry toddlers melting down to no tomorrow in the backseat, making you pull your hair in frustration.
Give your toddler a camera
You should give your toddler a personal camera that would be just his. You can't even imagine how worthy this investment is, as it will keep the little one distracted as he tries to focus on objects and surroundings. Add to that, you would be actually quite surprised seeing the clicks, some of which will be epic, from his knee-length reachability for taking shots.
Be prepared for the climate
This is a very basic advice but when children are dressed according to the weather and the terrain, they are more comfortable and happy. Don't go too overboard with their dresses, as it is one of the main factors contributing to their crankiness. Keep it very simple and fully in sync with the climate of the place.
Pack pull-ups for potty training
Travelling in planes and public transports during the potty training days can be a nightmare for you. Potty-training teachers say that if toddlers have lots of little accidents then they should be put back into pull-ups on the plane.
You should be thankful for the toddler-friendly apps, due to which there is no need to bring a toy box into your hand luggage when traveling by plane. The best form of entertainment for your toddler is a device that is loaded with different apps and games.
Use public transport
Most toddlers love the novelty of traveling by train, bus, and boat, so leave the hire car and use public transport whenever possible. This doesn’t necessarily have to be when you are traveling from one city to another. But you can opt for it when you’re traveling within one city itself for short distances.
Invest in a child locator
Little ones are not fans of getting attached to reins, backpacks with a leash, or any obstacle to their freedom. You should keep tabs on them at airports, train stations, and crowded attraction spots with a child locator. The child wears a small unit that is strapped to a belt or shoe and you keep the transmitter. If you cannot find your child, you can set off the alarm and then you can follow the sound to find your toddler.
Keep the bugs at bay
Wherever you are traveling, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer are a must for your handbag. If you wipe the cutlery used in restaurants where you are not so sure of the hygiene, your toddler will be free of any germs present there. Similarly, a squirt of hand sanitizer can kill a few germs and prevent toddlers from catching some common bugs.
Don’t forget the medicines
Toddlers get sick on holidays due to jet lagging, less eating, or simply due to a change in environment. You should lessen the impact of hard nights, high temperatures and fevers by packing an easy to swallow medicine like Calpol. Some basic ingredients that should be included in your first aid kit are antiseptic wipes, plasters and a thermometer.
Keep the activities coming
If you are heading out on a long journey, you must have a collection of toys to be handed out once an hour. Puzzles, coloring books for toddlers, stickers, drawing books, will pass the time on a long flight or car journey.
You must resist the temptation to keep your kids going on a long journey by feeding them, sweets. Pack a mixture of savory snacks like cheese cubes, breadsticks, fruit, and bagels. This might help to avoid arriving in a strange city with children in the middle of a sugar rush.
Always remember the baby wipes
Even though your toddler is out of nappies, you should not forget the baby wipes. They are useful for washing hands, cleaning toilet seats, and wiping down restaurant tables. Similarly, you should keep little bottles of hand cleanser handy as they can be a lifesaver but you should also check the travel regulations for liquids well in advance.