Travelling with children can sometimes prove to be a challenge. You never know when they’ll throw a tantrum, how they will react on the plane or when they decide they want to go home. But don’t despair, here is our checklist to make sure you don’t forget the most important child-pleasers when travelling on a family holiday…
Of course, it’s hard to forget your passports or tickets when travelling. But when kids and babies are involved, there are other documents you must take into consideration.
If you’re going on holiday with under 2-year-olds, many airlines allow them to travel for free. However, they might ask for proof of age, so make sure bring a copy of their birth certificate along.
Also, depending on the destination you’re going to, you and your children may be required to take certain jabs, so make sure you bring the immunisation cards with you.
2. Spare clothes
Don’t make the mistake of putting everything in the drop-off luggage. Always keep a spare change of clothes for the little ones and yourselves too. You never know when they’ll spill the juice on their t-shirt (or yours), get sick or even worse – not make it to the bathroom!
Also, with climate control on aeroplanes and airports, it might get a little chilly for them. A cardigan or jacket will save you from a week of cleaning snot, taking temperatures and being worried.
3. Extra nappies & diapers
Other important must-bring items are diapers – lots and lots of them! It’s important to always have around 2 days worth of nappies in your hand luggage and extra ones in your drop-off luggage. Take into consideration that the plane might be delayed or the little one might get an upset tummy from airport snacks or hotel food. Buying diapers at airports or resorts can be a hassle and they’re usually much more expensive. So if you’re travelling with babies or toddlers, don’t forget these essentials.
To keep your children entertained, make sure you bring along something to keep them engaged: tablet for games, colour books and crayons are must-haves if you want a calm and relaxed trip. Before leaving, you can even download their favourite cartoons or movie on your tablet.
Sure, everyone has a camera on their smartphones these days. But bring along that professional camera you bought especially for this purpose. Phones are sometimes unreliable, you can lose them, run out of memory, they might break and the picture quality is better on a camera.
6. Bribes (Candy, Mints, Gum)
Yes- bribes! Your little ones can get fussy sometimes so a piece of candy could come at handy. Use them as a prize for good behaviour or to calm them down when they’re having a tantrum and you were supposed to be at the gate 5 minutes ago. Mints or gum can also help them with pressure equalising too, which can be very hard on young ones.
7. Toiletries (Hand Sanitizer & Baby Wipes)
These are more important than you might think. You don’t want a family member to end up with a stomach bug from touching so many dirty surfaces while travelling. Make sure you offer kids hand sanitizer before they eat and wipe the flight table before putting food on it. Also, check that you packed your deodorant – you don’t want to be on a 12-hour long haul flight to the Maldives without it!
Always double check that you packed any prescription medicine you or your family members might be on, asthma inhaler or allergy meds. It can prove extremely difficult to get them while abroad, as you would have to visit a doctor, provide proof of any illnesses and you can end up spending a lot of time (and money, possibly) in health clinics or hospitals.
9. Preparing in Advance
If it’s the first time your children are travelling, then it’s a good idea to prepare them in advance. Let them know about large crowds at the airport, possible ear pressure or turbulences on the plane and change of temperature (if it’s the case). Tell them fun facts about the place you’re visiting and pique their curiosity. This could make their trip less stressful and save you a lot of hassle.
10. Favourite toy
You wouldn’t want to get to your holiday destination only to find our that Mr Teddy is missing, or you’ll have a lot of explaining to do. Kids can get very attached to their favourite toys and leaving them behind is just not an option for them. Maybe try letting them pack themselves (if they’re old enough) – that way, they will feel more responsible and you don’t have to worry about forgetting their favourite toy.