Published: July 28, 2023
By: Courtesy of Your Baby Club
Traveling with a toddler or infant can come with its own set of challenges. Now, with US travelers experiencing more flight delays and cancellations than last summer, preparation and planning ahead of your family vacation has never been more important.
Whether you’re jetting off to an international country, hitting the road, or exploring the great outdoors on a camping trip, the team at Your Baby Club has shared their ultimate guide to traveling with young children so that it’s a pleasant and stress-free trip for all the family.
Pack the essentials
When traveling with young children, especially by plane, it’s important only to pack the things you need for the journey. It’s easy to overpack when stressed, so ahead of time, create a checklist that contains all the essential items, like diapers, wipes, milk, and food.
Overpacking and poor planning will cause more disruption on your journey, and security checks may take longer; your shoulders and back will ache from the heavy luggage, plus your bulky bag may cost you unnecessary fees when you arrive at the airport. Having a stroller will help you get around the airport with your little one, and you’ll need a car seat once you reach your destination, so don’t forget to bring those along. Most airlines will allow you to check a stroller and a car seat at the gate for free, making your travels that much easier.
Dress for the occasion
The temperature on a plane or in a car can go from one extreme to another, one minute, it can be too hot, and the next, it’s freezing cold due to the air conditioning. You can prepare for these drastic changes in temperature by dressing yourself and your child in layers. Wear layers that are comfortable and can be easily removed, depending on the temperature.
Pack plenty of entertainment
For long journeys, pack plenty of activities to keep your child entertained. You’ll need to pack toys that are easily accessible, require little to no space, and are interactive. Coloring and sticker books are great for young children to pass the time.
For babies, sensory toys are great, like wrist rattles and fiddle toys. If your baby is teething, don’t forget to bring toys and a comfort object. Load your smartphone or tablet with your little one’s favorite shows, educational games, and more as a distraction.
Prepare for air pressure
When the air pressure changes on a plane, pressure is placed on the eustachian tubes, causing pain and discomfort in the ears. This is a normal part of flying, but for young babies, this can be extremely stressful. You can relieve and prevent any pain by offering your child a bottle, breast or pacifier to suck on during takeoff and descent.
Book a direct flight
Depending on the duration of your journey, it may be easier to book a direct flight to your desired destination. Non-direct flights can cause unwanted stress for parents with young children, as they can cause more disruption to the day. When booking a vacation, especially with young children, it’s important to consider destinations with shorter journey times.
Pack food and snacks
Before setting off on a long road trip, pack plenty of snacks and drinks, as stopping off at gas stations can be costly – plus, bringing along all their favorite treats is a great distraction and a sure way to prevent any tantrums.
When traveling by plane, bring snacks, as they may not be equipped with food your little one enjoys, and the last thing you want is a hungry and restless baby on a long flight.
Book an extra seat
If your child is under the age of two, you are not required to book them their own seat. However, we do recommend purchasing a seat for your child for their protection during take-off, landing, and through turbulence. Plus, extra room is always essential when traveling with young children on a plane, so they have room to stretch and play.
Bring a change of clothes
Packing light when traveling is never easy, but one essential thing to pack when traveling by plane, car, or boat is a change of clothes. From spilled juice to a leaky diaper, your little one may find themselves in many sticky situations when traveling, so it’s important to ensure you have a spare change of clothes just in case.
If you’re traveling a long distance, it’s worth packing a pair of comfortable pajamas to make nap time even more enjoyable.
Learn more at www.yourbabyclub.com/aboutus.