Traveling with small children can be torture.
New sights and sounds can be overwhelming for a young child, and the excitement of the holidays can quickly turn into tantrums if you’re not prepared.
Here are 10 tips practiced by parents to help make traveling with young children fun.
1. Choose a familiar destination. Avoid crowded tourist destinations and opt for a place used to having children around.
2. Safety comes first! Always make sure your child’s car seat is safe. Also, use a removable shade to protect from the sun.
3. Entertainment package. “The best options for entertaining your child in the car and in the hotel room include their favorite books, games and toys,” says Nancy Wolpert of Nickelodeon Home Entertainment. For all-inclusive entertainment, she recommends two new DVDs that include a collection of children’s favorite TV shows. “Nick Picks and Nick Jr.’s favorite DVDs will keep you entertained for hours,” Wolpert promises.
4. Plan your stops. If you are driving, break the monotony by stopping every two hours (or more often if necessary). Babies need to stretch after being locked in a car for a while. You consider bringing a ball to kick or throw during these breaks.
5. Be flexible. Set realistic expectations and let your child enjoy the experience at their own pace. You might limit your activities to one per day. Otherwise, you may find yourself with an over-stimulated baby.
6. Bring water and plenty of snacks. Fruits, cereal bars, mini juice cartons, and small cereal boxes are great healthy snacks.
7. Bring a loved item. A blanket or soft toy will help your baby feel safe. Also make sure you have a replacement on hand. It will save you some headaches if the original is lost.
8. Start and end the day early. Kids are best in the morning, so plan accordingly.
9. Follow your routine. Eating, napping, and playing at the same time every day may be all your child needs to feel comfortable in a new environment.
10. Take lots of photos. They are only young once, so enjoy every moment!