Travelling with toddlers can sometimes be a torture.
New sights and sounds can be overwhelming to a young child and vacation excitement can quickly turn into temper tantrums if you’re not prepared.
Here are 10 parenting tips to help make travelling with toddlers fun and hassle-free.
1. Choose a family-friendly destination. Skip the crowded tourist destinations and opt instead for a locale that is accustomed to having kids around.
2. Safety first! Always make sure your child’s car seat is properly secured. Also, use a removable window shade to help block the sun. If you are renting a car from your destination, always check with the car rental if they provide the baby car seat as well. Otherwise, head down to the local giant stores to check if they have a refund policy within a certain time-frame (of example, 14 days) and that should be sufficient to cover your family throughout the trip.
3. Pack entertainment. “Best bets for entertaining your child in the car and hotel room include favourite books, games and toys,” says Nancy Wolpert of Nickelodeon Home Entertainment. For all-inclusive entertainment, she recommends two new DVDs that feature a collection of kids’ favourite TV shows. “The Nick Picks and Nick Jr. Favourites DVDs will keep them entertained for hours,” Wolpert promises.
4. Plan rest stops. If you are driving, break up the monotony by stopping every couple of hours (or more frequently if necessary). Kids need to stretch out after being cooped up in a car for a while. Consider bringing along a ball to kick or throw around during these breaks. Also remember to get the kids to empty their bladder before they board the car again.
5. Be flexible. Set realistic expectations and let your child soak up the experience at his or her own pace. You might want to limit your activities to one or just a few in a day. Otherwise, you could wind up with an over-stimulated toddler.
6. Bring water and plenty of snacks. Fruit, granola bars, mini juice cartons and small boxes of cereal make for great, healthy snacks. If you are bringing along fresh food, ensure they are well stored in a dark cool area, avoiding the heat and sun as much as possible.
7. Bring a beloved item. A blankie or cuddly toy will help your toddler feel safe and secure. Be sure to have a replacement on hand, too. It will save you some heartache should the original get lost.
8. Start and end your day early. Kids are at their best in the morning, so plan accordingly.
9. Stick to your routine. Eating, napping and playing at the same time each day may be all your child needs to feel comfortable in a new environment. Plan ahead all the necessities that your child may need.
10. Take lots of pictures. They’re only young once, so enjoy every moment!
With these tips, travelling around with a toddler may become now a lot more easier. After all, it will be a wonderful experience for them, knowing they have already travelled far and wide as a baby!