Creating memories together
Summer is almost here and it’s time to think about what to do with the kids this Summer holiday. Remember the days of “carefree” holidays with just you and your partner? Now that you are a family with a couple of toddlers following your every step, the thought of traveling with them can be intimidating. Being parents of babies or toddlers doesn’t mean you need to be tied down by them and have to give up those travel adventures. While it may require more planning and preparation, you should bring the kiddies along and explore the world with them as early as possible!
Apart from the obvious benefits of exposing your children to new languages, cultures, and experiences that can broaden their horizons, you are also having quality family time away from the routines of everyday life. You can take a break from the mundane and daily stress of home life and just enjoy each other’s company and give the children your undivided attention without distractions. Additionally, this is the perfect occasion to encourage them to have an open mind on new foods and flavors they have not tried before, such as local specialties, street food, and exotic fruits.
For a successful family trip abroad, here are a few tips you can consider when planning your holiday adventures with the kids that can hopefully make your travels with young toddlers more enjoyable and stress-free.
Mastering your packing skills
Based on your itinerary, the climate, location, and activities in your holiday destination, pack accordingly. Make a list of essential items, such as diapers, wipes, snacks, booster seat, and toys, and pack them in a carry-on bag. Book child-friendly accommodations, such as hotels or Airbnb rentals that provide cribs, and other amenities for young children. Bring along some new small toys (so the kids don’t get bored by them too soon), books, and games to keep your toddlers entertained during the trip. Pack some basic snacks that your kids like with enough to start off your trip for a couple of days, then you can find similar ones or other local treats to replace them as your holiday progresses. This can ease the children slowly from things they are familiar with to something new.
Routine vs Ad Hoc
I used to adhere to screen-time limits for our kids religiously when they were at home, but in those long-haul flights, I had to throw those limits out the plane window! As long as the kiddies got a few hours of shut-eye during the flight, they can enjoy their favorite cartoons or other programs they normally don’t get at home on the flight. One more thing to get them excited about flying! Trying to maintain your toddler's routines as much as possible during the trip can help them adjust to the new environment. However, traveling requires a certain amount of flexibility from the family, be it nap time, snack choices, or sleeping arrangements. This is actually a life skill that the kids can learn at a young age because flexibility and adaptability are essential to their personal and professional growth. When you are stressed about not being able to stick to the routine, your children get stressed too! So, do be prepared to “go with the flow” when it comes to scheduling and menu options, after all, let yourselves relax a bit (with good judgment) on your holiday.
Keeping your cool
Consider booking direct flights or flights that are scheduled during your toddler's nap time to minimize disruptions to their sleep schedule. But be prepared for unexpected delays or disruptions, such as flight cancellations or traffic jams. Bring extra clothing, diapers, and snacks, just in case. Be patient and understanding, and try to keep a positive attitude, even when things don't go as planned. Hakuna Matata, all will be well!
Embrace the experience
Traveling with young toddlers can be challenging, but it can also be a wonderful and memorable experience. Embrace the opportunity to explore new places, learn new things, and create lasting memories with your family. Don’t be too ambitious, plan for regular breaks and playtime, which can help your toddler burn off energy and reduce restlessness. Take lots of photos and videos to document your travels, and involve your children in the experience as much as possible. Let them help plan activities or choose restaurants, which can help them feel more involved and engaged. You may be surprised at how much they can learn and grow from the holiday.
Stay Sparky and bon voyage!