Making traveling with toddlers fun
There is no doubt that traveling with toddlers can be difficult, but with a few simple steps it can be made much easier, and even downright fun most of the time. I am sharing some tips from my own experiences; would love to hear more from you guys!
1. Plan out your travel itinerary thoroughly. It is much harder to deal with surprises and sudden changes in travel plans with a kid in tow. Try to confirm bookings, flights, etc in advance where possible instead of leaving it for the last minute
2. Do not be overambitious in terms of cramming too many locations in a few days. Whether it is packing a number of activities in a day, or wanting to cover multiple destinations in a couple of weeks, remember that your pace will become slower with kids. Leave enough room to enjoy each place without feeling panicked or tired
3. Plan your days out, but leave some breathing space for unforeseen circumstances. Your toddler may take an hour to eat his breakfast or may catch the flu resulting in you spending the day indoors. While it is natural to feel bummed when something like this happens, you are more likely to feel even more frustrated if you had a million things planned out for each day
4. Try to plan your days around your kid’s schedule. For instance, my little one is an early riser who naps in the afternoon and then likes going to bed early at night. So we try to keep maximum activities in the morning with some downtime in the afternoon and long flights at night so she sleeps through them
5. Keep a mix of activities that you and your toddler would like. For instance, we know she has a thing for fountains. And so we stop by every random streak of water, no matter how small, for 5 minutes so she can admire it. And then she would stay happy for the next hour or so and let us wander around in peace. Maybe your kid loves animals, or parks, or arcade games. Give them a short burst of this so they feel like part of the program
6. Take turns with your partner to look after the child. It isn’t fair to either parent to be constantly caring for the little one while the other goes around exploring or taking photographs. Give each other a break, and work together as a team
7. Take a couple of your child’s favorite toys/activities, but one that won’t take too much luggage space. Kids like familiarity and repetition, so keep a few things handy to calm them down when all else fails
8. Take things slowly. Accept the fact that your vacations will not be the same as before. And that’s ok. Take time to breathe. Run with them on the grass. Admire the lights. Take pictures. Make memories. These trips will hold a charm of their own; you only need to see look more closely. Switch gears and let go – and then the travel fun shall begin!