After our baby was born, itchy feet of ours could not wait any longer and we headed with Ayaan on his first 400 miles road trip to Wales when he was 6 weeks old. We did not stop after that!!
Travelling with a baby/toddler is piece of cake!! Shocked !! Don’t be, I am kidding. Truth is it is not easy but it is not even the hardest task you will ever do. With prior planning and tricks to keep them busy & entertain will do the magic. And you will never have to think about taking a travel break.
Ayaan is turning 2 in next two weeks and he has already visited 8 countries. We want to raise him wild and free. We are lucky that he gets adapted to new places, weather & people quickly. He loves to smile, run around and explore things around him.
We are no experts in travelling with little ones, but here is some tips & tricks we have learnt over the last 2 years of travelling with our little explorer.
Give your little ones enough breaks to unwind the built up energy on road trips
Give your baby enough breaks on those long road trips. If he/she is young and cannot sit or walk yet, carry a sheet and lie them on it to freely move their hands & legs 🙂 And if they are walking, let them be kids – Run like a wild cat [of course keep an eye for safety]
Air Travel – Let those wings fly
Give yourself a good time for security, check-ins etc. Their tantrums may kick in anytime. Most airports these days are quipped with kids-play area. So while he is busy playing, treat yourself with a warm cup of coffee. Believe me you will need the kick of that caffeine once aboard on a plane 🙂 If there isn’t one, let them do their sprints or laps near the boarding gate. You do not want to get on board with a superman/superwoman who is ready to fly anytime now.
Bring lots of snack.
A running around toddler would mean he would need refuelling from time to time. So carry a lot of snacks, We generally carry oat cakes, fruits bars, raisins, nuts to fulfil the need of those sudden hunger pangs. A happy baby means happy parents.
Entertainment is another key for happiness
On a road, plane, train, hotel or a walk – You need to keep your toddler entertained. Now I do not mean handover your phone or ipad to them. Bring along his favourite book, cars, colours, stickers, any other small that your little one loves. On our recent trip, we carried a book of 5000 stickers and Ayaan couldn’t be much happier. Sing rhymes and read stories to them.
Exploring the world
The best of travel is to let your kid feel that sand & grass, let them swim in the lake or play with water fountain. This exploration will make stronger and improve their immunity. Be careful but do not stop them from trying new things. They might fall, but didn’t we as a kid 🙂
Follow your little ones routine of sleep/food or forget the “normal”
Now this one is totally dependant on your style of parenting. For us we like to follow our son’s sleep and food routine. Now we do not stick to it 100%, but most of the our things we plan around that. With Ayaan, he gets cranky if he has not been fed or slept properly. So we feed him as per his normal schedule and put him to bed early. That means we have early nights In. Frankly we do not want to party anymore until midnight either 🙂
Invest in a good baby carrier
Buy a god quality carrier to carry them around for those walks & hikes or may be even a simple stroll. Life will be much easier and you both will enjoy your time outside as well.We have one from Osprey for long walks and another one from iangel that we generally use for shopping walks.
Duty of care, but do not beat yourself up.
This is one of the most important bit and something that basically keeps us all away from the idea of travelling.
As a parent, each one of us tries their best to control those shrieks & fake cry , keeping the place neat & tidy, physical boundaries etc. But fact is kids are very unpredictable and you will not have necessary control on every reaction. If you do fall in such a situation, apologize to fellow passengers (non-guilty way) and try to settle down your kids in best way you can. Never ever shout at them in public ( you do not want them to learn shouting is OK) Let them cry for a bit, diver their attention , those 5 minutes might feel like 5 hours. But they will learn what is acceptable behaviour. Most of the people around you will be understanding and sympathetic , if you were not lucky that will still be OK. There is nothing more you could do 🙂
Remember next time you are sitting find parents with young kids, just give them a nodding smile making them believe that it is all OK 🙂
We know a lot of you are travelling, any advises for us to add to the list?