No matter how or where we're going, traveling with toddlers is a skill that we acquire over time. There are parents out there that are real experts at traveling with their bundles of joy, and they seem like they don't even break a sweat while doing it. How do they pull it off? It's like watching a predator in their natural habitat, so quick and precise, fierce and caring at the same time. Again, these are skills acquired over countless trips, outings, and vacations. But we can help out a bit, here are ten things we must always carry with us whenever we are traveling with our little children.
10 Preparations And Expectations
We must be organized when traveling, even more so when we have our kids tagging along. Preparing for things like these should be something we are not foreign to, at least. If we're getting tickets, let's book them early, choose a seat that's convenient for us and the kids. If it's a road trip, then plan the route, all the stopovers and the sights along the way that the kids might enjoy.
Let's talk to the children, tell them what to expect and how they should be behaving on the airplane, car, bus, or train ride. Set clear and easy to remember (and follow) rules before heading out.
Packing could be gruesome, as we'd be bringing more stuff now. So be smart with the things that we are bringing along. The important stuff can't be forgotten, so let's focus on the little things that might be important but have alternatives and solutions. Like the luggage, instead of bringing that bigger suitcase, why not try two lighter ones and easy to drag along suitcases. Some that can be carried by our older kid, perhaps. Better yet, let's get luggage for our kids. Those lightweight stroller types are good, there are cute ones available at American Tourister, others have them too, like Pottery Barn.
8 Big, Bulky And Heavy Baby Carriages
Strollers, baby carriages, and car seats are definitely some things that we think we'd have to bring in our trip. It's actually easy to avoid carrying these bulky and heavy space-eaters. Try checking with the airline and find if they have carriages or seats for kids that we could rent. There are places that offer rentals of these kinds, so all we have to do is do a bit of searching online. If we don't want to use a rental for our babies, then find those lighter and less bulky ones. There are car seats that are easy to disassemble and pack in bags, and smaller but still sturdy strollers and carriages, all products in travel mode.
7 Baby And Kids Essentials
Let's itemize the things we need in our carry-on bags. Two kids are going to be a handful, so we might want a separate carry-on just for their essentials. We're talking just about the diapers, wipes, towels, and assorted snacks for the older kids. Let's put them all together in one carry-on bag. We can have the older kids have their own little carry-on bags, too. Imagine having a junior assistant whenever we need to change the baby. Bring some plastic bags, too. Ziploc, big ones, small ones, we never know when we might need them, but they're handy and virtually don't take up any space.
6 Baby Food
Carrying formula or breast milk and getting on a flight can be really stressful, especially if we have no idea what is allowed or not. If we're aware of some TSA (Transport Security Administration) rules like the liquids rule called the 3-1-1 rule, and think that it might apply to formula or breast milk, well think again.
There are exceptions to that rule when it comes to formula and breast milk. What we need to remember that more than 100 ml (3.4 ounces) can be carried as long as it's formula, milk, or juice. Check out TSA's website for complete details about this exception.
5 The Kids' Toys
It's just too cruel if we tell our kids they can't bring any toys with them during the trip. We don't want them to leave their favorite teddy behind, that would crush their hearts. Let's be careful with the precious toys of the little ones, then. Put them in their kid luggage or their carry-on bags. Assign them the responsibility of watching over their toys and putting them back in the bag when it's time. We travel for fun and they mature a little bit at the same time. Next thing we know, we're having trips with their girlfriends and boyfriends.
4 Our Own Things
Remember to pack your own things, since you might be too busy packing for the kids. We're, like, so excited to use their newly purchased luggage and carry-on bags that we haven't even taken out a single shirt for ourselves. Too busy planning their wardrobe for the coming days and imagining how cute they would look on social media. Let's pack our luggage and get it done, then get back to the kids' wardrobe. It's ideal to separate our own things from the children's things. We don't want to be rummaging around in our bag looking for the ticket and finding toys instead.
3 Gadgets And Devices
If you tell the kids they can bring some toys but not their iPads or tablets we'll find ourselves in a staredown between a we-know-better parent and a too-attached child. If it's a long trip, it's a good idea to bring their gadgets with them. As much as we hear against them they can serve a double purpose; for them and for you. If we want a quick nap we can just bring out their earphones or headphones and let them watch their favorite videos. We can even watch with them if we're a little bored, and try to keep them all in one bag.
2 Their Security Blanket
This one's important especially if it's the first time our little kids are ever going on a trip. We want to make them feel as comfortable as possible now that they're spreading their wings and traveling with us. Let's take their security blanket on board, that's crucial. It could also be a favorite pillow or a favorite toy. A favorite doll or teddy bear. Although we are there with them, we won’t actually be there with them all the time, so it's comforting to know that their favorite thing is right there with them to help them sleep or to calm their nerves.
1 Don't Forget To Carry The Most Important Things
Now that we've packed almost everything in our luggage, carry on bags, or in the compartment of our cars, it's time to carry the most important things with us. These things have to be on our person at all times. Our own cell phones, wallet, keys, know where they are and don't get too carried away with the excitement of traveling with the kids. If we have tickets, print them out and produce back-ups to keep in a different bag. Passports are important if needed, keep them and remember where we put them. Most importantly, don't forget the kids! We should be seeing them at all times and they should be holding our hands when we’re on the move. Have a safe trip!