This one is for all the momma's and the pappa's out there!
As I sit here about to embark on another family trip to Portugal I was inspired to share my top five tips to travelling with kids. I have travelled with my children from 4 months up to 6 years. We have travelled to Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, all over the United States, Portugal, etc. This list is long so I believe I am an expert on the subject. I also believe it is very important to vacation. We all work hard and you need a break. It is important to be able to unplug, detach from the smartphone and computer and take time for you. If you can’t do this or work expects you to answer calls or cancel vacations, evaluate your priorities and see if you can make your health and wellness number 1.
My top five tips for travelling with kids:
1) DISTRACTION – you need to have an arsenal in your carry-on or travel bag ready to go. When my girls were babies, it was mostly the breast (good thing I didn’t have to pack those in a bag), a pacifier and some toys. Now, it includes crafts, books, snacks, surprise treats, pillows and movies.
2) STOP CARING – if your baby cries, your baby cries. It is fine; most people are OK with it. Nurse, bottle feed or use a soother on take-off and landing and if they cry, do whatever you do to soothe your baby. Don’t panic and worry what others think. Would they come to your funeral and cry for you? No? Well then, you don’t need their approval. If you have a toddler and they throw a tantrum, try walking the aisles, show them the back of the plane or use your distractions (this is where that treat can come in handy!).
3) SCHEDULE THIS (insert middle finger here) – you are on vacation, if the kids stay up until 11 p.m. and you are all having a ball, let it happen. If your child decides to nap at a different time, embrace it and go grab a drink! Really, this is a time to be together as a family without restrictions. You do you. Now if not keeping a schedule really stresses you out then again, you do you but you may want to revisit that priority thing. Go with the flow and enjoy.
4) PACK YOUR ESSENTIALS – what I mean by this are your vitamins and hand sanitizer. Nothing will ruin your vacation more than someone getting sick. Before eating always sanitize, especially if you just served yourself from a buffet. Of course, washing your hands is best but with kids you usually can’t all run to the washroom and wash hands without it being an event. Now onto the vitamins, when I travel we pack our vitamins, including our shelf stable probiotics and immune booster (called Booster C).
5) ENJOY THE MOMENT – take the time to cherish the moments you are having; even the ones where you get puked on. Believe it or not, those are the memories that you will laugh about for years with your kids that will bring so much joy. Don’t get caught up in taking 1000 pictures you won’t look at ever again. Instead, when you are a having a great time, put down the camera, take a deep breath, close your eyes for a moment and log the memory. Bring up that memory every time you need it when back at home; take a deep breath, close your eyes, recall that memory and smile!
I know there are a ton of seasoned travelling parents out there and I want to hear from you! I want your tips so it can be shared with everyone so comment below or send me an e-mail (you will always get a shout out if I have permission to share your tips).
Always in health and travels!