Once upon a time, Mr. X & I were able to travel at free will. Every long weekend meant a getaway plan to be put in place. Red-eye flights, minimal luggage, no itinerary, it was all accepted. And then we had kids! Travel with kids meant unlearning & relearning all that I knew about travel planning. Here is a list of things that I have learnt over the years & some more hacks learned from my own mother.
What to pack?
Does packing too much luggage give you jitters? Or do you believe in minimal packing? Then, it’s time to unlearn and find a midway between the two. Packing two extra sets of clothing would be reasonable for a short trip & for long trip you can wash & reuse the clothes. Pack all the essentials in the diaper bag –
Medicines & first aid kit
Sanitizers & wet wipes.
Extra diapers & rash creams
Bathing soaps & lotions
Sippy cups/water bottle
In your hand luggage, keep extra complete set of clothes (shirts, diapers/underpants, shorts) in zip lock bags or small pouches. It will save you time when there is a diaper blowout & you need not rummage the whole bag.
Snacks on the go!
Little hungry humans are not good travel buddies & you need to be ready with the snack box. Healthy is the priority but that bag of potato chips is not a bad idea too! Roasted makhana, dry fruits are our favourites. For overnight journey, a home packed meal would be good to have.
Research restaurants in your destination. You would want your kids to explore new culinary items & still know places with food that your kids prefer.
Activity books, story books, puzzles and toys should be packed in a separate bag and let the kids carry them. They would be happy to help. Avoid packing their favourite toys for the risk losing them during travel.
If you are travelling in a large group, then you should avoid keeping toys with high volumes. You can also make up your own games while travelling or the kids can take turns telling stories.
Plan the itinerary to last detail
Always have the plan finalized when travelling with kids. Your travel time should not hamper the kids sleep schedule. Our first-time travel as parents was not far from disaster. We wanted to cover too many places in one go, which did not sit well with our first born. The trip was exhausting & I needed a vacation after the vacation to recover from it!
Whereas, our last trip as a family with two kids was an easy to go trip. Had minimal places to visit & kept the vacation relaxing. The travel time was planned around their sleep cycles. We stayed at same resort for long time & explored all the places around it. It gave the kids a sense of familiarity, returning each day to the same room to sleep.
These hacks do help me to have a relaxed vacation & rejuvenate. And, there is still much more to learn. Seeing the kids exploring & as happy travellers is a bonus! 🙂