Stress-free travel with children

Family holidays are fun and exciting but the actual travel to the destination and back can have moments that are challenging and frustrating, particularly when travelling with children. Always be realistic that your travel may not go according to plan, and that things may not always be in your control. However, if you plan properly and get organised, you can potentially prevent some of these issues, or at least be prepared to manage them, and ease the frustration.

Here are a few tips that may make life easier when you travel with your children:
1. When flying, it is important that children have something that they can suck or chew on, especially during takeoff and landing, as this will assist with their ears popping when the cabin air pressure changes. For babies, a simple bottle or a dummy would be effective; for older children, a couple of sweets or lollies will work wonders (not something we would usually encourage, but definitely worth breaking the rules on these occasions for the comfort of the child).

2. Pack a carry-on bag that includes distraction items and food - this will be your ‘Magic Survival Bag’! Consisting of little items that can be available easily at any time to distract the child for a period of time, this bag will come in handy when the children get restless. You could include a colouring book with crayons, a rattle and a little book. With the disruption in routine whilst travelling, children can be prone to tantrums and this is when a food treat will come in handy, so add a few nibbles. Healthier options would of course be better for the children, so think about including sultanas, bread sticks, bananas, grapes, crackers and cheese. Your selection would depend on the age of the children you are travelling with, but try to limit sweets and lollies as they may give the children an ‘energy rush’ and this is certainly not what you want when you are travelling!

3. If possible, plan your trip according to your child’s sleep patterns so that the child sleeps for most, if not all of the journey. You should try and sleep at the same time as your child so that you are not tired, irritable and frustrated at a time when you are required to be alert and ready. 

4. Be prepared with a bag that includes essentials such as nappies, wipes, nappy bags, a change of clothing, bibs, dummies, bottles, drinks, their favourite toys and blankets. Also consider all the dirt that they may come across and ensure that you have packed some antibacterial hand wipes so that they do not pick up germs along the way. Include all the essentials, however try not to overload the bag as you will have enough to carry and this could be difficult and frustrating when trying to juggle your child and all of your luggage!

As a mother you know and understand your child better than anyone. Stay one step ahead, watch for those warning signs with your child, and try and eliminate them before they escalate. Stay positive and most importantly, stay in control, then just enjoy your holiday! Happy holidays and safe travelling!

With thanks to Michaela Glynn, nursery manager of Babilou Downtown Dubai.

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