Crucial Checklist for Travelling with Kids
As soon as you become a parent, you may kiss the glory days of packing in an hour goodbye. Silent rides, smooth airport transitions and napping on an airplane have become the things of the past. Getting only one child ready for the trip is a daunting task, but preparing several of them is a managerial feat. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy traveling with your children. With a bit of planning and a good strategy, you will take all the unpleasantries out of the equation and have a wonderful family time. If you want to achieve this ideal arrangement, here is the crucial checklist for traveling with kids.
Think about your limits
Your car has limited trunk space and the airplanes have strict policies about luggage weight. This means that you should be aware of your baggage limits and work within them. For example, a sound idea is to try a “single day pack” method. This entails packing all the essentials in a single day and then sleeping on it. Carry pen and paper with you in the case something else springs to your mind.
Necessary paperwork for all members of the family needs to be included as well as some essential items and toys which will keep the kids entertained. Finances need to be secured and prepared during this “single day” as well as all the necessary chargers, painkillers, prescriptions and toiletry. Toiletry and medicines should be allocated to two separate zipper bags.
Items for the road
A carry-on is necessary for the items you need for the road. Both you and your spouse should each sport a backpack in order to make matters manageable in terms of weight and quantity. If at least one of your children is an elementary school student, they should definitely don the backpack of their own, of appropriate weight and size, of course.
When it comes to the checklist of items you might need, these will often be: infant supplies, on-road snacks and light meals, beverages, some form of entertainment appropriate for each family member and just some basic items for personal hygiene.
Minimize the trash trail
Traveling with kids presents you with a big issue: the potential for collateral in the form of a trash trail is immense. If your trip and your luggage are not organized well, there is a great chance the disposables will end up strewn about in an inelegant way. The last thing you want is to teach your kids this is a fine habit. Instead, you should teach them green thinking on every possible example, and packing smartly is one of the ways to do it.
For example, the entire family should use items that can be reused. Research your destination (or set of destinations) to check if the water is potable and purchase reliable and durable drink bottles which will replace those heinous plastic cups. It is both an economic and environmentally friendly option. If you are a parent of a baby or a toddler, wipes are a necessary evil, but there are biodegradable options. While these are more costly, they do serve their purpose perfectly while retaining the non-pollutant quality.
On the road – making it a smooth ride
If an airplane is your mode of transport, see to it that the items you can live without for a few hours are placed in the suitcases that will be “going below”. If the trip will be longer than average (five hours or more) pack an additional change of clothes for the kids into your backpack. It goes without saying that you should do this for your toddler even for the shortest of trips.
If you have a baby on board, going with the smaller stroller is always better. Of course, there are services that provide rent-a-stroller with some additional baby equipment, and while this is a good backup option to keep in mind, you should definitely prioritize carrying your own. It simply comes with fewer headaches. A modestly sized umbrella stroller with a collapsible top that perfectly fits your toddler is the best of all worlds.
Your kids should participate!
If your kids have reached the pre-school age, you should involve them in the packing process. This might render your packing management a bit trickier in the beginning, but it pays off in the long run. First of all, involving your kids in the packing process makes them more excited about the trip. In addition, it teaches them organizational skills and responsibility.
Finally, if things get chaotic during your vacation, you will save some time on managing your kids if they already know where certain items are placed. This is why you should definitely encourage them to pack their own entertainment. Start involving them as soon as you can because each subsequent preparation will go smoother and you will have responsible packers you can rely on as soon as they reach the age of ten.
As you are packing your kids for a long trip, remember that less is more. When it comes to the assortment of luggage, is important to cover as much ground as possible and be ready for a variety of unpredictable occasions. This should be a priority over quantity because the potential hassles for your trip are numerous. If you arm yourself with convenient equipment and good entertainment ideas, you have all the makings of the trip the entire family will remember.