Travelling with a youngster for the first time is like planning a mission to Mars. There is so much to consider that when you are childless you just take for granted. Getting to the airport, checking in, going through security all take so much longer and to ensure this is as smooth as possible you need to be prepared as well as ensure you have allowed extra ‘extra’ time!
I highly recommend starting with small journeys to ‘test’ the comfort level for you and baby as well as keep stress to a minimum.
Take away the stress from your next holiday and check out my top tips for travelling with toddlers:-
1. Get Packing! A few weeks before departure I start writing a list of all the things I use on a daily basis with bubba. I record the essentials, his favourite toys, clothes, towels, bedding, toiletries and start making piles to pack. By having a clear outline of what you need this reduces worrying if you have forgotten anything
2. Plan ahead. All parents know that leaving the house just for a day requires a small bag of everything so when travelling overseas you want to travel as light as possible. Large essential items such as car seats, prams, cots, high chairs etc can be borrowed from family and friends upon arrival and you can hire almost anything anywhere. If you are staying for a long period you may even ask your hosts to buy something second hand for the duration of your stay. Knowing that you have these items in place for your arrival is another stress buster.
3. Research food! Check out the local supermarkets online before you arrive so you know what foods are available which are similar to your little ones’ favourites. If staying with people ask them to grab a few essentials so you know you have the first day of meals prepared. Nappies, wipes and toiletries are items to also pre-order!
4. Pack bubba’s favourite and familiar items. Being out of the normal environment can be upsetting for your child so take toys, books and bedding they are familiar with.
5. Pack everything and pack nothing! When you visit family you often come away with lots of new toys and clothes so travel outbound below your luggage allowance. In your carryon luggage take at changes of clothes and I allowed one nappy for every two hours of travel. Pack a few interactive toys and perhaps buy them something new that will help keep them entertained for that little bit longer.
6. Allow more time. Everything just takes longer and the last thing you want to do is feel stressed about rushing. Going through security will take longer as milk and food will be scanned so pack these separately and ensure they are easy to access. Take advantage of boarding first so you can get settled in your own time.
7. Tire them out! Travel close to their normal sleep times but do take into account they will get overtired with the new stimulation so be patient. When in transit let them wonder around and stretch their legs. Some airports even have family areas where they can play and you can relax.
8. The biggest thing you can do is relax, approach the journey with a positive attitude and enjoy the adventure with bubba.
Author CJ’s Fitbumps – CJ is a pre and postnatal holistic health coach, group exercise instructor, personal trainer, nutrition expert and author of The Winning Physique. She provides specialist pre and post natal fitness classes and coaching at Riverside Ice and Leisure as well as offers one to one personalised health coaching programs lifestyle consultations and personal training. Find me at www.cjsfitbumps.com, email me via firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 07557683770.