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10 Do's And Dont's For Moms Traveling With Young Kids
Traveling with young kids can be very difficult. Many parents skip traveling all together to avoid the headache of traveling with their children. It does not have to be as difficult as it seems.
With the global pandemic, as a mom, I felt compelled to share secrets of the trade. If this is your first time or your 10th – there is sure to be a tip here for you!
1. Do – bring snacks
Regardless of what mode of transportation you’re taking, don’t forget to bring your child’s favorite snacks! Children get bored very easily, and when they do, it is typically followed by them eating.
Eating can be comforting, give them something to do, keep them full, and even make it easier for them to sleep. Many airlines have new COVID-19 restrictions that prevent them from serving their full menus including dinner options, snacks, and beverages. Keep this in mind when you’re traveling.
While beverages and liquids over 4oz are not allowed through TSA – food, and snacks are permitted. Stock up on snacks and goodies the night before your trip and store them in your carry-on luggage.
2. Don't – Forget Their Masks
This one is a newer item on the checklist for most of us. Since 2020, we’re required by law to wear facial masks throughout the duration of our travels. Masks are also required at the airport as well as some restaurants, and other public facilities.
Don’t forget your child’s mask and bring extras just in case. I would advise bringing disposable masks along with cloth ones of their choosing. This way you will always be compliant and following safety protocols.
3. Do – Preboard
Did you know that with many airlines, preboarding for families includes anyone with a child six years old and younger?
Preboarding is not just for those with infants or children with strollers. This is a great way to give yourself more time to board your flight, get the kids settled in their seats, and carry-ons stowed with ease.
4. Don't – Forget To Use The Bathroom
Potty breaks are much easier on the ground than on a plane, even for adults. If you can, have your little one use the bathroom before your trip to avoid cramped and creepy restrooms. Don’t forget to wash your hands!
5. Do – Bring Toiletries
From a camping trip to a road trip to a long plane ride – you’re going to need toiletries. Extra toilet paper or napkins, toothpaste, etc. can be extremely helpful when on vacation with young ones.
Bring blankets, pillows, and even their comfort toy. Don’t forget to bring children’s medicine as well in case someone gets sick while away.
6. Don't – Overlook Age Limits
Some excursions like horseback riding, UTVs, and more have age limits. For most child-friendly activities, it is 7+, but oftentimes the age limit is 16+ for zip lining and other high-risk activities.
Check the terms of conditions before booking any tours or excursions for your trip. Make sure you read your waivers as well. Find child-friendly activities to do instead, like the petting zoo or go-karts.
7. Don't – Enforce Screen Times
It might be the best time to temporarily ditch some of your parental controls. You may have strict rules during your everyday lives at home regarding how long your child can use their electronics. When traveling and trying to keep your children occupied, it is best to keep your electronics charged and ready. This can make the difference between you and the mom who can’t get her child to stop crying.
8. Do – Plan An Itinerary
Children really like structure. It helps them understand and balance the various changes in life. On vacation, it’s no different. Having an itinerary in place can help your children adapt to the different time zones, foods, and places they will visit.
Include a packing list and let them help pack their suitcase if possible. Keeping your child engaged means including them and allowing them to be involved in as much as possible.
9. Don't – Forget Extra Clothes
You never know when an accident is going to happen. Young children tend to forget to use the bathroom, even if they’ve been potty-trained. They’re still getting used to the idea of “holding it”, which many adults do when traveling.
Long car rides and adventures can make them fall asleep or be restless, both causing them to forget they have to go. Your child might be attempting to wait it out and have an accident before you can reach your destination. Be sure to pack a couple of changes of clothes in your bag at all times, it will save you!
10. Do – Visit a Children's Museum
Depending on your destination, it may be beneficial to visit a children’s museum in your area. If your child is into anything specific, make sure to include them in your travel plans.
From observatories, zoos, aquariums, art workshops, amusement parks, museums, and more, there are so many creative ways to make your trip more kid-friendly.
NOTE: (If you or your child are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, you should quarantine and get yourself tested right away)