Traveling with children can be fun for the whole family but requires loads of preparation. While the stares from other passengers at noisy kids might be annoying, not being prepared for the unexpected is not an option. Be sure to have all these 10 essentials at the ready when traveling with kids.
1. Vaccinations Are Up-To-Date
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No matter where you are going, anything can happen. Make sure that you children and also your vaccinations are up-to-date. While incidents of says catching chicken pox or measles is rare while traveling, don’t open yourself up to the chance or possibility of it. Check out this travel vaccination guide by Suitcase & Strollers for visiting Southeast Asia.
2. Portable First Aid Kit
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While you assume that the plane, ferry, bus and airports are equipped with their own First Aid Kit that would help in any emergency situation, make sure to carry around your own first aid kit with little essentials you take for granted. Pack into your carry-on a ziplock bag filled with the basics such as travel size cough medicine, baby panadol, band aids of various sizes, seasick pills, antihistamine, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, sting aid, aloe vera & moisturizer. You never know when it will come in handy! Check out this super comprehensive list for a travel first aid kit.
3. Allergy Sheet
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If your kid has an allergy to any plants, animals or food, take the time to prepare a sheet with pictures and words of the allergy in English and also the language the country you are traveling to. Many Asian countries are not exposed to the severity of allergies so make sure that the wait staff or kids club know that these allergies are to be taken seriously and can make your child very sick.
If you find the one above too hard, feel free to design something cute like this one on Purple Trail.
Image by Purple Trail
4. Backpack It
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Using a backpack instead of a sling or hand held leaves your hands free to wrangle children or hold a much needed cup of coffee. The different compartments also help section out the contents. One good tip is to keep the first aid kid on the outer pocket, all travel documents in the back pocket and drinks and snacks on the side pocket.
5. Travel Insurance
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Holidays are all about fun and exciting things. No one wants to think about the bad things that could happen. But sometimes it does, from falls to flight delays due to volcano eruptions and we don’t ever want to be caught off guard. Check out these tips for picking the right family travel insurance for you.
6. Kid Friendly Snacks
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The snacks provided on the plane for kids meals are full of sugar and salt that would make your little one cranky and bouncing off the walls. Bring your own healthy snacks to make sure the flight is smooth sailing. Have your own selection on your road trip so you don’t have to buy those dust filled side of the road ‘keropok’ munchies. Pinterest has loads of ideas to help you with prep travel worthy snacks. Nuts and dried fruit seems to the top pick of the lot!
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Keeping kids entertained on a long flight or drive is maddening even with a whole arsenal of iPad games, books and movies…much less if you didn’t come prepared. The barf bag, in-flight magazine and safety instructions can only keep them at bay for the 5 seconds it takes to buckle the little ones in. Take the time to load at least 2-3 movies and 4-5 kids shows on your iPad, 4-5 books (half interactive) and 2-3 games you can play all for a 2 hour flight or drive. This does not include the arsenal already pre-loaded on your phone and iPad. Remember to take into account the wait times at check-in, boarding, take off & landing.
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So you don’t forget anything important, make sure to write up a To Do list at least 3 days before the travel date. Hand it over to a mom friend and your spouse for a double check to see if you missed anything out. Double check your list just before you go and make sure number 1 is, of course, your travel documents!
9. Extra Everything
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Err on the side of caution when it comes to traveling with kids especially with your carry on. That means an extra diaper, underwear, pants etc even if it means giving up that spot in your bag meant for your favourite magazine or book. You don’t want to be on a long haul flight or bus ride with a smelly kid who just had an accident after all your bags have been checked in.
10. Travel Friendly Stroller / Ride On Luggage
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Invest in a travel friendly stroller or a ride on luggage to help ease you transition to the gate. Make sure you are an expert at collapsing the stroller so you don’t start off frustrated. You can also get these really cool ride on bags to help steer your kids in the right way for an affordable price on Mudah.my.
Ticking everything off the list will definitely give you the peace of mind while traveling. Do not let the ‘What Ifs’ hold your family back from having the best holiday together. And remember…when you are prepared…it’s now time to be in the moment and enjoy the holiday!