We all want to give our children memories that they will cherish forever. This is one reason that we take them on outings and vacations. While this idea is fun, it is also challenging.
We have our homes and even our cars arranged around the needs of our children. We know where to get them a blanket, when to turn on their favorite television show, what they will eat, and what demands they put on us when they are ready for a nap.
That is not the case when we leave home with our child, Nothing is where it should be and children often feel the difference and go into melt-down as soon as hey realize things are different.
Prepare yourself first
If you begin your journey stressed out, and in fear of how it will affect your kid; you become part of the problem and not part of the solution. The most important thing you can do is keep your cool. Begin a couple of weeks before your trip.
- Reduce your sugar intake and eat healthier foods
- Begin at least one form of cardio inducing exercise
- Practice meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises daily
- Take vitamins to balance your stress hormones
- Use the ancient art of acupuncture to release stress
Prepare your child
- Work on getting your child on a regular eating and sleeping schedule
- Tell your child exactly what is going to happen and remind him in small bits as you progress.
- Download his favorite video game, cartoon, or movie on your phone for him.
- Take along travel games and play with him
- Explain where you are going and what he can expect to see
- Take along his favorite blanket or stuffed toy
- Take extra snacks and drinks with you.
- Be prepared with a time-out session if he misbehaves. Even a cushion he has to sit on can be the hot seat when you are very young
- Do not force your child to go to someone he doesn’t know. Let him warm up to them in this own time.
- Take along coloring sheets about the place you are visiting and talk to him about it.
Traveling with kids is a challenge. But it is also an adventure. If you address it correctly, you can lay the foundation for trips in the future that are effortless.
Snacks, toys, attention
Of course you are going to take snacks for him to eat, and toys for him to play with. But the most important thing you will need to give him is your attention. Children have a short attention span. While you are traveling, expect to pay a lot of attention to them. This will keep them happy and make the time go by faster.
Dress in layers
Planes, trains, cars, busses, and cabs vary in temperature. If you have bundled your child up for the walk from the car to the airport, he may be overdressed once inside the building. Dress them in layers that can be removed if needed for comfort.
With a little planning and a little preparation, you will be ready for the trip of a lifetime with your child. But if you have never traveled with your child, take extra time and roll with the flow. You will be glad you did.