33 Top Tips For Travelling With Kids

BY IN Visit Singapore On March 14, 2016

33 top tips for travelling with kids

Travelling with young ones can be a challenge at times, but it can be a rewarding and stress free vacation actually, if you follow some of the pointers highlighted in this checklist. Being a father of 3 active kids, I certainly know the essentials of travelling with the little ones.

I, MrMaxicab have put together a checklist of 33 top tips for travelling with kids for you.

1) If this is your first time travelling with the kids, do opt for a slower pace, by slow I mean real slow. Do not try to squeeze in too much in a day, trying to cramp lots of places in a short period. This time its not your honeymoon, yoyu have little ones with you and they can get cranky at times, you have be realistic about what you can cover with little ones in a particular time frame. Actually, the less pack into a day, the more enjoyable and stress-free the day would turn out to be. If the weather proves to be favourable and the kids are coperating well, then you may add in a few more places. Just keep the plan fluid.

2) I do not know why, but when you have kids its always fun to travel with another family with kids too. One important point you need to know is that before you go, discuss in detail what each person wants to do, agree on how to split the chores, take turns minding the little ones, and talk about the balance of spending time together and apart. Come to an agreement about the way you’ll split the bills also do not forget in taking into account the smaller share of expenditures for the children.

3) If your child has special needs, an require special attention it can be helpful talking to parents whose children have similar conditions, and who may have useful travel tips .Getting an identity bracelet that has details of your child’s medical condition, treatment and their allergies (if any)

4) Similarly if anyone has serious allergies, you might want them to travel with a card that specifies, in the language of your destination, what they’re allergic to and how serious the condition is. Be sure to have a list of the nearest hospitals/clinics in the locations that you are visiting.

5) As parents, we know that hotels rooms are not child proof, chances of accidents happening are higher. With the popularity of Airbnb now,you consider a home stay experience. you can end up with a child-proofed home, toys to play with and insider information on things to do and healthcare services nearby.

6) If you’re going down the hotel route, always check for special family deals, from discounted rates to free meals for children. Most hotels provide breakfast, but unless it’s included in the room rate, it’s often a waste of money for children, as they only eat a piece of bread. What I usually do is I buy in a simple breakfast from the local cafetaria to eat in the room. Nice hearty breakfast for the family.

7) If you are looking at going to certain destinations that are not suitable for kids, you can consider. Supervised childcare such as a kids’ club sounds good, but can mean little more than a bunch of children lumped together in front of a TV while an attendant keeps an eye on them. Ask how many children are cared for, whether groups are split according to age, and what specific activities might be – and be prepared to check it out yourself when you arrive. If anything seems amiss, be prepared to cancel your plans and start looking for alternatives.

8) Finding accommodation when you arrive can be challenging with children in tow. So always PRE BOOK!

9) If you’re going overseas, and you have a child with a medical condition do remember to see your doctor at least one month before you leave to discuss your plans on medications and such when you are travelling.

10) If you’re travelling to a country in which malaria is endemic, remember that you need specialist advice on the dosage of antimalarial medication. Be sure that you take ample supplies of insect repellent, mosquitoes nets, long sleeved clothes to cover everyone up in the evenings. Do not forget about mosquitoes coils too.

11) Do you know that you can get anti malarial medication in syrup form too. This will certainly help you to administer the medication ease should the need arise.

12) If you’re going to need visas for your destination, do make sure you make the application much earlier. To avoid last mintues requests from the embassies.

13) There are a number of instances where you might need to carry extra documentation when travelling with children. If you have an adopted child, you must take their adoption papers; and if you’re the only parent travelling – regardless of your marital status – you might be asked for proof of consent from the other parent for your child to travel. This is more likely in countries where overseas adoption and/or child trafficking is common. If the name on your child’s passport is not the same as yours, or if your child bears little resemblance to you, the chances of this being an issue increase.

The standard requirements for authorisation to travel are your child’s birth certificate, your marriage certificate. I was stopped once in Morocco and had a lot of explaining to do.

14) Getting your children started on a few holiday-related projects before you leave is a great way to prepare them for what’s to come. You could explore maps, type of flora and fauna available at the destination, different kind of food. Arouse the kids interest, keep their minds occupied.

15) Pack smartly and lightly for the adults as bulk of your luggages space will be dedicated to milk formulas, diapers, baby food and clothes. I personally do not take the pram with me on holidays and I find it cumbersome, a good back support baby carrier would help. Like the one from babybjorn.

 

Image from BabyBjorn.com

Image from BabyBjorn.com

16) A pram or buggy can be useful on holiday even if your child is walking, serving as a place for them to rest during day trips, a makeshift bed when out in restaurants and something to help with carrying the bags. it is definitely worth investing in an all terrain pram.

17) Always designate a meeting point in case anyone gets separated from the group. Especially if its a crowded night market.

18) Do not forget to pack your child monitors as it can be a real help to keep an eye on young children in crowded places. As you know The parent carries a tracking device – about the size of a TV remote control – while the child wears a watch-like device. When the distance between the child and the tracker exceed the user-defined range, or if the bracelet is removed, an alarm sounds. Paranoid as it may seems, but I prefer to adopt a safety first approach always.

19) If your children still crawls, do bring along a small plastic playmat that you can just open up for them to sit on and play and yet the same time keep them clean.

20) If you have to sterilise things regularly, taking a portable steam steriliser is out of the question. I suggest opting for the tablets. Fuss free.

21) If your child is on bottles, bring what you need to make up fresh ones along the way; to save space, fill spare bottles with water, then add milk powder and top up with boiling water when you need them.

22) When arriving at the airport of a foreign country with lots of luggages and with a family of 5 or more. You can actually save all the hassle of queuing up for a taxi. For example if you are coming to Singapore, You can consider booking a Singapore Airport Transfer Service. You can choose from a minibus booking service or a maxi cab booking in Singapore.

23) If you’re a member of an airline’s frequent-flyer club, you may be entitled to use a private departure lounge. Facilities such as a supervised place to leave hand luggage, comfortable chairs, free drinks and snacks, TVs and spacious toilet facilities are especially welcome when travelling with children.

24) With all the new tighten security measures in Airports, do remember to check the latest restrictions on hand luggage.The standard instructions are not to carry over 100ml of any single item, although exceptions are usually made for essential medicines or supplies for children under two. You can also get away with more (up to 400ml) in the way of milk in milk bottles.

25) Some airlines let you check in online, which allows you to book preferred seats from home and cuts out queuing. This is a good move, you can choose good seats and avoid spending long time at the airports queuing.

26) The low humidity of cabin air can cause mild dehydration as well as dry and irritated nostrils. Remember to hydrate and stay hydrated.

27) If you’re heading for the destinations near the equator, choose clothes made from natural fibres – sweat irritates delicate skins and can lead to rashes. Remember, children will need two sets of clothes per day, and sunhats with wide brims and neck flaps. Apply sunblock on them too.

28) When eating in restaurants, if cutlery is wet, wipe them with a clean tissue. This will lower any risk of having germs and bugs on the spoon and forks. Always check that bottles and cans are unopened before handing these to the kids. Always use a straw for the kids and avoid ice and salads.

29) Carry some non-prescription antihistamine such as Piriton, for symptoms such as sneezing, streaming noses or itchy eyes. Medications for fever, diarrhoea and flu are a must to pack.

30) Children are particularly prone to dehydration, mostly because they don’t drink unless they feel thirsty. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you should drink more whenever it’s hot so that you produce slightly diluted milk; but if temperatures are particularly high and you don’t have enough milk, give them some water to drink, too. Also check all your children’s urine from time to time; if it’s darker than usual, cloudy or strong-smelling, insist that they drink more.

31) Apart from taking photographs, there are lots of ways to help your children preserve memories of your trip. You could buy a postcard for each destination and help them to note a single memory on the back, alongside the date or their age. You could also get them started on collections of things that can be found in most places, such as badges, paperweights, model cars and boats or toy animals.

32) If your children are keeping a journal, encourage them to draw and list things they see and eat; they could also collect autographs and doodles from people they meet as well as ticket stubs and labels to stick in. If free mini-maps of places you visit are available, get extras for the children to stick into their books, and help them circle the places you’ve seen. If you’re encountering different languages, put in lists of new words and add more as they learn one set.

33) Local toys are often worth seeking out, and make great gifts to take home. Apart from the novelty value, kids tend to like playing with the same things that local children have, and it can help with making friends.

It is always cheaper and more convenient engaging a mini bus charter or a 7 seater maxi cab when you travel.


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