Welcome to the June edition of Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Vacation and Travel.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. This month our participants are sharing ideas, inspiration and information on travel and vacations! Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
|Image: Yogendra174 on Flickr|
Mom gets hold of the stroller - like a drifter clamping to a piece of wood - unfolds it and tries to put the child inside. The child, too uncomfortable and unsettled to be physically separated from mom, resists. Dad gets involved, screams against the child and forcibly straps her in the contraption. The child is now wailing, still trying to get out. They all go off, annoyed, stressed, frustrated.
For this family - clearly leaving on a vacation - this trip does not start off happily.
Now when you don’t take the plane often, certainly with small children, it can seem like a very scary endeavor. Most people already find traveling to and fro quite stressful, so add a child to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
But shouldn’t vacation be fun-filled and exciting from the get go?
Traveling with kids isn’t quite as dreadful as we might think. My daughter, now 4, has travelled to over ten international destinations by plane, and has boarded more planes then she is old - in months! I can only remember one flight where she was ‘difficult’.
The way your flight and everything that surrounds it goes, depends a lot on the way you are feeling, and how you are prepared. Here are a few tips to fly stress-free with kids:
- Make sure your flight leaves at a reasonable hour. Night flights are perfectly doable with kids, if they don’t leave way passed their bedtime (an overtired infant or child will not sleep on a plane). Early morning flights, where you have to get your kid out of bed in the middle of the night are a definite no-no!
- Travel light. Well at least where it comes to hand luggage. You don’t need a million and one things for your child. When you are preparing your hand luggage, lay everything out at first and go over it to see if everything is 100% necessary.
- If your child is a little older, get them their own hand luggage, they’ll be proud to be carrying their own bag. Let them pack it themselves (just make sure there are no prohibited items and the weight is in check).
- Make sure your hand luggage is within the norms of your airline: the right weight and size and not carrying fluids are sharp objects. If you are unsure, check your airline’s directives.
- Don’t wear a gazillion useless accessories you have to take off at the security check. As far as clothes go, keep it simple and comfortable, for the whole family.
- Do take: an extra set of clothing for your kids. We’ve had spills at nearly every flight and it is quite annoying for a child to have to sit in wet clothes for an entire flight.
- Bring loose change so you can buy drinks in the airport. You can’t bring in your own drinks, except for a bottle for your baby.
- Make sure to have an extra layer of clothes for on the plane, it can get really cold and sometimes it takes a while before you can get a blanket.
- Don’t bother with a stroller. If you need them on your destination, check them in. Strollers are hell to fold and unfold in busy security lines and at the plane. You’re much better off with a decent carrier (I’m using a Didymos woven wrap and if necessary, I can get both kids in there). Older kids are often happy to walk in the terminal, because there’s lots to see and fun games to play.
- Make sure you are way ahead of time. International flights require you to be there two hours ahead, but we still go way before that. This way, we are ahead of the crowd and we’re sure to have lots of time for the whole adventure.
- Don’t see the traveling as a necessary evil, consider it a day out: have a snack at the bar, browse the book sin the bookstore. If you’re making it more of a day’s out, you might actually enjoy it and your kids will be more relaxed too.
- Check ahead of time where the playgrounds are at your airport, and go there before boarding. this gives you some time to check all your travel documents and your child gets to play and relax.
- Don’t be afraid of walking in the walkways of the plane, you might meet other kids for your child to play with.
- Make sure your child uses the toilet on a regular basis. With all the excitement, they might forget!
Have you flown with your children? What did you find challenging? I hope these tips help you to have a good time next time you fly.
Visit The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Traveling with a Sick Child — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her tips and tricks for traveling with a sick child based on firsthand experience.
- Educational Travel | Pennsylvania, New Mexico &; Louisiana — That Mama Gretchen relives three childhood trips while outlining a plan for future homeschooling adventures.
- Babymoon: A Cruise in Europe — Bianca from The Pierogie Mama writes about the babymoon that she and her husband took to Europe, via a week long cruise through the Western Mediterranean..
- Travelling with our little one — Stoneageparent describes what travelling means to her family, exploring the link between attachment parenting and travelling
- I Just Can't Do It — aNonyMous at Radical Ramblings describes the nightmare it is trying to travel with her daughter, and how for the moment day-trips to local areas will have to suffice.
- Carnival: Travel and Vacation — Macgyvermama rounds out her "Travel Light with Babies and Kids" series with some juicy tips on how to travel light and stress free with your moving and grooving Toddler!
- Traveling: Adventure, Nature, Family — Brenna at Almost All The Truth shares her hopes and fears for her Great Summer Camping Road Trip with her three small children.
- Frustration Free Flying with Kids — Based on her extensive experience flying with her family, Laura at Authentic Parenting shares tips on how to make the trip fun for you and your children.
- 12 Awesome Toys To Bring Along When Traveling With Children - Ariadne over at Positive Parenting Connection is sharing about toys her children love and playful ways to use them that make travel with children more fun and less stressful for the whole family.