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Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest Post - Traveling with Children

Today, I have a guest post from Danielle Birch. She gives some much appreciated pointers on traveling with children!


Now summer is upon us, many of us are taking our annual family vacations. From visiting relatives, to spending a week by the beach, getting away is often the highlight of the year for many of us. But if we have young children it can often be very stressful – stressful enough to make people think twice about taking their children away. But taking a holiday is really important for your well-being, as well as your children’s, as it gives you a chance to take a break from the normality of everyday life and enjoy new experiences.  But if the thought of enduring a long flight or car journey with your kids fills you with dread, there are some ways to make the whole experience a lot easier to deal with.

The way you deal with any problems or issues will really affect how your children behave. If you become very stressed and irritated because you’re stuck in traffic, or the flight’s delayed, your children will pick up on the tension and become aggravated themselves. So if you try to stay positive and calm throughout, it will help your children to stay relaxed too. If you’re catching a flight and it’s your child’s first time in an airport, they might find it quite intimidating. Tell them about the exciting adventure they’re about to embark on, and how the airport is the start of the adventure. It goes without saying that you should dress them in comfortable clothing, but you could make it even more exciting by getting them a new outfit and use a t-shirt printing company to mark the date of your holiday! This will really help create a sense of occasion for them, and if you have more than one child you could dress them in the same bright colors so it makes it easier for you to keep an eye on them.

When you’re going away a lot of time is spent waiting around. Whether you’re waiting for your flight or waiting for your car journey to be over, your children will need something to keep them occupied. However, it’s not practical to bring their toy box with them so you need to be selective. Paper and pens are always a good choice, as they’re really versatile. It’s best to avoid taking anything that involves lots of little pieces, as they will be more likely to get lost. Take an old favorite toy and you could perhaps get them a small token for when they are getting really agitated after traveling for hours. The surprise and novelty of the new toy should help keep them occupied for a little longer. A couple of their favorite books will also help you get them to sleep, and will obviously come in handy throughout the holiday. Sticking to their routine as much as possible will help them adjust, it’s not always feasible but it will help give them some stability in the journey.

How children cope when traveling will change from family to family. But ultimately you will reach your destination so if things don’t go according to plan, at least you know it will be worth it in the end!



  1. My dad and stepmom were traveling with my kids today. As they reached their layover, my 7 year old threw up (luckily in the barf bag) on the descent. Then, after the plane reached the gate, my 5 year old stood up to get off the plane and fainted, grey and limp. She went to the hospital in an ambulance with my dad (she's ok now). My stepmom and 7 year old followed them there. Now they are all staying overnight in a hotel without pajamas, phone chargers, or anything else.

    Neither the vomiting nor the random fainting could have been predicted, but for me, when I fly with my kids, I always have a pair of pajamas and a clean set of undies for everyone, in my carry on. And I bring my phone charger on the plane with me too. It would have been a disaster if my dad's phone had run out of batteries, because my number is in there, and the hospital HAD to talk to ME about treating my daughter. So bring a phone charger, phone numbers (WRITTEN on paper!), and a change of clothes. You'll never know when you end up halfway across the country with your bags having gone the rest of the way without you.

    The other thing I do is I pack a "secret" backpack for the kids, and they're not allowed to look until they get on the plane. It might just be a few sticks of gum and a new book, or a new set of markers and a bag of chips, but something for them to look at really helps!

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