A lot of seasoned travellers have been known to hang up their hiking boots once a kid comes on the scene. Fact is, kids absolutely love travelling. It is the parents who need to overcome and adjust to the perils, both real and imagined, of travelling with kids. With that in mind, here are some tips to encourage your kids to be travellers for life:
Prepare to be unprepared: The minute your child sees you being really stressed about forgetting to pack suitcases full of food and other paraphernalia, they will pick that up. The old adage of not changing a child’s routine may not be the best way to travel. From the parent’s side, a mental adjustment to not trying to control the complete environment for your child is an absolutely necessity – and the first step in preparing the child for the world out there.
Make food an integral part of the trip: Whether it’s trying the local cuisine or letting them eat cereal for dinner, ensure the child is making his/her own choices. Instilling a curiosity for experiencing different kinds of food can be a valuable lesson that travel can teach – the young and old.
Lead by example: Children often pick up the parents’ habits, so leading by example is the best way to inculcate the feeling of being at home in the world. Opening your own self up to new experiences, food and the unfamiliar is the biggest cue for your child to get out of the “culture shock” that they may be experiencing in their new environment. So feel free to go a little crazy.
Encourage them to document: Giving your child a journal or an art book is a great way of starting them early on reflecting about experiences. Whether they are doodles or incoherent passages, it allows the child to remember and cherish all the new experiences he/she is coming across on the trip.
Planning for Jetlag: Jetlag is the number one concern for parents as it can be quite disruptive for children. Plan for Jetlag recovery in your itinerary – take it slow initially. For example, note that travelling West is easier than travelling East from a jetlag perspective. Try and travel on overnight flights or those that land in the morning. Get your children to move to local time by adjusting their meals, naps etc. Daylight and fresh air are the best antidote to jetlag – and if you add a pool to this mix, the transition can become a whole lot easier.
Creature comforts: Carrying their favourite toy/ blanket etc are obvious tools to help you child ease into a new routine and feel safer. The first point of not trying to control everything notwithstanding, staying in homely apartments with a kitchen and having your own transport can also help gain some control over their schedule, atleast initially.
Carrying the right gear: Ofcourse, at Bragpacker, we feel strongly about this point. Carrying the right baby travel gear can really free you up and add to your and consequently your child’s trip. A baby wrap (for infants) or a baby carrier are a must for hands free travelling with kids, especially at airports and in urban areas. If you are taking a road trip, then a car seat is compulsory (and the law) even if your kid is over 3 years old. Baby monitors can enable parents to have a quite dinner on their own while their child sleeps safely. Ofcourse, a tablet is almost a compulsory emergency distraction device to calm kids or feed them. When all else fails, load the Pepa Pig up and pray for good wifi!!
If you need further incentive to travel with babies, now you can Rent your critical baby travel gear requirements from Bragpacker for the duration of you trip and save a bundle. We guarantee fully functional, super hygienic and safe branded products that are delivered to your doorstep.