Sabtu, 07 Januari 2012

Easier Travel With Your Toddler

Planning a trip when you have kids, especially with toddlers, can be tough! Every time I have traveled somewhere with my kids, there is so much stress leading up to it, that sometimes I wonder if it is even worth it! Every situation can be different and it depends on the distance and method of travel too.

First, there is the car trip - If you are going on a long road trip, this can definitely be tricky. No toddler wants to be sitting in a car for too long and it can get pretty loud in there. Here are 3 tips that can get you through it:

1. Music: Have some kid-friendly CD ready and start singing! Toddlers love music and this will help drown out some of the whining too.

2. Games: The best car game for toddlers is searching for various things on the road, like look for the next red car or how many trucks can you count?

3. Potty time: If you have a larger vehicle, like an SUV or Minivan, bring a potty with you. It can definitely save you some time and be nice if your kid is in a hurry to go!

The absolute worst has to be an airplane trip! I can't explain how much worry goes into this one! I think because having a bunch of strangers all around you, it can make it pretty uncomfortable. Here are some tips that might help ease the pain of air travel:

1. Plan, Plan, Plan! Make sure you have everything you will need and in one place. From snacks to toys and plenty of diapers! Once you are up in the air, there is no going back for that favorite toy or snack. You also don't want to get up there and realize you only brought 2 diapers and your toddler decided to go on a pooping spree! Strange things can happen when you are travelling, so expect the unexpected and be prepared.

2. Choose seats in the back, preferably, next to the restrooms. You may think I'm crazy trying to put kids in a spot where there will be heavy traffic, but that is the key right there. Every time I sit in those seats with my kids, they are easily distracted. Depending on their age, they may just stare at the people standing waiting to use the restroom, or they might talk to them. It can be refreshing to see new people and it will be noisier back there.

3. A portable DVD player can be your best friend! Put on their favorite DVD and maybe you can relax a bit. I think this is the one time where they can watch as many shows and movies as they want. I wouldn't bring this out right away but save this for when it gets crazy - a last resort. In the beginning, usually they are just fascinated by looking out the window or just being on a plane in general.

4. Lollipops - the reason I pick out these, in particular, is because they are great at wasting some time! You just have to keep making sure to tell your toddler only to lick them. My son would sit there content, licking his lollipop and looking out the window.

5. Make an activity list - You could plan out your whole flight with activities and place times next to each of them. DVD - 1 hour, books - 30 minutes, coloring - 15 minutes, etc. By having a list, you can go from one thing to the next and then repeat.

6. Separate bags - It helps to have a bag separate for your kids. This way you go in there to grab anything you need quickly. You can even make your toddler responsible for their own bag. I would keep one even separate to the diaper bag. It should just be filled with books, toys, DVDs and snacks.

7. Staying calm - This can be the hardest part of it all! Just remember that you will get through it and try to stay positive. The plane will eventually have to land.

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