Travelling with kids can be fun and daunting at the same time. While it is great to watch them enjoying new surroundings, interacting with new people around, it is altogether another thing to keep them busy during the journey towards destination and packing for the journey.
Trip Planning with kids
I start my packing by first chalking down the exact days of travel, then number of clothes that would be required per day. Also, as a rule of thumb, pack three to four different styles of lowers and double the number of tops/t-shirts to go with it. I also pack a light jacket, a thermal vest, two pair of night-dress, handkerchief, socks, sun-hat, night-cap and other accessories appropriate to the weather. Also, I always pack one formal dress in case needed. I have one master list and quantity changes depending on number of travel day.
Next in the packing list is medicines. The must have on my list is a digital thermometer, Calpol, Otrinoz(paediatric),Vicks, Bandaids, cotton pads and an antiseptic tube.
It is good to encourage kids to carry their own backpack ,I always encourage my daughter to pack her own backpack.
In this backpack you can pack things to keep them engaged during the journey. For my daughter, I usually pack items like drawing pad,colors, a toy, puzzle book, story book etc. with some snacks and water. We have one spare smartphone; so I downloaded a couple of games and education apps and gave it to her for shorter duration in flight.
Training kids for worst case scenario
This time as a safety measure, I decided to prepare my daughter for worst case scenario of getting lost. I tried to mentally prepare her for a situation if is she gets lost or is not able to find us around. Through a story of her favorite characters, I told her not to panic and cry, look around for any aunty with kids of her age and walk up to her for help. I also always slide mine and my husband’s business card in her bag.
I had made her memorize my phone number in rhyme form when she was three and half-year old so she knows it well. Over the period of time she knew our address as well. There is a password which we have decided between us.
I briefed her about things that I have kept in her backpack, and this time I have kept some fifty rupees coins too and told her how and when to use needed.
We traveled to Kerala when the state was going through its worse phase. We always kept her aware of the situation around, so it made our life little easier. Our main savior during those testing time of being in hotel room for days together was Nick Junior, and we were lucky enough to have electricity all through our stay.
Besides one isolated incident when my daughter turned super cranky there were no major issues. As parents to 5 year olds, one has to be prepared to handle such situations.
It is always better to prepare kids for worst and it is the best way to train your kids when embarking on a new journey.
Do let us know your tips on travelling with kids.
Also read our author Gauri’s article on how to travel with kids internationally here.