Going on holiday is always a pleasure. But if you have children small things could end up ruining the fun times you were planning if you are not prepared. Here are a few tips for travelling with children.
Carry different varieties of toys for them so that they are not bored. Toddlers usually have short attention spans so giving them a different toy every half hour or so may help. Remember to always keep tabs on the toys so that they don’t fall and disappear and then your toddler/s may throw a tantrum.
Try to plan ahead for your trip. This includes booking hotel rooms, kids activities etc. It also means planning for extra time as small children are not time conscious and will not be in the same hurry that you are. This also means planning for toilet breaks, tantrums and changing diapers as well.
Carry basic medication and antibacterial wipes. Children may fall sick doing a holiday and it helps to have a first aid kit with basic medication such as paracetamol for children, antihistamines for allergies and other basic items like antiseptic wipes, a thermometer, plasters and lotion for stings. It is also important to find out before you travel how far the nearest hospital is so that if you have an emergency you know where to go. Antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers are important to clean your children’s hands before eating or after playing in public facilities. They also come in handy if your child falls down to remove dirt and clean the area.
Try to carry clothes for the climate you are going to on holiday. If your children are comfortable they are likely to be less to be cranky. Also be aware that some places may be really hot during the night but cold during the night. So plan accordingly.
Use a child locator. I don’t know if you can find them here in Kenya but you could also buy a child locator. With this garget you can be able to track your child in the airport or crowded attractions. The child locator is usually strapped to a shoe or belt and the parent has the transmitter. If your child gets lost you can set off the alarm and follow the sound to find them.
Brand them. Write your name on your child’s arm in biro just in case they get lost in the airport or wherever you are on holiday. You can also put a piece of paper in your child’s clothes with your name and number.
Also carry some snacks that the children can munch on. This will save you tantrums when children are hungry and they can also serve as a distraction to the children as you move around for place to place. There is nothing worse than a hungry child demanding food and there is no food in sight. Avoid giving the children sweets as this can cause the children to have a sugar rush which may make them unmanageable.
Activities. For older children you can get them some basic video games to keep them occupied. You can also buy them books that they can read as you travel. Also carry books for drawing so that they can draw what they see. You can also invest in a basic child friendly camera so that your child can take pictures for their album as you go along. Carry games as well that you can play together to ward off boredom.
Passports and yellow fever certificates. Make sure you check the expiry date of your child’s passport. Grownups usually (sometimes) remember to check the expiry date of their own passports but may forget that the child’s passport needs to be renewed. Allow for a month to renew passports or get a new passport. Make sure that you put your child’s passports together with yours in a travel pouch so that you do not forget them. Also many countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East ask for yellow fever certificates. Please remember to get these vaccinations on time and to add them to your travel pouch. You will need to get the vaccinations at least 10 days before you travel so make sure you get them in time. Here is a list of countries that require yellow fever certificates starting from page 5.
With those few tips I hope you will enjoy your trip with your children.