+91 96638 64444
+91 96638 64444
Real world tips for travel with children
Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

By Sudha Mathew

Try doing a Google search for the term “traveling with children”. You can easily spend a day going through the links. But when you are already harried managing a child or two at home, you need an effective shortcut. That’s how I initiated a discussion on how to make it easier to travel with children on our Facebook Page. Here is a compilation of the tips and learned wisdom that our wonderful community happily shared with us.

traveling with children
My adorable twin nephews can be a handful while traveling :) Photo: Bhavani Ramesh

Keeping ear ache away

  • When flying with babies, give them something to suck on when ascending or descending. Bottle, breast, even a little finger works… it keeps the pressure equalised in their ears and prevents them screaming in pain.
  • I always bought a bag of snakes for mine, it was a special treat and they just chewed and sucked on them so didn’t have any problems with their ears.  (It’s not what you think – “snakes” are an Australian word for lollipops.)
  • Half an hour before take-off, put eardrops for infants and toddlers. Helps in keeping the ears numb. Please give them milk, juice or candy or ice cubes as it helps the ear pain.
  • And always always be prepared for having cranky kids once you are on the ground…delayed earache (yes, that does exist) or sense of displacement. A little crocin/paracetamol and warm bath always helps.

Keeping boredom at bay

traveling with children
Image courtesy Emirates www.emirates.com
  • Download videos on your laptop or phone. Do carry little coloring books, games and toys. Kids love to explore and will rarely sit in one place so when you book tickets planning your flying during their sleep times really helps.
  • For my girls (3 and 7), I allow them to carry their own trolley bag filled with things that they have chosen to entertain themselves with. Sure-fire busy keepers are crayons, colouring books, small jigsaws, match the dots pages, word search (for my 7 yr old) and lots of goodies. My girls like to pretend they are having a picnic.
  • Do not take heaps of little toys on the plane. They will just get chucked around and you will spend all your time trying to retrieve them from under seats. Take just one or two bigger toys. I found mine were far more entertained by the safety information card and banging on the plane windows. Also don’t take toys you will be sad to lose. Sometimes things get lost/left behind in the chaos; you don’t want that thing to be the toy dearest to your little one.
  • I used to take toys and distractions and when that was not fun anymore I would sing and sing and sing.
  • We have two little girls and we always try to travel with friends and other children. It works wonderful – the kids are busy and happy!
travel with kids
Image courtesy British Airways www.britishairways.com

Getting little tummies full

  • Children can be very fussy when it comes to change of food. Introduce them to Gerber food before travel to check for any reactions. It is easy to heat and carry. Carry the rice, dal and spices in very small quantities for making familiar foods. This works well if you are staying in a villa or service apartment or request to use the hotel’s kitchen.
  • Pre order kids food. Take water bottles to avoid spillage.

Packing Guru

  • I make sure I have a small medicine pouch with fever & stomach ache medicine, saline nasal spray, bandaid. Also good to have moisturiser, powder, diaper pants, hand sanitiser, potty sanitizing spray, wipes, and a disposable garbage bag… And of course a change of clothes just in case!
  • A change of clothes for kids and yourself. I have a friend that got puked on by his infant…infant had clean clothes but he had to deal with 12 hour flight in pukey clothes!
  • Best thing we got our boys is the ride-on suitcase. The airports were a breeze, we didn’t have to carry them and at the most we could pull them very easily at a pinch. Three changes of clothes are average for a baby. Baby carrier is handy for pee breaks with sleeping baby.
  • Hand luggage should be minimum and almost exclusively kids’ stuff. Foolishly, I was carrying my iPod and book. I managed to read a little but it was more painful to keep juggling it.
  • For parents with twins, like my 6 month-old babies, always carry two separate bags and split feeds, formula, clothes, spare clothes, diapers, toys, even meds. Especially since different airlines have different rules for carrying two infants. In some the adults may be seated on either side of the aisle, in some a row apart.
  • Dressing babies in bodysuits and using caps to cover their ears, keeps them warm and makes them sleep better.
  • A compact, collapsible stroller helps too especially if you have kids below 3. You can use it right up to the airplane door; the staff will fold it for you and hand it back to you when you deplane. Also comes in handy at resorts and on reasonably decent roads.
  • You need to know the rules that each airline has and block your seats in advance, so that one is as close to each other as possible. Avoid booking your flight tickets for peak timings if possible.

Switch on the charm with co-passengers, airline staff       

  • Make friends – Hand chocolates around to all your neighbours. Introduce yourself and the kids.
  • Smile and be friendly to the people next to you. The gentleman next to me helped hold the bottle, adjust the seatbelt and generally entertained my baby.
  • As far as possible, choose an airline that is known to go the extra mile to make it easy while traveling with children.
  • And never be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. I have traveled alone both within the country and abroad with a baby and always found helping hands whether it be an air hostess (to mix or heat milk) or a co passenger to hold or keep an eye on the baby when you need loo breaks or airline reps at the airport to take you through security, immigration (helpful when u are juggling passports, forms, pens etc). Always ask for help when needed!
travel with kids
Image courtesy www.emirates.com

To keep you sane

  • Conserve your energy, coz you may need to walk them up and down the flight when they get restless. Eat when you can, at the slightest chance. More often than not, babies do sleep on flights, so use that time to get some shuteye, or go to the loo.
  • Let the older ones watch as many films to keep your sanity.

Confucius says…

  • Most importantly I know that traveling with kids will definitely throw up surprises and things will usually not go according to plan…but as long as I am expecting the unexpected, it always is great fun!
  • Oh… and also… Laughter! For kids, it’s a big adventure to travel and with laughter and fun, traveling together can make great memories!
  • My favourite tip – Keep chilled beer ready (for yourself, not babies)


Useful links

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1893554_1893556_1893538,00.html

Tips contributed by Pooja Kumar, Dianna Blake, Ally Robinson, Reena Alex, Nandini D’Souza, Czarina Lobo, Lindi Wreford, Mandira Kumar, Chetna Ramachandra, Indrani Bhuyan, Pravin Mathew and Anjali Heredia. Thank you for being the wonderful and generous people that you are.

Safe and happy travels!

Sudha


Related Posts:



Plan to travel to an Indian holiday destination?

We are here to help. At no extra cost.
  • Tailor made holidays
  • Special interest holidays
  • Hidden luxury getaways
Know more


Posted by Sudha at 1:19 pm
6 comments
    Comments ( 6 6)
  • Reena

    December 11, 2012

    Love it !

  • sudha

    December 11, 2012

    Thanks, Reena. It was fun doing this post too with all the tips from real parents.

  • Suchi

    December 12, 2012

    Nice one! I think you should do more of these aggregated tips-type posts.

  • sudha

    December 12, 2012

    Thanks a ton, Suchi. I’m definitely going to do more since it was such fun :)

  • Suzy

    December 24, 2012

    These all sound like great tips for traveling with children!

  • sudha

    December 25, 2012

    Thanks Suzy. It’s an honour to have you say that.

All the info you need to plan a monsoon holiday in one post

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

This is the time India goes green. As the monsoon makes a grand entry in God's own country, Kerala and makes it way in... Read more...

Ladakh can take your breath away. Expert tips for acclimatisation.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Traveling in summer? In India? There’s this famous misconception that one should travel in India only in the winter months. But summer ... Read more...


Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner


Related Posts:



Plan to travel to an Indian holiday destination?

We are here to help. At no extra cost.
  • Tailor made holidays
  • Special interest holidays
  • Hidden luxury getaways
Know more


About me

The wise man travels to discover himself - JR Lowell

 

My name is Sudha Mathew. I'm an ex-banker who quit the rat race after a decade to follow my passion for travel and to combine it with my experience in understanding client requirements and exceeding their expectations.

 

While our content is mostly about the holiday experience, the accommodation and services, there's so much more to a journey. I have discovered a whole new me through travel. So I've reserved this corner of the website to share the unexpected aspects of travel. This space is also to hear from you about your journeys and discoveries. Bon Voyage!

 
Recent Posts

Categories

Blog archive
clss
Feedback
Name
Email
Comment
submitButton
Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate it.
Close-HERE
List your property with seek&hide
First Name
Last Name
Email
Telephone
Your Message
SUBMIT
Close-HERE
Your Enquiry
First Name*
Last Name*
Email*
Telephone*
How can we help you today?*


All fields marked with * are mandatory.