8 Tips for Traveling Safely with Children
Many parents face traveling with their kids with a mixture of excitement and apprehension.
While it is exciting to experience the world through their eyes and spend time together without the interruptions of regular life, it is also a move away from the safe familiarity of your own home, where you know what to do and where to go if something goes wrong. One of the biggest dreads is the actual journey itself – so many variables, stresses and unpredictable outcomes. So how can you best prepare for your trip? Here are 8 tips to help the journey go that little bit more smoothly.
1. Hand Luggage
Take all your essential items for your child in your hand luggage. Include items like extra nappies, bottles and snacks in case of delays. It’s also a good idea to bring spare clothing, especially if you will arrive at night when temperatures are cooler and children are tired and feel the chill a bit more. Also baby wipes – even if the kids are out of nappies, can come in very handy for wiping hands, cleaning surfaces etc.
2. Drink plenty of water
Once you get through security, or at bus and train stations buy a couple of bottles of water. Traveling is seriously dehydrating and little ones certainly feel it, so make sure to keep hydrated.
3. Make sure someone is ‘on duty’ on long trips
It sounds obvious, but always make sure that an adult is awake when traveling with children. I've saw a couple who were both asleep and their child woke up and was wondering up the aisle of the train.
4. Seat your child away from the aisle
It might sound wrong, considering most parents expect to spend the entire journey walking up and down the aisle with busy toddlers, but it’s better if you sit on the outside and keep them away from hot trolleys with coffee and food passing by.
5. Airline Approved Car Seats
It is crazy to think legislation is so strict on car seat safety and not on planes, trains and buses. If your car seat is ‘Airline Approved’ (it’ll have a sticker to say so on it), this means you can bring the seat on board and install it like you would in a car. However, you will more than likely need to purchase an extra seat (even for children under two, who normally travel for free).
6. Amsafe Harness
This looks exactly like the harness on a child’s car seat and fits around the seat of an aircraft. If you book a separate seat for an under 2, most airlines require that you buy this. But it’s a fairly useful safety item even for bigger children, especially with turbulence.
7. First Aid Kit
Always pack a small first aid kit for holidays. Of course, if there is serious illness or injury you’ll be heading straight to the doctor, but pack a small amount of ‘everyday’ stuff you have at home. Include antiseptic wipes, plasters, thermometer, sting cream, antihistamines. Medications such as Calpol often come in handy travel sachets too.
8. Label Them
It’s stating the obvious but airports, train stations, bus stations are all busy places with crowds of people, as are cities, festivals, markets. There are all sorts gadgets out there, from mini alarms to tracking devices that you can attach to your child in case they get lost in a crowd. Even simply writing your contact number on their arm is better than nothing. For more advice on travel, check out our travel experts
, The Stork Exchange
Do you have any advice? Leave a comment below.