20+ Useful Tips To Follow When Vacationing With Children
You want your children to enjoy traveling while staying healthy and safe. When you use car seats, pack the right clothes, and add some ingenuity, everyone enjoys the trip.
Check in advance
In order to ensure that the hotels or motel you want to stay in are equipped to deal with children. Do they have mini cribs(crib alternative)? Window safety guards? Babysitters or other child-care services?
Make a list
List all the essential things to take with you, especially if you’re going abroad. Formula, disposable diapers, and other baby-care items are hard to find in some countries. You will also want to supply your travel medical kits with special items.
Bring along any reminder of home
A cereal bowl or nightlight, anything that would help ease the strangeness of the new environment for a young child. Let your child choose the object if he or she old enough.
Keep children’s schedules in mind
Especially when planning departure times. Stick with familiar napping routines (cuddling a favorite blanket, reading a story, etc). Put them in a diaper bag or tote bag. If your child takes a favorite toy along, be sure to check for it each time you leave a restaurant, hotel, or other stop. Consider buying a duplicate to leave at home in case the original is lost in transit.
Talk to older children about your destination
Show them brochures or books about the places you intend to visit and the activities you’ve planned. Ask for suggestions on what they’d like to do or see.
Arrange your itinerary
This is to make sure that there will be enough recreational activities for everyone to enjoy. An itinerary is necessary especially if you plan on visiting a lot of historical sites or art museums. If you are planning to carry child along while sightseeing, be sure to have your backpack carrier with you.
Pack a cooler
If you are traveling by car, pack a cooler with favorite foods. It can help tide children over when meals are delayed or when they don’t like restaurant food. When traveling by plane or train, keep handy some dry, lightweight foods, such as cereal, crackers, and trail mix.
Infant should be 1 month old
Wait until your infant is at least a month old to take him or her on an airplane. Babies less than two weeks old can experience respiratory problems from the changes in air pressure on an airplane, and the recirculated air means an increased risk of infections.
Don’t forget to update immunization
Before leaving on a vacation, make sure your child’s immunizations are up-to-date. Better yet, schedule a full pediatric checkup at least six weeks before leaving (to allow enough time for any immunizations to take effect). Ask the doctor for advice on medications and special precautions.
Preventing motion sickness
To prevent motion sickness and other stomach problems, feed your child light foods on planes and when traveling by car. Avoid such high-fat items like hamburgers, french fries, and hot dogs. Try not to eat on the run.
Bring along pre-mixed formula
Traveler’s diarrhea can be especially dangerous for infants and children. Bring along pre-mixed formula for infants and make sure that older children follow the same food and water precautions as adults. Breastfeeding is also the safest way to feed an infant during travel, so nursing mothers should never plan to switch an infant to formula immediately before a trip. Be sure to pack your nursing bras or covers with you.
Pack the right clothing
Know the kind of climate you’ll be in and pack the right clothing. For colder climates, choose clothes that can be layered: t-shirts, turtlenecks, sweaters, and windproof jackets.
Frequent handwashing is important
This is to prevent infections. Bring along disposable wipes for quick cleanups, and make sure children wash their hands at rest stops.
A lost and frightened toddler may not be able to give stranger your names or the name of your hotel. Before you go on vacation, ask your pediatrician or local police where you can buy an identification tag that attaches to the tongue of a child’s shoe.
How to approach stranger
Instruct your child about what to do when approached by stranger. If you’re still concerned, give him or her a police whistle to wear on a neck chain, and work out a signal, such as two short blasts.
A quick inspection
When visiting relatives or friends, check to see that medicines, vitamin supplements, and other hazardous items are out a small child’s reach. This is especially important during holidays, when bowls of nuts and hard candies, as well as alcoholic drinks, may be offered to guests.
Child-proof before settling
When you check into a hotel room or rented vacation property, take the time to child-proof before settling in. Remove matches, breakables, and other potential hazards. Cover electrical outlets not in use (you can carry along some extra covers or use electric tape). If tables, dressers, and other furniture have sharp corners, ask for extra blankets to cover them. If necessary, move furniture to make the room safer.
Planes and trains
Acquaint your children about it
If your child seems apprehensive before a trip, try taking the child to the airport or train station for a visit before the departure date. Talk about what it’s like to ride on planes or trains. Point out other children who seem to be having fun. At home, read young children stories about airplanes or train travel.
When flying, plan to arrive early at the airport to take advantage of an airline’s pre-boarding for travellers with young children to get your child and gear settled before the rush of boarding other passengers.
Don’t forget the seatbealt
In a plane, children over the age of two must be buckled into their own seats. Airlines permit adults to hold infants less than two years old in their laps. However, it is safer to buy a seat for your infants, put your car seat in it, and buckle him or her in. A rear facing car seat is recommended for children weighing 25 pounds or less. Make sure the seat has passed federal safety standards for use in motor vehicles and aircrafts.
Easing ear pressure
The change in air pressure during takeoff can be especially uncomfortable for a small child, especially if he or she has an rear infection. Swallowing eases ear pressure in the eustachian tube. However, some doctors recommend withholding feeding or pacifiers on ascent because the air swallowed with sucking will expand at higher altitudes and might cause abdominal discomfort. Nursing, bottle-feeding, or sucking a pacifier during plane’s descent appears to be beneficial in preventing ear pain. Consult your pediatrician for the latest advice. Provide chewing gum or hard candy for older children to help keep their ears clear.
Ask for a bulkhead seat
When making airline reservations, ask for a bulkhead seat. This row of seat generally has more leg room, which means more space for children to play or stretch out in. Bring a blanket to put on the floor to ensure that your child’s play area is as clean as possible.
Car Safety Seats
When traveling by car, infants and young children (generally this weighing under 40 pounds) need safety gears, which are required by law in all states. Car seats manufactured after 195 must meet federal safety standards.
Many hospitals provide free or low-cost car safety seats for their newborn babies. If you’re pregnant, check with your hospital in advance. If it does not provide this service, buy a car seat for your newborn for the five home from the hospital.
When you buy a new car seat online, make sure you ask if you can return the seat if it doesn’t fit or isn’t comfortable. Make sure that the seat you buy is right for your child’s height and weight and that it’s wide enough to accommodate coats and other bulky clothes.
Children are generally safer in the backseat than in the front seat. Infants (up to 20 pounds face backwards. (Children under age two do not generally get motion sickness from facing backwards.)
If you’re driving alone and you have a newborn baby, you will want to keep an eye on him or her, especially if the baby was premature or has a medical problem. In this situation, you can place the infant seat in front, unless the passenger side has an airbag. Air bags do not work with rear-facing safety seats, and your baby could be injured by an air bag that inflates. Check your car owner’s manual concerning air bags and children.
Tuck tightly rolled, small blankets on each side of your baby if there are spaces between the infants and the sides of the safety seat.
Do not hold a child on your lap while riding in a car – it’s extremely unsafe, even if you’re belted in.
Replace a seat that has restrained a child in an accident.