SEEING THE WORLD WITH KIDS TAKES PATIENCE AND PLANNING
Of all modern man’s achievements, few are as wonderous as the ease with which we can travel the globe. What once was a months-long journey by steamship, train or pack mule can now be accomplished with an overnight flight and a shuttle bus, putting every horizon on the planet within a few hours’ reach.
The more adventurous among you may want to continue your wanderlust even after you’ve started a family. But traveling with children is entirely different from traveling on your own. There are nap times to schedule, tummies that are constantly rumbling, bathroom breaks that pop up with startling regularity and attention spans that are measured in nano seconds.
So, our best advice for traveling with children is: Don’t.
OK, we’re kidding. Beyond the general obligation to not leave children unattended for weeks on end, bringing them along on your adventures is a great way to broaden their horizons and see your destination anew through the eyes of a child.
It’s just a matter of planning ahead.
BOARD LAST SO THE KIDS DON’T HAVE TO SIT AS LONG AND BRING CHANGES OF CLOTHES IN GALLON ZIPLOCK BAGS
- Hilton Head Island mom Ashley Harrold-Hamilton
TravelPulse editor and contributor Janeen Christoff has taken her young daughters nearly everywhere imaginable, from the jungles of Asia to the streets of Paris. She’s a wealth of advice when it comes to traveling with children.
“Get to the airport early,” is Christoff’s first tip of many. She also urges parents to pack lightly, look for hotels with kid-friendly amenities like cribs, strollers and special menus, and above all, use a travel agent.
“Not only will an advisor be able to streamline the trip and book the best hotels and activities, they will also be there for you if something goes awry,” Christoff says.
Preparing in advance is another secret weapon for successfully traveling with kids, says Hilton Head Island mom Ashley Harrold-Hamilton, who has taken her boys on many trips.
“Check everything,” she advises. “Get a long layover so there isn’t stress getting to the next flight. Board last so the kids don’t have to sit as long. Bring changes of clothes in gallon Ziplock bags so the dirty ones, if need be, have a place to go.”
While adults are used to the popping ears that comes with air travel, it’s a new experience for kids. “Fruit Roll-Ups and gummy fruits work great for little ones on a plane to help with the pressure in ears,” says Heather Bragg of Bluffton. Some parents swear by Dramamine to help kids sleep on trips, but ask your doctor first.
And when you’re on a long car trip, feel free to loosen the reins when it comes to what your kids eat. Beaufort resident Nathan Thorn advises giving in to their junk food cravings on road trips, if only to keep the peace.
And no matter where you’re going, if you’re travelling with a baby or toddler, take along a roll of duct tape to cover outlets and keep drawers shut.
So yes, it’s entirely possible to travel with kids. As with all things parental, it just requires advanced planning, endless patience and ample supplies of junk food, medicine and wipes.