Thursday, October 23, 2014

Traveling with Children

Children are precious gift from God, they are meant to be nurtured and cared for every single moment. It is however sad that they are sometimes perceived as a burden when it comes to traveling. Parents would often become completely disorganized when they have to go on a trip with their kids.
But, traveling with your children can be a great family fun, creating piles of lifelong memories. Although, its challenges are indeed numerous, you can always develop creative strategies to make it fun. 

Candidly, the cost of traveling with your children could be expensive especially when you have 4 or 5 or more; getting visas, flight tickets etc. Parents equally nurse the headache of how to cope with co-passengers, no matter how cute your children are your co-passengers don't want to have their seat beside you nor in front , because they feel children will always disturb or inconvenience them. 

Children are truly active and restless, these are their natural characters but as a loving and caring parents be prepared and be in-charge of your children activities. Channel the extra energy that is making them to be restless to a productive task. With experience, traveling with them can be so interesting and fulfilling if you can afford all it takes. 

Here are some tips to assist your journey: 

1. Learn
Before your trip, implore your children to learn about the country you are going to, the cities, and people they'll be visiting. Books or articles can provide enough background to pique a child's curiosity. 

2. Medications
Before traveling overseas, see your doctor at least two months before you leave to discuss your plans. Carry everyone's vaccination records, and ask the doctor to note down their blood groups for you. If any of your children has a pre-existing medical condition, ask for help in identifying a doctor in your destination who specialises in the same condition. Take their drugs in its label container along when embarking on your journey. 

3. Travel Documents
Keep their traveling documents i.e International passports, vaccination cards, birth certificate, and the likes separately with proper tags for easy identification at the airport. Remember to take your marriage certificate (if applicable) and a signed attestation consent letter from the other parent confirming you can travel with your child, if you are not both embarking on the trip with them and if the other parent is no longer alive, you may need proof.

4. Packing and Luggage
Let everyone get his or her things packed in their backpack, just few clothes, toys and story books. Give each child a small pack of crayons, by doing this nobody will fight over colors.
Pack toys, coloring books and crayons with the coloring stick attached that can erase and start over. Weigh your luggage and their backpacks to ensure you don't exceed required kilogram (KG) for both hand and check in luggages.

5. Manage your time: 
The main thing you can take – whether at the airport, sightseeing or getting from place to place– is extra time. Children love to explore and don’t care for the time pressures of travel, so you’re more likely to all retain your cool if you factor the children fiddling around, dilly-dallying,toilet stops and hysterics into your time frame.

6. Consider climatic change:
Let the children dress comfortably for the weather, you know it's always cold inside the plane, get them their sweaters, as they are happier in moving to a new environment. Don't forget their gloves, foot wares, paints and hand sanitizer.

7. Let your child have a portable camera: 
If you can afford it, as it will encourage them to observe their surroundings, focus on what interests them and make them more serious. You might be surprised at the results. They are curious and gifted with sound memory, once you give a guide, and emphasis their roles , they we try their best. Don't forget to reinforce, the best out of them.

8. Travel journal: 
For adults, you can get one to read in plane as the airline do keep a copy for passengers, check your front. You can get a travel journal for children and tell them to create their own by drawing and listing things they've seen and interesting foods they've tried, it might even encourage them to try different foods.

9. Other Items: 
Pack snacks, baby cereals and sweets for children. For their toiletries pack diapers, wipes, add three changes of clothes and bags of wet, stinky pants to your hand luggage.

10. Take precautions:
It is always good to be prepared, even if you have the most well-behaved children in the world, things happen: children wander off, or they get separated from you in a crowd. Whenever you're traveling with children in an unfamiliar place, it's good to have a go-to procedure in place in case something happens. Be sure to give each child a tag containing their names , your mobile number (don't forget to roam your number or get a local SIM card at the airport), indicate your final destination on the tag and next of kin address at where you are going. It is very important.

In a crowded situation, having a unique family noise (a call, such as a "shee-shee") that's what I use for my son! It enables you to easily get each other's attention. .
To cap it all, during takeoff and landing of a plane, educate your child on what is happening, and if they are too small to see out the window, play a game to buttress your point. Once you land, let the other passengers get off first. Make sure you have everything and carry baby in carrier until you exit so your hands are free for the other kids.
If you need help, ask. In many airports, those little carts are available to help people traveling with small children. 

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Travel Safe!

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