HOW TO TRAVEL SMART WITH CHILDREN
Don’t stress about travel with children. Top tips to help…
W hether it’s planes, trains or automobiles, travelling with young children can be stressful. For many UAE residents, long journeys are a fact of life come summertime.
But if you plan things properly, the trip doesn’t need to include toddler tantrums or bawling babies. Kaya Scott, co-founder and editor of Sassy Mama Dubai website, runs us through some top tips that are sure to take the trouble out of group travel. Pack snacks and drinks - lots of them. Great for distraction and perfect when they’re hungry at those in-between-mealtimes, a variety of snacks will help keep the kids happy (and occupied). Make up mini trail mix style bags with pretzels, raisins, cheerios and even a few mini marshmallows (a little doesn’t hurt) for them to dip into. Squeezy fruit pouches, popcorn, cookies - this is the one time when all ‘non-sugar’ rules can be softened if it helps to keep everyone happy!
Invest in children’s headphones - whether you’re plugging them into your iPad or using instead of the aeroplane ones (which are always too big for little ears) - it’ll help them to zone into whatever’s on the screen. Remember to take an airline headphone adapter too (these are available at Virgin and most electronics stores).
SNOOZE YOU WIN
Take child-friendly neck/travel pillows to prop up little heads when they doze off. Just Kidding does some great ones, which will keep them cosy and comfy.
It’s also worth getting the children to travel in hoodies so that you can pull the hood over the pillow and keep it in place.
Use onboard blankets to make a little tent for the kids - just tuck them into the back of the headrest and into the top of the headrest in front - they’ll feel cosy and more likely to sleep.
Pack smart - a great big bag with no compartments will just add to your frustration as you rummage around, unable to find what you really need.
Choose a backpack with compartments and keep spare clothes in one (for you all - you never know what might happen) and everything else such as wipes/diapers, snacks etc in their own sections.
IN THE BAG
Take a spare plastic bag or two. If you need to bag up wet or dirty clothing there’s nothing worse than having nowhere to put it. Also, when the kids have finished their meals and you want to remove the trays pronto before all that food ends up everywhere, simply empty the contents into a bag and hand to the crew.
Take disinfectant wipes that are gentle enough to use on dirty hands but that’ll give trays, bathroom areas and anywhere that your little people might be tempted to touch a clean.
OCCUPY AND FLY
Take plenty of toys! Don’t forget comforters for those meltdown moments and also pack a couple of surprises such as sticker books, and play-doh. Also make sure your iPad has a few new kiddie apps.
FAMILY FUN: Simple things like packing snacks and plastic bags can make a long trip far more pleasant