With children, a vacation is just a change of scenery, as some would say. If you are planning a family vacation with little children, you may find yourself questioning whether you should postpone your plans and just wait a few more years until they grow older.
You might think it would be exhausting and not a holiday since caring for them can be challenging away from home. The holiday can turn even more exhausting if the children become ill. You might wonder how everyone does it and whether it is fun and worth the trouble. Everything needs a little planning and preparation with kids, even something as minor as a quick trip to the grocery store. Similarly, when planning a vacation with little kids, all it takes is just some planning and precaution. Here are some tips you can follow to take care of your little ones while on vacation.
1. Packing list
Packing is the first thing you will be thinking about when planning a vacation. It’s quite overwhelming, even for the most organized of parents, especially if you have little children and want to be careful not to leave out anything important. You would want to ensure the children have everything they need to eat, wear, and play with to travel comfortably.
Your packing list will also depend on your destination and the season you’re visiting a particular place. If you’re visiting a state like Texas during April or May, you might need raincoats since these are the wettest months the state witnesses.
If you do plan on visiting Texas with an RV, you could book an RV parking space or the Firefly Luxury RV and tiny home resort, but make sure you do your research on the available amenities to pack accordingly.
For instance, you might want to pack swimming gear so the little ones can have a great time in the pools. Similarly, if you are heading to beaches, pack some sand toys and volleyballs if your kids love to play in the sand.
2. Wash hands and sanitize
As you would probably know, little children touch everything and anything. Traveling exposes them to more objects and surfaces they can touch. For obvious reasons, children are susceptible to diseases while traveling, which is why it’s so important to clean their hands often. Keep anti-bacterial sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes handy to keep germs at bay. Encourage children to clean their hands after using public toilets or playgrounds and wash their hands with soap, especially before eating.
3. Keep medicines and fluids
You would have already packed the basic medicines for the children; however, in addition to the usual painkillers and nausea medicines, you should pack bottled water. For long trips where water might not be readily available, keep bottled water on hand, electrolyte drinks, and hydrating snacks such as cucumbers and strawberries. Moreover, ask your pediatrician for flu shots at least two weeks before travel to prevent the kids from getting ill during vacation.
4. First aid kit
In addition to medicines, always pack a first aid kit, especially for road trips and long-distance traveling where medical aid might not be readily available. When traveling with kids, scraped knees, tummy aches, twisted ankles, and insect bites are inevitable. Packing your own medical supplies saves money, time, and stress when traveling.
If traveling by air, keep inhalers, anti-nausea medications, and ear plugs on hand for children. Children often complain when air pressure causes ear pain. Keeping pacifiers or gum to chew on during takeoff might be helpful. If you are traveling long distances by road, some medications can manage motion sickness. WebMD suggests using natural remedies such as ginger and peppermint for children during travel.
5. Sleep schedule
Kids usually get cranky while traveling because their sleep schedule gets disturbed. Studies show that you can slowly shift their sleep timings to match vacation time zones before travel. This might help them adjust better to sleep during vacation. With babies, you won’t be able to schedule their sleep, but you can ensure that their sleep is made comfortable during travel.
For example, you can take their favorite blanket along or a teddy they sleep with. You can also pack their comfy nightwear to make sure they get a good night’s sleep. Moreover, wherever possible, plan your activities around the kids’ sleep times. This way, they can also get adequate sleep, and you can enjoy activities with them when they are nice and fresh. Packing a small air humidifier is also a good idea to aid a good night’s sleep if you are traveling to colder destinations.
6. Go for healthy food options
Since children are more prone to illnesses when traveling, opting for healthier food options will do them good. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals will help ward off diseases; moreover, foods containing pro- and pre-biotics will aid in keeping their gut healthy during vacation.
Furthermore, avoiding foods that may get kids sick is a good idea, such as cold sodas and ice creams. Since prevention is better than cure, steer away from foods containing allergens, especially if your children have allergies.
7. Communication is key
While handling older children is easier, communicating ground rules and some Dos and Don’ts of vacationing is still a good idea. For example, communicating travel itineraries beforehand will let them know what to expect.
Sometimes children get cranky when unexpected events and activities turn up. You can also take their feedback and try incorporating some of their suggestions into your itinerary.
Parents spend a lot of time (and money) planning vacations with children in the best and most organized way possible. After all, we want to plan the perfect vacation where every family member has a memorable time.
However, remember that children and their needs are usually spontaneous and require a spontaneous reaction. It’s impossible to control all the factors that could affect your child’s health (or mood) while on vacation. Keep these tips in mind, plan and pack efficiently and make the most of your vacations. Don’t forget to keep an open mind and heart; you will enjoy all the unplanned adventures coming your way!
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