If you are a parent with a little kid, you probably dread the idea of traveling. But, sadly, some of us cannot be restricted from traveling. Options you’ve considered probably include:
1) Dropping them off with your parents.
2) Sleepovers at their best friend’s house.
3) Hiring baby sitters.
4) Or, if nothing works, simply canceling all plans and dreaming of all those wonderful trips you’d want to take.
Traveling with the offspring is most likely the last option you would consider. But, hey, take a deep breath…and, let it out. Exploring with your cute little munchkin need not be a headache anymore.
1. “Gimme chocolate now!”
One of the most common reasons why children become cranky is due to hunger. In the heat of the moment, adults often tend to forget their meals. When you’re snorkeling, cruising, swimming and just getting a sun tan, who has time for food, right? Just remember to pack a lot of those snacks that your child loves (like cartons of chocolate milk, juice, yoghurt and muffins) into a little bag that they can wear. After a point, they’ll learn to eat from the bag whenever they get hungry. (As a bonus, the bag can also serve as a leash for a more robust child.)
2. “I’m sleepy…”
Between all the tiresome activities and being troublesome, kids may not get as much sleep as they usually do. Children who are used to scheduled nap times may become more exhausted and require more sleep at certain periods of time. It is important that as parents, we recognize when they are completely drained, and make sure we let them sleep whenever possible – even if it means they need to miss one daily activity.
3. “Wake up! I’m not sleepy now!”
Even adults are severely perturbed by this change in our circadian rhythms, commonly known as ‘jet lag’. Naturally, the child is going to take a longer period of time to adjust to this disturbance. Be patient with them and be prepared to deal with a lot of sleeplessness. Sometimes, the schedule can be corrected to an extent, if you ensure that they sleep through the flight journey. While on this topic, for children who suffer from ear pain due to in flights, it helps a bit to stuff ear plugs or even cotton balls in their ear before take off and retain it until after landing.
4. “It WAS too cold. Now it’s too hot!”
Be it a really hot place, or a cold place, any place you travel to is not an environment they are used to, so keep them comfortable. Falling sick may be a common phenomenon. This can be prevented by anticipating and gathering information about the destination before travel and making sure they are clothed appropriately. Try not to expose them to extreme weather conditions for long, as both extreme cold and hot conditions can affect their health. It’s advisable to carry all of their medicines in hand.
5. “I’m bored… Are we there yet?”
We aren’t the only ones bored with our lives. Sometimes, our activities may hold no pleasure for them and the bored toddler would start to bug us. Observation and experience has taught me that nothing keeps a child more occupied than a few colors, a notebook and their favorite toy. Just a few possessions that they can carry in their own backpack.
6. “I don’t wanna walk any more…”
The idea of a packed itinerary might sound exciting to you, but a child may not always be able to cope with the schedule. Try to give them breaks between the activities, so that they have enough time to rest and regain their energy.
7. “Can you please stay with me?”
When it comes down to it, traveling is important, but you’re never going to get their childhood back. Cherish the memories you have with them and make sure you spend a lot of time with them. If you thought the terrible twos were bad, wait till they become teenagers... :)