Travel Season is coming!

By Enid Westerlund 24 November 2022, 11:00AM

It’s hard to imagine that it’s only a few weeks to Christmas! Where has the time gone? I guess, if you are busy being productive and living your life, time just disappears.  

What are your plans for the festive season? Is it to relax on a beach for a few days? Travel? Travel and relax do not go together when you travel with young children. It’s not that the kids are difficult, it’s all the luggage and planning that go with having dependents.

Thankfully I’ve enjoyed single traveling for a very long time and having a child means less thinking time and more focus? Here are a few quick traveling tips for parents this holiday season:

1. It will be okay: Whatever happens, know it is not your fault especially exhaustion, meltdowns and snacking episodes. Children are energy balls that are in constant need of entertaining, let the discover boredom and they’ll start entertaining themselves.

2. During flights, do not worry about other people on the plane if your child throws a tantrum. Focus on your child first. Traveling is stressful for anyone especially children. Traveling with those who need more attention and have disabilities will take a lot of patience, kindness, not only from the parents involved but other adults traveling too.

3. Always be prepared: Take an extra change for your child because accidents do happen, and other people might spill their wine or drink on you. This has happened to me several times when I walk off the plane smelling like a winery and stains to prove it.

4. Bring treats, snacks and leave the sugar: Hyper kids are no fun with travel, especially at airports. We won’t only want to yell or slap something; we will not have the energy to be running around anyone with bags and trolleys.

5. Bring extra wipes and extra clothing: Temperature changes happen on travels, don’t get caught out with either a very hot or cold kid. The experience won’t be nice for either of you, so be prepared. Layering helps. If all else fails, a lavalava or scarf will help in some of these situations. Also take extra wipes, if you have a kid that is 5 or below. That will be your superpower when it comes to dirty seats, dirty hands and spillages.

6. Stay relaxed and enjoy the experience: Easier said than done but it can be done. Enjoy the experience and make great memories for your child. You never know what happens next.

7. Bring your tech, ipads, sketch pads, activities, art supplies, low sugar snacks and water because you will need them during bad weather, delays and when you are stuck somewhere with nothing to do. If on a flight, be nice to the attendants and they’ll usually help you out with kids needing an extra drink, snack or toilet time.

8. Plan for extra time and slower movement: Traveling with children and spouses will take time. Unless you are in business class and have VIP passes to all events and all flights, you will experience waiting times. Be patient.

9. Don’t overpack. Take the necessities and one or two extras or comfort items for your toddler or infants. You will not need to bring the whole bed or 5 jackets. Take a soft blanket that the child can hold and one familiar item from his or her treasure chest. Less things to hold and worry about.

10. Have fun: Traveling should be an eye opening and fun experience for you and your children. Involve your kids in the planning and choosing activities once you reach your destination. They can be engaged at any age as babies and below 2 are the easiest to entertain. Enjoy the rest of your week and do not forget to renew those passports!

By Enid Westerlund 24 November 2022, 11:00AM
Samoa Observer

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