Envious that other families seem to enjoy flying and travelling with their kids while you’re stuck at home with zero plan of vacationing to another city or country? Having a baby is a game changer and not just in terms of the physical, emotional, and mental toll it takes to raise your child. Somehow, even travelling will never be the same for you.
When travelling with your kids, make sure to prioritise what they need and not the things you want to do in Hong Kong or in whatever city you’re planning to visit. The point of bringing the kids with you is to let them experience a whole new tradition and see a different culture from the one they are used to. Travelling with kids is not about you and what you want. It’s about them. That’s the first thing you need to accept and remember.
Book the Right Plane Tickets
You have to decide whether you want your kids to have their own seats or you’ll simply put them on your lap. If you are buying your infant child a seat, make sure to bring the right car seat with you. The specifications will be clearly explained on the airline’s website. You can ask the airline to put you in the middle or aisle seat because you’ll probably keep on standing up to soothe the baby or change the diaper in the comfort room.
Do Not Buy Prescheduled Tickets to Attractions
There’s a pretty good chance that your schedule will change drastically because of your kids. Your schedule will depend on their mood swings—either they are bored, hungry, cranky, or sleepy. If you purchase scheduled tickets, you might just be wasting your time because you will miss a lot of these attractions.
It’s only a matter of time before your kids get bored with the in-flight entertainment. Even grown-up kids tend to get bored with what most airlines have to offer as a form of entertainment. Bring your kids’ favourite toys with you, as well as some colouring books and pens. This will keep them entertained for a couple of hours hopefully, and you can catch your breath for a bit.
Make It a Short Flight
Your kids’ first flight should be not more than four hours (less is better). That’s just enough time for them to play a little, take a short nap, and eat. Before they get bored and restless, the flight will have landed already. If you’re planning a long trip to another country, take a long car ride weeks before the flight. Treat it as a simulation of what to expect during that long-haul flight.
Prepare Baby Food in Advance
Do not assume that all countries have the same baby food. Europe’s baby cereals, for example, are different, so North American babies might not take to them. If your kids are especially picky, bring their favourite food with you. You’ll save a lot of time trying to find a grocery store or restaurant that serves what your kids want.
Travelling with your kids will not always be smooth-sailing. Prepare to be surprised because there will be a lot of unpredictable mood swings. But the best thing about making your kids experience new places is that it will widen their understanding of the world and how society works, even if they don’t know it yet. Investing in your kids’ holistic development seems to be worth all the crying spells and nasty diaper blowouts that might happen while travelling.