Tips for stress free travel with kids

Traveling with babies and toddlers can be both exciting and challenging for parents. Whether you’re embarking on a train, plane, or car holiday, proper preparation and careful consideration can make the journey more enjoyable for everyone involved.

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Mom and child in the forest

We love to travel

We need to prepare for stress-free travel with kids

We love to travel with our daughter and have been doing it since she was just a couple of months old. Traveling with babies and toddlers can be a lot of fun but needs good preparation and planning.

In this article, I want to share essential tips for parents, focusing on what to carry, how to care for your children, keeping them entertained without screens, selecting travel-friendly food, and ensuring a relaxing holiday experience.

One of the most important things I learned about traveling with my daughter was letting go of my expectations about how we should travel. It was clear that our travel style would have to be adjusted, we would have to plan for all eventualities and we wouldn’t be able to do a lot of things that we could before we had her. 

This  made it a lot easier. 

Packing for stress-free travel with kids

When traveling with babies or toddlers, packing strategically is crucial. I would suggest creating a packing list so that you don’t forget the essentials. In addition to the normal clothes and toiletries, here is a checklist of essential items to carry:

Diapers and Changing Supplies: Pack an adequate supply of diapers, wipes, and a portable changing pad because you don’t know when you might have to change a diaper. Be prepared for… everywhere!

Extra Clothes: Be prepared for unexpected accidents like diaper explosions, getting wet, dropping food on them, etc. by packing extra outfits for your little ones and maybe even one for yourself. I can’t remember the number of times I had to change my clothes because my daughter wiped her face on my sleeve!

Medications and First Aid Kit: Carry any necessary medications, along with a basic first aid kit containing essentials like band-aids, thermometer, and antiseptic wipes. You can carry basic medications for fever, nose spray, diarrhea, and so on.

Blankets and Comfort Items: Bring along familiar blankets or toys that provide comfort and a sense of security. This familiarity can help them to calm down and enjoy the ride. This can also be a stuffed toy, a favourite book or toy train!

Snacks and Drinks: Pack a variety of healthy snacks and drinks suitable for your child’s age, along with spill-proof containers. If your child is used to solids, make sure the snacks are dry so that you don’t end up making a mess. And if you do, make sure to clean up after yourself and your child!

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Woman packing suitcases for travel

Travel times and child-friendly destinations for stress-free travel

For a stress free travel experience, try to choose travel times when your child might sleep. This will make it a lot easier because you can then also relax and have to keep your child busy for a shorter period of time! This is easier for train and car travel, but when you’re flying, especially long distance it might not be so easy.

When choosing travel destinations, make sure you do your research about how child-friendly the place is. Can you move around with the stroller or do you need your baby carrier or rucksack for toddlers? Is the place easily accessible? Would you have shops and medical stores and a doctor nearby in case of an emergency? 

Children don’t necessarily need pools and a lot of entertainment. They would also enjoy being in nature and exploring mountains and lakes, etc. On the other hand, a beach destination is a good way to keep your children busy while you relax. Some nice sand toys and you’re all set! You can also carry their favourite toys and books with you so that they always have familiar things around them, especially when you eat at a restaurant, for example. 


Your mental health

As I mentioned in the introduction, what really helped us was to let go of expectations of the holiday turning out a certain way. We knew we couldn’t plan long hikes and tent stays immediately. Or that when we had beach days, we had to make sure to keep our daughter out of the sun during the peak UV hours. This really helped us to relax and enjoy the holidays.

As parents, we often get triggered when our children have a tantrum in public, shout or cry loudly, drawing attention to you. And often, we panic and do whatever possible to make them stop, including sometimes shouting at them. 

Try to ignore what other people might be thinking and concentrate on your child. That is most likely going to help them calm down. And you can enjoy your journey!

Mother and child traveling on an airplace

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