Traveling is easily the best way to introduce a new culture, cuisine, and environment for anyone. When it comes to traveling with kids, it can get a little tricky. Trying to sort out their meals, making sure they are always comfortable, and figuring out how to be as efficient as possible! Ultimately, it all boils down to carefully planning out your itinerary according to the needs of the baby or toddler. We've gathered 10 tips that will, In Shaa Allah help your family make this trip a breeze.
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This can be a HUGE challenge for parents with young children. But the idea of dragging your luggage on and off trains or taxis can be a nightmare, especially when you have a cranky child who needs your attention. Our tip is, pack light and bring just the essentials! What you want to do is figure out a way to minimize the things that you bring. Here's how:
a. Clean Clothes
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The best way to pack light is to fully optimize your clothes! How?
Most accommodations such as Airbnb and apartments provide a washing machine for guests. Make it a point to wash your clothes mid-trip so that you'll be able to wear it again for the rest of your trip. Make it a point to pick the clothes that are versatile. That way you'll be able to get a new outfit.
b. Use Packing Cubes
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Packing cubes are great tools to limit yourself from over-packing. Whether it is for your child or yourself, a packing cube helps to compress your clothes, making it easy to pack in your suitcases.
c. Travel Vacuum Bags
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Travel Vacuum Bags are important when it comes to packing diapers for your infant. Diapers themselves can take up to one-third of a suitcase! As parents, you will always have to get ready for emergencies. On top of that, some infants might have an allergic reaction to certain diapers. Hence, buying a different brand of diapers while you are overseas may not be a safe option. Get yourself travel vacuum bags to compress your infant's diapers while you're at home! You can use the vacuum cleaner to absorb the air. This you'll be able to make space other essentials. Alternatively, you could invest in a portable vacuum bag. This way you don't have to use a vacuum cleaner to absorb air out of the vacuum bag.
d. Go Offline
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While toys might be an essential tool to keep your toddlers entertained, it is important not to fill up your suitcase with bulky toys. Limit to two small toys that will keep your tots entertained. You could also instill a sense of responsibility in your toddler by asking him or her to safeguard the toy until you are back from your holiday. It is also important that you download as many shows on your tablets or smartphones. This is extremely useful when you are in a quiet environment or when you are moving up and down public transports.
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It is exceptionally essential to pack snacks when you are traveling. If the country that you are traveling to is not a Muslim majority country, it is highly likely that it will be difficult to look for Halal snacks. Hence, packing some snacks before starting your day is important.
a. Buy in Bulk
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It is always easier when snacks are readily available in your fridge or suitcase. Our tip is to dedicate the first day to stock up on snacks and titbits for the family. These include easy to consume fruits such as blueberries, bananas, and grapes. You could also spend some time in the morning and cut up Mandarin oranges or peaches and place them in reusable containers.
b. Collapsible Containers
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Collapsible containers are not only intended to be environmentally-friendly but also space saving. We recommend silicone collapsible cups or lunch boxes. Simply push the base and it will expand into a full-sized cup or lunch box.
Tip: Store liquid food such as rice porridge or fruit purees in leak-proof collapsible cups. That way, you don't have to worry about spilling anything.
c. Silicon Ziplocks or fabric bags
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Both silicon ziplock bags and fabric are really great alternatives to disposable plastic ziplock bags. These bags can be reused after cleaning it with regular dishwashing soap. What we love about these bags is that they can also mould into different shapes, which makes it easy to pack them in your luggage bag.
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Always, always, always make sure that you bring a water bottle. Once again, a collapsible water bottle is a brilliant way to keep yourself hydrating and you can easily store it away when you don't need it.
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a. Getting A Functional Diaper Bag
The first step to loading up your diaper is to get a backpack so that you keep your hands free for things like tapping on and off public transport, getting through customs, and many more. Compartments are essential when it comes to choosing a good diaper bag. While baby items such as diapers, bottles and additional change of clothes, compartments ensure that your items are always organized and within reach. If you can't seem to find a bag that has the right amount of compartments, you can always use a bag organizer!
b. Never Leave Without Wet Wipes
While this may come as a no-brainer, wet wipes are extra important when handling babies. As parents with toddlers or infants, you'll find yourself using a ton of wet wipes. Hence, it is our responsibility to use the right type of wet wipes to reduce the impact on global warming. Switch to organic cotton wet wipes or bamboo wet wipes. These wet wipes are biodegradable and contain natural organic extracts within them.
c. Changing Mat
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When you're traveling, it is extremely important that you bring along a changing mat. Being in a foreign country, there might be times that you can't find a nursing room when there is a need for a nappy change. This is where the changing mat would come really handy. Simply lay your mat and you're good to go! We definitely recommend getting a waterproof changing mat so that you can sanitize the mat with anti-septic wipes easily and regularly.
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Leaving ample of time in between your itinerary is essential when traveling with toddlers or infants. From completing customs to planning out your daily activities, things will usually take longer when you have kids at hand.
Therefore, always leave sometime after each activity to fuel up on snacks or simply take a breather before moving on to your next activity. Plan your itinerary in such a way that the day is made up of more than one activity that interests the kids. Spend more time going on guided tours, learning about the different cultures or museums that let kids discover about animals or tribes and so on.
Note: there is an exception for breast milk from the 3.4 Oz rule for liquids that can be carried in luggage. This is another reason as to why you will take longer at the checkpoint, they will investigate to see if it is breast milk before sending you through.
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While backpacking is all about exploring, trying out new things or food, meeting travelers from all over the world, it is still important to prioritize your toddler first. This also means making sure that the place that you are staying for the night is safe and comfortable.
Today, hostels offer a wide range of room types, ranging from bunk beds to private spacious rooms at a low cost. When you're with your toddler, you might want to consider opting for the room that gives you more privacy. Skip the sharing bunk beds and go for the rooms that offer has your own washroom and your own space. This, however, does not restrict you from embracing the hostel vibe. You'll still be able to interact with other travelers at the common areas. Take some time and look into a hostel that is suitable for your little travelers!
Oh! And please scan the reviews before booking!
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a. Doctors are your Best friends
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Yes. They. Are. While you're at the doctors, side-track and ask a few questions about their opinion of the country that you're traveling to. It's always good to do research on your destination so that you are well-prepared for emergencies. This includes finding out what are the common diseases in that area or what you can do to keep you and your family safe from infections or diseases and many more.
b. Ferry nightmare
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The flat open deck of the ferry can be extremely tempting to kids that have been cooped up in the car for long, let them burn off some steam by letting them run it off, they’ll calm down once they are tired out. Also, expect motion sickness, so be sure to grab all the necessities before leaving the vehicle - get the wet wipes, water, snacks, and other essentials.
c. Motion Sickness
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The best way to battle motion sickness in kids is to keep them distracted as much as possible and that does not mean to give them an iPad or a book, this actually contributes to motion sickness. Make them look outside of the vehicle, talk about the surroundings to keep them distracted as much as possible.
Plan your pre-trip meals, don’t feed them any heavy greasy foods immediately before or during the car ride, something light like a cracker and small drink would be enough.
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Always choose a child-friendly destination, be sure that it appeals to your child and not just to you, this way your child will not get bored easily. Plan a holiday that you and your children can both engage with, have activities that’ll keep the kids distracted while you rest but also make sure of safety.
Some hotels and resorts might not be very kid-friendly so do your research prior to booking, also certain destinations as well. Make sure that your children can freely enjoy and have fun without much restriction.
Before you leave for the trip try to calm your mind, as a mother your mind would be racing with many things, but being anxious and impatient will not help. Cut yourself some slack, if your child begins to cry on the plane, don’t worry, people will be aware that traveling with children is not an easy task and they themselves might’ve experienced it at some point.
Don’t always resort to punishment when children get a bit fussy while traveling, understand that it is not easy for them, The routine they were used to at home is now getting disrupted, and they tire very easily when in new environments. Try to be as patient as possible and help them feel comfortable during the trip, this will solve things faster and no one’s feelings will get hurt
These tips will definitely help you have a fun and hassle-free trip with your kids.
Have fun and have a safe flight!