Preparation and precautions to take when travelling with young children

It's not easy to travel with young children, but with a bit of preparation and a few precautions, you can make the experience manageable, memorable and fun for you and them.

Preparation and precautions to take when travelling with young children

Preparations to make

Travelling with young children is an adventure and exercise in patience. That's why preparation is key. If you're ready for the experience, most everything should go smoothly and you'll arrive at your destination smiling, as will your children. Before you set out, here's what to consider:

Packing

  • Each child should pack a special bag or backpack with fun things such as colouring books, toys, reading materials, a favourite pillow or games.
  • If you let the child know that packing the bag is his or her responsibility, it helps the child feel that he/she is participating in the planning process.

Clothing

  • Even if you check your luggage at the airport, make sure you have at least one spare outfit for each child readily available in a carry-on. If your child spills a drink on his/her shirt or otherwise becomes soiled, you'll want to have a change of clothing on hand.
  • If your child still wears diapers, make sure you pack a sufficient amount to last the entire flight.

Paperwork

  • If you're a single parent or guardian of a child, and are travelling outside the country, you must present legal paperwork that gives you permission to travel with the child.
  • All legal documentation, such as passports and paperwork, should be easily accessible.

Wet wipes

  • Young children are messy and can get cranky if they get sticky. Consider packing a small container of wet wipes to quickly clean your child or wipe up spills.

Snacks

  • Keep a variety of snacks on hand to calm a young child's stomach. Vendors sell a bevy of snacks at airports and bus/train terminals, so stock up prior to departure.

Precautions to take

Travelling through a busy airport, train station or bus terminal with young children is stressful. Sometimes the child might wander off, so taking a few precautions can help alleviate your fear of becoming separated from them.

Labelling

  • Labelling your child might seem extreme, but if a young child becomes separated he/she might be scared, confused and forget his/her name, your name or your phone number.
  • Label your child's clothing and provide an identification bracelet or necklace that lists his/her name, your name and your mobile number.

Tracking/child locator

  • GPS child locator tracking devices are widely available for purchase and allow you to track your child quickly, using your mobile phone.
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