Expat mums: here’s our tips on travelling with kids this summer
Mother Baby & Child sat down with Monica Valrani, the CEO of Ladybird Nursery Dubai to hear her tips on travelling with children over the summer months.
With summer well underway, many families are seeking a welcome escape to cooler destinations or to travel to visit family abroad. Regardless of the reason, when young children are involved, many parents tend to be weary of the toll that a long trip could take on the children, the family, as well as fellow passengers.
Monica Valrani, CEO of Ladybird Nursery Dubai, says: “Allowing a child to see new things and experience new surroundings is something that will stay with them, throughout their entire lives.”
“Though travelling with children may seem to be a daunting process to some, it is possible for the experience to be hassle-free, if planned accordingly,” says Valrani. “There are many ways to make the time spent together, while on a plane or train, or even in a car, enjoyable and fun for the whole family.”
When flying, a handy backpack is every parent’s best friend. These free up the hands, allowing for better control over luggage or strollers, or even just to hold a nervous little one’s hand (and avoid a dreaded Home Alone scenario).
Long flights or road trips might be boring for a child, so in line with keeping things interesting, parents can bring a small bag for the occasion. This can include travel items such as colouring books, crayons, mini Legos and other inexpensive toys. Children can be kept in the dark about the contents until about half an hour into the journey, when they can delve into its depths and have a great time with its contents.
Encouraging children to have a travel journal is another way to keep the little ones busy on a trip. Those that are old enough to put pen to paper, can jot down their thoughts and opinions, while younger children can doodle in these, capturing their exposure to new cultures and experiences. Parents can also print out some of their favourite images to stick into the journal, with polaroids being a trendy choice at the moment. This will be a lovely way for children to reminisce on an incredible trip at a later stage.
“Bearing in mind the child’s comfort is also an important aspect of easy travel, it is always a good idea – if possible – to plan trips in line with a child’s sleeping patterns or routine. This will ensure they are not awake when they are usually sleeping, preventing them from becoming short tempered and prone to tantrums due to exhaustion. Also ensuring that they are dressed in airy loose clothing helps, as it boosts their comfort levels during the journey and can make them feel as least restricted as possible – especially when in a confined space with limited room to move.
Another quick tip is to have at hand a couple of sick bags as well as a change of clothes. Having these in an accessible space, not locked up in a bag or suitcase, proves to be very convenient in a worst-case scenario that can be quite common when experiencing constant motion while travelling.
Valrani concludes, saying: “When the little ones are entertained and well rested, trips can prove to be a great opportunity for family bonding, setting the tone for a lovely holiday and even better memories to follow.”