It’s no secret we’re very fond of it; travelling long journeys with young kids! Floris (4) and Lotte (2) have seen multiple continents and are pretty used to 18 hour flights.
Does it always go in a relaxed and easy going fashion? Let’s be honest, certainly not! But it often does. How you ask? I’ll gladly share.
10 Tips for Travelling long journeys with young kids
A good preparation is half the job done
First of all, a good preparation. Not just for yourself but for your child! If you tell your child about the destination, show them pictures and films or read a book about it a couple of weeks in advance, your child knows better what to expect. This makes your child more flexible and consequently makes your trip a lot more relaxed.
Fly at night
If you have the choice, book a night flight. Your child can take a nap and you may even be able to catch some sleep too. The advantage of this is that the whole family can arrive well rested at your destination. Less tired kids are less cranky kids.
A jar of peanut butter in your suitcase
Flo and Lotte have been terrible eaters ever since birth. There are 2 ways to go when we travel: either I don’t budge and the kids don’t eat well, don’t sleep well and as a result we’re off to a bad start of our holiday or…. I bring along a jar of Peanut butter. That way the kids can eat a peanut butter sandwich in the evening together with some vegetables (cucumber, paprika e.g.). This saves me a lot of stress and experience has taught me that the kids are most likely to try a little of the local cuisine after a few days anyway.
Another thing to take along: multivitamin
Yes, this too goes in your luggage: a jar of multivitamin for children. I value good and healthy nutrition but on holiday this can be a little challenging. To make sure your kids’ get all the vitamins they need they take one of these pills each day while we’re on holiday.
Not too many different accommodations
It drives our kids crazy if they have to sleep in a different bed each night so I always make sure the trip starts of easy. We stay in one place for the first couple of days at least and try avoiding having to sleep in 15 different hotels during our trip.
Pace your travels
Even when we travel around I like to take things slow so the kids have enough time to adjust to their surroundings. What’s ideal for us is travelling by camper which has the same bed for the kids each night while in addition we can explore the whole country.
Band aid & paracetamol
When your toddler feels hot all of a sudden on a Thai island, you want to be able to take its temperature and give a paracetamol. You also want to be able to disinfect cuts and grazes from a dirty Cape Verdean street and place a band aid on it. Be sure to always carry the basics; thermometer, paracetamol, band aid, disinfectant and ORS.
Don’t forget the favourite stuffed animal
And certainly don’t forget the favourite stuffed animal or (small) toy of your child. It’s always nice to be able to play with something familiar far away from home. Don’t take too much toys on your trip though because you can buy toys in every country and the local ones may be more interesting than the toys from home.
Getting adjusted to jetlag
When you travel far you get jetlag. Often young kids have more trouble with jetlag than you may. Start your trip at a slow pace and take the time for your kids to adjust to the new time zone. You will get them in the rhythm faster by sticking to the local time for meals and bedtime and being outside as much as possible.
Relax and enjoy
The MOST important tip for travelling long journeys with young kids. Most babies and toddlers are very sensitive for their parent’s state of mind. If you’re rushed, stressed and short tempered on your trip, then chances are your children will sense this and will act out. Relax, you’re on holiday! It’s time to chill and go on new adventures. Enjoy, and as a result your kids will do the same!
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