How to Plan your Travelling with Children who love Routine or are attached to certain thing at home. You wanna enjoy your trip too, right!
Traveling with Children who love their Routine!
Here is the Good News for us, our children love travel and routine means what we say it is. But many parents to young children esp. toddlers have to plan their travel with military precision. Some don’t even travel much because they don’t wish to disrupt their child’s routine. Is this You?
Well Wren asked us to tackle: Traveling with Children who love Routine, via our Blog Poll. We assume she wanted some more Intel on how to get a child stuck in a routine to travel and enjoy the experience. Here is the deal, most parents will let a child attach to an item in order to have some peace. A blanket, a toy, sucking their thumb or fingers, reading a bedtime book to them, leaving the night light on, the list goes on…You can tell we did some of these lol!
The fact is, children do need a routine in order to have a healthy happy existence. You as parents deserve half a chance at resting and getting other stuff done, and live a kind of social life too!
In our travels and social circles, we know parents who can’t go anywhere because their children will “terrorize” everyone else with the tantrums, tears, wreak havoc, be anti-social in general etc.
We boiled it down to: Travelling with children – Child Routine!
It is highly recommended that you double check your essentials, here is our Definitive packing list esp. on a long-haul flight! And…
RECOMMENDED: TRAVELING WITH KIDS ESSENTIAL CHECKLIST
BELOW IS OUR LIST ON HOW TO GET A CHILD STUCK IN A ROUTINE TO ENJOY TRAVEL.
- Get a spare set of your child’s fav toy, blanket, or item that they are attached to & seems to sooth them. Let them get used to it a few weeks before travel. Remember that most children have short attention spans and get tired very quickly. So as long as you pack their favorite, they hopefully won’t so much feel the change in routine or surroundings. In other words, pack some of their toys and favorite snacks!
- Check in advance on child friendly accommodation. This can be by direct contact, through reviews. TripAdvisor is awesome for this. Or ask your travel agent. We use our Travel app and Personal Concierge to scope out all these things!
Ask for bulkhead seats or seats near an exit to give your child a bit of space to play on the floor.
Be sure to arrange for a Bassinet with the airline in advance for your baby. Our Son was comfy in one of these at 4 weeks 14-hour flight to Uganda! Take your car seat with you, routine remember! You will have to book a seat for that…for some airlines.
Your older children might prefer a window seat, why not ask them or pick your seats together! 🙂
It’s essential to try and keep your child’s sleep routine, so if travelling long distance, try to drive during the day to arrive in time for bedtime. Or if flying, book the red eye or overnight flight to coincide with your child’s sleeping routine!
Check your accommodation, if they have a child friendly play area, any childcare offered? Child friendly activities? How far are they? Ask as many questions as you can!
We will say this again, make sure there will be enough child-friendly and oriented activities to keep them amused, occupied and enjoying themselves while away.
RECOMMENDED: SAVVY TRAVEL PLANNING
Travelling with children who love routine – Communicate with Relevant People.
Make sure to let the airlines, travel agent and accommodation your child’s meal preferences esp. if they are health related. Allergies, etc. do it in writing and request for confirmation that they have received and will action your request!
- Take your child’s cup/glass/bottle/bowl…Or get one similar to the one they use at home. They get to see their food in a similar container, they will happily eat/drink. Esp. if they are picky eaters!
- Assuming your child can talk and thus understand, have a chat with them and prepare them for the trip. Share all the fun things you are gonna do and enjoy. Assure them that all their fav friends: Eeyore, Peppa pig, Teddy, whatever name they call their favs, will be there…! (Well you gotta be creative, and you know your child.) We sure never forgot “Our tweenies Bags,” On any trip!
We used to get the children planning what they would do, from as early as 4 yrs. What did they wanna see? We would get Holiday catalogs and show them the bright pictures, the beach, the hotel room, get them into the spirit of travel! Mind you our children are not fussy about travel…Maybe because we did a good job of preparing them and transferring our energy to them!
Talking of energy…
6. Travelling with children who love routine – Meditation and Visualization!
See what we did below, painting a mental picture? Well do some of that.
How about doing some Meditation and Visualization, with your child in the vicinity…Simply project what you want to happen on the trip, like you are already there…Here goes!
You wake up in your all-inclusive resort, with the rays of sun hitting your face, you little one is jumping up and down on the bed, mommy/daddy wake up look…They point to the patio doors and you can see the blue sea, skies and beach outside your room…
The Patio Doors are beckoning, you open them…and the Aroma of the sea hits your nose…Taking in a deep breath, you can hear the birds chirping in the palm trees by your suite…!
Your children run outside, and you follow, they wanna jump in the infinity pool, you want some breakfast…They are not even fussy about the exotic food… And guess what, your “stuck in a routine child” is completely at home in the environment…Well we could go on, we love this vision. 😀
…VISUALIZE and see it in your mind’s eye and guess who will have a fab trip with said child!
Travelling with children who love routine: Be sure to maintain a state of calm…
If your child craves routine, then any excitement on your part about the upcoming travels might get them worrying about the change! Why not, introduce them to the plans gently and then let your excitement rise with theirs!
Don’t let any sulks on their part affect your sunny nature or affect the way you perceive your holiday…Positive energy only, it is contagious…Yet neither should you ignore their distress if it is clear they are really upset. Work on the bribes. (Yes, sometimes we gotta bribe them. Don’t shoot the messenger.) 😀
By the way, do take a First Aid Travel kit
It should contain all their essential medicines WITH prescription. Don’t forget paracetamol, thermometer, band-aids, anti-itch, sun cream, even oral rehydration.
Get the children to take lots of fluid, water prior to any long-haul flights to ease the arrival discomfort! And the trick to avoid earache during take-off and landing, just encourage them, or make sure they are chomping on something, could be chewing gum. Helps balance ear pressure.
Be sure to stop often if driving and get some fresh air. Open a window to refresh the air in the car. Helps with motion sickness as well.
Meal routine when travelling with children
Toddlers and young children can be fussy eaters. ( Our daughter was totally that toddler who gave you a hernia at feeding time.) Travelling to unfamiliar places with new foods and different mealtime routines was a story we could tell for hours…! Disruption of eating and sleeping habits is most parents worry when travelling! But here is what our GP told us that reassured us and kept our wanderlust alive…
Don’t worry, rest in the knowledge that a healthy child will never voluntarily starve themselves! Trust them to eat when they’re hungry…(This advice is not just for traveling, it’s for daily life.) It saved our sanity with Paula!
Try to keep a little bit of familiar mealtime routine, such as having breakfast in the usual way.
Don’t assume you’ll always find something they’ll like on a restaurant menu. Carry plenty of their favourite snacks and drinks when touring around.
Ring ahead and see if the restaurant you’re planning to visit has a children’s menu.
Final thoughts on Traveling with Children who love Routine:
Bottom line, you know your child, so early preparation is key to you and them having a great time away! It can be a challenge traveling with a child who is bent on routine. Yet a bit of forethought, planning and research can help reduce child and parental stress.
Travelling by air should be a super exciting thing for children esp. if you meet their needs and focus on the fun.
Keep your itinerary simple, try to avoid complicating things. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid numerous changes, do not jam-pack your itinerary with too many excursions or activities that may stress your child out.
Yes, it’s your vacation too, but picking lots of adult-oriented attractions, which prams ad toddlers, isn’t gonna get them excited. So, keep museums off the plans until they are older and can learn some from the visit!
Don’t forget to dress toddlers and young kids in light bright clothing. If still in nappies, change them before a flight, it can be a tight squeeze on the plane. More so if they have a soft tummy…not a great experience we can tell you!
In fact, it’s best to check in with your GP prior to travelling with children who love routine…esp. if its health related!
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See, Do, and Be more!
Syl & Pauli Kalungi
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