While being a parent is a joy, the stress of travelling with your kids might be enough to make you stay put. Travel is rewarding, but many parents inevitably put it off until their kids are older to avoid the stress. At Sskatchewan Blue Cross, we’re all for avoiding stress – but we want to help you enjoy travelling with your kids! In this blog, we share some tried-and-true tips for travelling with your children – including packing a travel insurance plan to help you achieve a stress-free trip!
Our top tips for travelling with kids
Travel around nap times
If your littlest ones are on a nap schedule, you can plan to travel during nap times where their sleepiness can help keep them calmer and more comfortable. Make sure to bring some of their sleepy gear to help them feel cozy.
Adjust your expectations & expect stops.
You can reduce your overall stress by preparing for stops and interruptions ahead of leaving. Set an open arrival time to help remove the pressure when you need to pull over more often than expected.
Pack plenty of healthy snacks.
We’ve all felt overwhelmed and knew a snack was the answer. Our kids are much the same, so it pays to pack healthy snacks like cheerios, fruits and veggies, cheese, and crackers. A snack can provide comfort and a distraction that can help your kids travel easily.
Crying and upset from unfamiliarity are normal.
It’s okay to have a crying kid when you are disrupting their normal routines and going to strange places. Adjusting your expectations for your children’s reaction to stimuli is necessary for remaining calm and supportive when stress is high. Try packing multiple specific comfort items, like a pacifier or blanket, so that you will have a backup in the event one falls on the floor.
Nurse or bottle-feed baby during takeoff and landing.
Suckling is more than just about food; it’s also a way to feel calm, safe, and connected. A plane’s takeoff and landing can be the most intensely disruptive and loud moments of travel–feeding can help keep baby calm. In addition, the swallowing motion can help manage the air pressure changes in small ears. If your little ones aren’t breast or bottle feeding, you can have them drink water or juice at take-off and landing to have the same benefits.
Reduce travel anxiety with noise-cancelling headphones.
In an overstimulating environment like an airport or ferry terminal, noise-cancelling headphones can help keep your children calm–especially if you find they are sensitive to sound in day-to-day life. Overstimulation can cause serious upset and create a very stressful environment for your little ones. Headphones can reduce anxiety and help calm your kids while travelling.
Pack multiple small toys.
A large selection of small toys can provide endless fun and endless distraction. Try filling a ziplock bag with small age-appropriate toys and packing it for your trip. For added effectiveness, try wrapping new toys up so that it has more appeal and allows kids the tactile experience of unwrapping.
Consider a child harness for high-traffic areas.
These harnesses might seem silly, but they are a great way to keep your little ones safe and your arms free in high-traffic areas like airports, train stations, and tourist areas. This can be especially true if you are travelling with your children alone and have multiple bags to carry, or have kids who prefer to walk rather than riding in a stroller. Toddlers love to run around, limiting the chase is a great way to reduce your overall travel stress.
Packing and planning ahead are your best tools for travelling with kids. Always pack as light as possible to avoid the stress of multiple heavy bags but prioritize items that will be engaging for your little one’s curious mind.
Wherever you travel, bring Saskatchewan Blue Cross!
Travelling with children is a lot of work, but it can be manageable and even fun with proper planning. We know our travel tips can help guide your packing and preparations so that you have a great trip. No matter where you head with your family, trust Blue Cross Saskatchewan to provide you with comprehensive travel insurance and roam stress-free! Check out available plans here.