Gone are the days when before travelling I used to plan out what clothes I’ll be packing or what jewellery and makeup to pack; which books to take along and which songs to put in my travel playlist.
Three kids later, my travelling experience has undergone a complete shift. As someone who travels regularly, within Pakistan and outside, on planes as well as car rides, I have now devised a system which makes my life slightly easier. I say slightly because as mothers, we all know how difficult it is to travel with kids. A great deal of learning has come from experiences which include children getting sick on flights to us looking for hospitals in locations such as Thailand, Skardu and Nathiagali, to missed or delayed flights. Hence, one has to be prepared for anything possible.
My go-to list of essential items to put in the hand carry include:
- Spare plastic bags (these can be used as vomit bags or dirty pamper bags)
- Wet wipes
- Medicines such as pain-relief medicines, saline drops for the nose, anti-nausea medication as well as any other medication that your child might be on
- Snacks: Keep any snacks that your kids like, preferably dry items. I like to keep biscuits, dry fruit, and a few bananas
- Toys, books and iPad to keep the kids entertained on the way and when you get to the locations
- For long flights and car rides, always pack extra clothes for yourself and the kids because you never know when you might need to change
- Extra pampers and formula milk (if the baby is using formula) for in case the flight gets delayed
- If your child is less than a year old, carry a sling as you might not get a pram immediately at the airport
- If you’re travelling with under 4-year olds, a good pram is a must
Things to carry in the suitcase:
- Try to carry the brand of pampers and formula that your baby is used to
- Try to pack just the right amount of clothes, especially for short trips, as you don’t want to be doing laundry on a vacation
- Don’t forget to pack any medication that you might need on the trip. Most doctors give a travel list for medication which includes probiotics, pain relief medication, anti-nausea medication and anti-allergies. It’s always best to ask the doctor for a recommendation for an antibiotic for kids and adults as its difficult to get that everywhere without prescription.
- I recently came across these really cool packing organisers or packing cubes which act as drawers in the suitcase. These will help you organise your packing so when you reach your destination you will know exactly where your things are
When travelling with kids, it is very important that you are mentally prepared that the holiday will be mostly about them.
Research and go-to places which are children-friendly and have lots to offer them. Places, where there are open spaces, are always best because there the children can run around and use their energy. I personally prefer taking the kids to the beach or up north where they have plenty of space to run around.
These are special times for a family so enjoy and cherish them; they make for amazing memories that will last forever. And always remember that if the parents are relaxed, the kids will also be at ease.