Few things are trickier than traveling with young children for the first time (or the ninth, for that matter). From annoyed fellow passengers to cranky kids, your relaxing vacation can quickly sour. But the hypothetical issues are no reason to skip the trip; we tracked down an expert on traveling with kids to get the very best advice.
Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan is the Founder and CEO of Momaboard.com, a resource for parents who want to travel with their kids, without being limited to Disney Land and McDonald’s. She is the mother of two well-traveled children and she shared her top tips for easy—and happy—journeys.
“Travel is as successful as you, as a parent, make it,” she said. Kids are perceptive to their parent’s attitudes and worries, when you get nervous or anxious, they do too. Keeping calm is a better way to travel and it will help kids, too.
It’s also important to remember their limitations. “Kids are adaptable, but they are less able to moderate their needs,” she said. When they’re hungry and tired, there’s nothing they can do, so it’s important to plan ahead. Dressing them in pajamas for a flight or bringing their favorite snack can make all the difference.
Likely the most common (and possibly the most dreaded) issue is dealing with other passengers who may not be so excited by the idea of kids on the plane. Her advice is simple: “Be considerate and do your best, but remember that your primary concern is the comfort of your baby, and if at all possible, yourself.”
It will get easier as kids travel more frequently and as they get older. You know what to expect, they know what to expect and they become more self-sufficient, she said. It will eventually get easier, but for now, check out these tips for traveling with kids.