Nothing can be truer than "when your child is happy, you're happy." However, the stresses of travel can make even the most jovial of children anxious and upset. So how do you keep little ones happy while traveling? Here are some tips to make family travel with small kids easier for everyone:
- Pack lots of snacks - even when you think you have enough, you can never have enough.
- Get tons of rest - sleep is directly correlated to mood and patience levels. The less sleep, the less patience, etc.
- Bring their favorite toys, books, dvds - young children have short attention spans so it's good to have variety.
- Stay organized as much as possible - writing lists and notes to yourself help to relieve the stress of keeping everything in your head.
- Schedule your travel around their nap times - when they're asleep, that's an hour of two of peace and quiet for you as well.
- Lower your expectations of all the activities you'll be able to do - what you can do on your own or with an older child will vary significantly with a small child.
- Employ an additional set of hands whenever you can - you'll be surprised at how many neighborly people there are in the world, willing to help you out.
- Enjoy the journey - look at every seemingly stressful moment as something you can write and laugh about later (hopefully).
All in all, it's best to keep things simple when you're traveling with really young children. It's important to know your child's likes and dislikes. Most toddlers and preschoolers just want to run around, enjoy a park, or swim in the pool or at the beach. The world is so simple to them. We grownups are the ones that make it so complex.