Everyone can agree that travelling with children is difficult, but sometimes the task becomes harder as the child gets older. Small children and infants have many needs because they depend on a caregiver for their needs, but it is also easier to tackle a trip with them because they can be carried, changed and fed when necessary. Traveling with older children needs more preparation, as they need to be stimulated and entertained, especially if you are travelling a long distance by car or plane.
What to bring for travelling with small children or infants:
While traveling, small children and infants require similar things that you would take if you were simply going to visit family for a day. This includes:
- Diaper bag
- Diapers, wipes, and cream
- Sanitizing gel/wipes
- Appropriate clothing for weather and a change of clothes in case of accidents
- Age-appropriate medication for colds, fevers, and upset stomach
Small children will more than likely sleep through most of the travel time, but to keep them entertained you can add a few small books and toys to your hand luggage.
What to bring for travelling with older children, ages 3-5:
Along with the necessary clothing and toiletries, when travelling with older children ages 3 to 5 it is important to pack items that will keep them entertained. Keep in mind that if travelling by air, other passengers may not appreciate toys with loud music or noise, so pack these items for check-in luggage. Do make sure some of these items are in reach during the trip:
- Coloring books and crayons
- Travel size games
- Books you can read to them
- A portable DVD player, with headphones
It also may be a good idea to consider packing a small piece of luggage for them that will carry only your child’s toys and activities. That way, your child can use the luggage as a toy chest and he will have control over what to play with without having to count on you to find the toys with which he wants to play. Furthermore, it will enable you to keep the room tidy and lessen the chance of losing toys on the trip.
Susan Matherly is director at A Children’s Place, a service of Ephraim McDowell Health. She has a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science and a master’s degree in public health education. She can be contacted at (859) 236-7176.