When you have children, you worry about one thing the most: how to keep them safe. Still, if parents only worried about their children’s safety, those same children would grow up not knowing what having fun means. Travelling is a great way to get to know the world a bit better, but it’s also a wonderful bonding activity for a family. If you’re hoping to have a great first family vacation together, you should take some time to prepare and make sure everyone stays safe while having fun.
Preparing your bags
You should try to find out what kind of weather you can expect for the duration of your stay in the new place and your trip so that you can pack enough warm clothes without having to worry about your luggage being too bulky for your car or too heavy for the plane. Try to plan your outfits ahead and always try to pack clothes that are simple and versatile so that you can come up with a lot of outfit combinations without actually having to pack a ton of clothes. When you finish packing, make sure you have a tag with your contact info on each of your bags. This is just in case something goes wrong and you lose your luggage, anyone who finds them can contact you easily.
Pack a medical kit
Accidents happen even if we’re very careful, and when you have children, you can be sure that accidents will keep happening regardless of where you are. Still, you don’t want to find yourself in an unknown place without being able to take care of some minor injuries, so you should try packing a small medical kit before you leave the house. Kids are often reckless and overly enthusiastic, and they fall or hit themselves, ending up with scrapes and bruises. When you’re preparing to go on a vacation with your family, having a small medical kit will certainly come in handy. Make sure it contains plenty of Band-Aids, a can of disinfectant spray, and some ibuprofen. Depending on your intended destination, customize the kit and include some probiotics and mild painkillers.
Flying with babies
You know how fussy babies can be all the time, but you never know how they’ll react to their first flight. While some babies will happily sleep through the flight, others will not be comfortable and they will cry and be restless during the whole time they are on the plane. You don’t want your baby to be uncomfortable, so you should prepare their bottle and pacifier in advance, and make sure you have something to keep them occupied, for example, their favourite toy. The most difficult part of the flight is the take-off and landing because this is when the air pressure starts building up, not to mention all the noise. Give your baby their bottle and pacifier at the time and cover their ears with ear pads.
If your children are preschoolers and middle-schoolers, they will be just fine if you give them a board game and let them watch a movie or play video games. Smaller children, on the other hand, require much more preparation. There are several car seat safety tips you should always keep in mind, but the most important one is that your car seat should be the right size for your child. Until the baby is two and a half years old, the car seat should be facing rearward, and if you notice that the child’s head has reached the height marker, switch to a bigger one. Take a break every couple of hours because babies need to move around and be active, and sitting in a car seat for hours at the time will make them fussy and frustrated.
Practice surely makes perfect and even though it’s impossible to foresee every possible scenario and predict everything that could go wrong. When you have some basics down, you’ll feel better. Your children should know what to do in case of emergency and who to call. Have a specific spot picked out and tell them to meet you there if they ever get lost. If they are afraid and/or lost, instruct them to seek out help from other parents with children, because they will be more sympathetic and willing to help. Ask them to repeat the plan to you several times and even rehearse it with them so they will remember clearly, as it’s difficult to think straight when panic sets in.
Your children should have their own information cards with them at all times. If it happens that the two of you are separated, they can use the cards to reach you or they can ask another adult to reach you using the information on the card. All the important information should be there, including your name and phone number, as well as the number of the hotel you’re staying at. Seeing as the cards are so useful, you could use them for your future trips too, as long as you update the information frequently.
When travelling with your family, especially if you have small children, be assured that they will make the trip more difficult. Still, you’ll also discover that being together as a family in a new place is very rewarding. Vacations allow us to relax and break out of our boring routines, but they also present an opportunity to bond and become closer. While you’re enjoying the trip, keep an eye on your children and watch them learn about the world – you will enjoy watching them grow knowing they’re safe.
Guest post by Audrey Taylor
About the Author
Audrey Taylor was born in San Francisco, and moved to Adelaide at the age of five. She is a marketer researcher and social media manager on hold, full - time mommy of a cheerful two-year-old. Audrey graduated from Queensford college, worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia, and is eager to learn more about business and share her experiences. She traveled across Europe. Her hobbies include home decor, fashion, travel, music, old movies. Follow Audrey on Twitter.
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