Travel Tips for Your Child's First Vacation Experience

These days, going on vacation usually involves travel by airplane, with all the attendant planning ahead and stress of airports. For new parents or those with several children coming along on vacation, a few trouble-shooting tactics can reduce that stress to manageable levels and ensure that Mom and Dad survive the journey to enjoying their vacation, too. Amid all the preparations for creating a memorable vacation experience with children, one of the most important considerations may be finding cheap flights to your destination. With, you no longer need to search multiple sites to find the best discount flight tickets. Here are a few other tips, ideas, and pieces of advice from experienced traveling parents to help ensure that your first vacation with your child goes as smoothly as finding your airline tickets.

The Early Bird
Now that you’ve booked your discount flight tickets, consider troubleshooting the packing process. Many people become accustomed to packing for a trip at the last minute. Even if you allotted yourself more time than most pre-baby, now that you have a little one, try to begin packing the weekend before you leave. Beginning with things that won’t be needed in the interim, lay aside clothing, sun block and sun hats, and other vacation kiddy needs. As well, make lists of what you are taking for your child and yourself. Experiment with packing methods to find the most workable style that will allow you easy access to anything your child might require en route. This will cut down on unforeseen inconvenience. It will also prepare you mentally—you will be aware of what you have, and, during preparation, you’ll be aware of what you may need to pack. Some writing moms have suggested taping a “make-sure” list inside the front door, to ensure you don’t leave anything on the kitchen counter or sitting beside the couch. This includes: keys, wallet, boarding passes or tickets in addition to your child’s needs.

Stick to Routines
It’s been said that kids don’t stop being kids simply because the context changes. Cranky toddlers still need naptime or snack times, and infants still use the standard methods for letting you know that all is not right and something needs to be changed—like a diaper. While on vacation, attempt to stick as closely to your at-home routine, especially when taking a small child on their very-first-ever vacation. This means crafting your vacation activity schedule around naptimes and mealtimes, but it doesn’t have to put a cramp in what is ostensibly also a vacation for you and your partner. Knowing your child’s preferences and patterns—not just when they nap, but where they sleep the best—can be a huge help.

Flexibility and Novelty
While routines are important, it’s also important to accustom your little one to new things, places, and people. After all, everything is new when you’re a tiny human being, and that’s how we develop our brains, by constantly experiencing new stuff. Don’t be afraid to show your child all the awesome features of a new place, but be ready with familiar comforts should it prove overly stimulating. Favorite toys, snacks, and even familiar sippy cups can ease a tantrum that has its beginning in fear and overexposure before it has a chance to gather momentum. The same can be said of mealtimes. Dining out for every meal is discouraged by more seasoned traveling parents, who advise keeping healthy, familiar food in your room for toddlers or older children—fruits, cereals, yogurt.

Vacationing with children is not the end of fun, Parents! Experience the newness of everything along with your small traveler.

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