Traveling with sick kids can be one of the most challenging things that parents can face. But with some preparation, we can make all our lives easier and get through with our travel plans.
When Traveling with Sick Kids is Necessary
We plan for family travel with different goals in mind. Sometimes, we travel for pleasure, as we want to spend the holidays or summer vacation with the whole family. Or sometimes, we need to attend a family gathering, like a reunion, a wedding, a birthday party, or even a burial in another city.
However, no matter how solid our plan is, it can easily get ruined when health problems get in the way. Sicknesses may be something that we can minimize with diet and supplements, but not entirely control. After all, we don’t live in sanitized bubbles.
Travelling with the whole family, with children of different ages, can already present a challenge in itself. And it’s all the more stressful when one or all of the kids are down with something. Tantrums and tears are unavoidable and tempers of parents can also flare up.
So how can we make things easier? Here are some tips for traveling with sick kids.
10 Family Travel Tips When Kids are Sick
1. Make the kids comfortable as much as you can.
Whatever mode of travel you are taking, try get your child to be as comfortable as possible. Keep them warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. If it’s possible, get them to lie down so that they can rest.
2. Bring caps and jackets.
Whether kids are sick or not, a cap and a jacket or a hoodie sweater are travel must-haves. Even when the weather prediction is sunny, sometimes, a sudden downpour happens.
This happened during our recent trip to Silay City in order to visit Magikland Theme Park. It was sunny all day but by 8:30pm, torrential rains poured and soaked the whole park. If we didn’t protective clothing, we would have been soaked as well.
- Related: Silay Heritage Tour for Araw ng Lahi
3. Bring a shawl.
Many moms like to wear shawls. They are fashionable, give protection against the chilly air, as well as lightweight. However, if you have kids, shawls can also serve a different purpose — they can also be used as blankets.
4. Bring all the necessary medicines.
If your child is already sick when you left, prepare all the necessary medicines and supplementation in a container. Bring your own teaspoons and measuring cups.
The fever patch is also a good thing to bring. It helps to bring down the temperature to safe levels while the child is asleep. We usually put it on when the febrile child is already asleep. And oh, don’t forget your thermometer.
We also brought a pouch of Young Living essential oils that I thought would help add to their comfort and healing. Some of the oils I usually bring are antiseptic ones as well as those that can help in respiratory ailments.
I also included one for digestive problems and another one that can help for sleep. Moreover, I also have a blend for pain that I put in a roller bottle for convenience.
- Read this: Are Essential Oils Good for Your Family?
5. Stay in a hotel that’s near a hospital.
If possible, book your accommodations near a hospital, a drugstore, or a convenience store. If emergency arises, you would not have to travel far to get medical attention or to buy things and medicines you might need.
6. Keep kids hydrated.
Almost all viral ailments are alleviated with drinking lots of fluids. Water also helps in flushing the body of the medicines that the children ingest. Make sure they are hydrated throughout the day. Get them to drink as much water after every dose of their medicine. Dehydration can bring about more complications and other ailments than the ones they already have.
7. Bring snacks.
Children naturally want some food to munch on while traveling. But when they are sick and don’t have appetite, you have to be ready with snacks that are easy to munch on.
They might not be getting enough nutrition at this time, but they need food before they can take medicines. So be ready to feed them with something when it’s time for their medication.
8. Let them wear face masks.
The kids can wear face masks when out in public. This will keep them from inhaling more germs that could make them sick further in their weakened state. Additionally, it keeps them from infecting other people. In our children’s case, the face masks also protect them from dust, fiber, and other allergens in the air.
Construction sites are everywhere, even in our favorite malls. If we inhale some of the construction dust, we can easily get sick because of our inherent allergic rhinitis.
9. Pack extra clothes.
Aside from packing extra clothes for the kids in the luggage, which is an SOP for parents, pack a change of clothes in your handy bag. Children who have cough and colds are prone to vomit. If you are in a middle of a birthday party or a wedding and can’t go home immediately, you can clean up and change clothes while the event is going on.
10. Be extra patient.
It’s easy to lose our cool when kids get difficult to handle. But let’s remember, we grown up can also be grumpy when we are sick.
Kids who do not know how to handle their feelings can throw tantrums and vent in different ways. We may distract them and coax them, but the most important thing is, we try not to get mad at them. They’re just not feeling well.
Get Them To Rest
When you are traveling with sick kids, there will be activities you could miss so that they can rest. During our recent trip to Cebu, we had to skip one family dinner so that Shane can sleep early. We also needed her to be well-rested so that she will be in good spirits for when she plays flower girl the following day.
But it’s not always easy to get them to rest, especially Shane. If she feels a wee bit better, she will start playing actively until another febrile state.
Even When Kids are Well
We travel many times in a year for different reasons. And because we are homeschooling, we can easily take off when there is a need for official travel.
Most of the time, the kids are just dandy. But we are still prepared with a first-aid kit. Among the things we bring are over the counter medication for fever, allergy, bandages, fever patch, and skin ointments. We also bring their food supplements to strengthen their immunity and to reduce travel stress.
Vitamin C is part of our daily immunity booster. The kids used to take Ceelin syrup, but now that they are older, I give them Ceelin chewables.
Accessible Hotel Accommodations
It is also best to stay in hotels that are accessible to conveniences, such as drugstores, supermarkets, and such. In Iloilo City, Richmonde Hotel Iloilo as well as the Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo are just across 7-Eleven. They are also just beside the Festive Mall with a supermarket.
Meanwhile, Park Inn by Radisson has the SM City Iloilo in front. These hotels also have easy access to taxis.
Traveling helps us learn a lot. The kids learn about the world while parents learn a lot about themselves–especially in handling the stress of traveling with sick kids.
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