Family, Travel

Tips for Traveling With Young Children

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Traveling with young children can be fun and fulfilling for both parents and kids. It is a time of bonding and great learning opportunities. Not only do we get to learn about the world, we also learn about ourselves. However, it can also be hard, so here are some tips for traveling with young children that will make the job a little bit easier.

Our family at the Seda Ayala Center Cebu poolside.

What To Bring When Traveling with Young Children

Here are some things that parents should bring when traveling with young children to make the journey easier. These will also help keep your sanity and enjoy the sights, flavors, and sounds of your destination.

Food | Snacks for Kids

Have you ever encountered the new term “hangry”? It’s the easily angered state you get when you are hungry. If adults feel this, how much more the kids? How do they express this? With tantrums, of course. And it will really drive you crazy, especially that a simple pack of cracker will do the trick until the next available meal.

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The kids with their cousin Dream in San Carlos City. They each have a bag for their toys, snacks, and water bottles.

I usually bring a container for crackers and cookies so that they won’t be crushed in the bag. We also bring some Merzci Pasalubong Butterscotch because these are filling and delicious. The kids like them so much. If we go on long drivers, I usually pack a bag of chips, too. These are just something to relieve boredom, but the kids are not very much into junk food.

Entertainment

For long haul trips, kids can get bored fast. And since we don’t let them use gadgets as much as we can, we have listless kids on our hands while at pre-departure areas and during trips.

So we bring little games, books, notebooks, pens, craft materials, toys, and whatever is new for them at home. That keeps them pre-occupied. Sure, that means extra luggage but we also let them share in the load. Our girls each have a backpack with their snacks, toys, and other necessities.

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Achi Shawna answers a PACE while waiting for our flight to Cebu at the Bacolod-Silay Airport.

Since we are homeschooling, we can also bring the kids’ lessons. Whenever there are long waits at the airport or seaport, doing their PACES keep them settled. It’s a good way to keep their occupied.

  • Related: Homeschooling Anywhere – The World Is Our Classroom

Insect Repellent

Everywhere we go in the Philippines, there are mosquitoes. And they are especially common in areas with gardens. So when we go out and they are wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts, I apply insect repellent.

It doesn’t matter if there is a dengue epidemic or not — mosquito bites are itchy and when kids scratch them, they leave nasty marks if not infections.

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We don’t know where we find ourselves next. It is best to be ready with insect repellent to protect everyone from mosquito bites and dengue.

I use only natural repellent lotions or spray that don’t contain harmful chemicals. These are applied directly onto the skin and left on, so the body will absorb whatever ingredients that the repellent contains.

In the past I used only Human Heart Nature citronella oil. Recently, I discovered two other products that smell so much better.

Food Supplements

At home, I give vitamin and mineral supplements for the kids to boost their immunity and to cover any shortage of nutrients from their diet. When traveling, it’s much more important because travel stress can also weaken immunity. And the last thing we need is a sick child while we are away from home.

To make things easier, I look for chewable supplements like Ceelin Vitamin C so that I don’t have to bring bottles and measuring cups.

First Aid Kit

Whether you have kids or not, a first aid kit is very important to bring during a trip. But it is more so if you have kids. Make sure you have everything from headache and fever, bandage for wounds or bruises, antibiotic ointment, fever patch, probiotics for stomach upset, and anti allergy medicines. These are the most important things in your kit.

But if you child has existing conditions like asthma, make sure that you have their prescription medicines.

In my case, I also bring some Young Living essential oils that have proven first-aid benefits for us.

Cleaning Materials

I bring the following in my bag:

  • Small spray bottle of alcohol (for tables, high chairs, and toilet seats)
  • Organic hand sanitizer (for the hands)
  • Wet wipes
  • Facial tissue

Moms know the importance of all these sanitizers and stuff. Since I have two girls, I clean the toilet seats in public restrooms and put a layer of tissue paper or toilet seat cover before I let them sit down.

Thankfully, now that Achi Shawna is already taller, she no longer has to sit down.

Jackets and Hats

In all weather conditions, we bring jackets and hats for both girls. I also prefer them having hoodie jackets because I let their wear the hood over their hats when it gets too cold.

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It may be summer but airports, planes, hotels, and buses can have really strong air conditioning.

Although we are in a tropical country, you won’t know when it would rain. Also, there are times when you need to ride a bus or a plane for long hours and the air conditioning is just above your head. I am protecting the kids from head cold because it can really be a bummer when travelling.

Additionally, post-nasal drip can lead to infected coughs.

Extra clothes

If we grown ups bring extra clothes for any unexpected events, the kids need it more. I usually bring at least two full sets along with underwear.

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It can be a spill, sweat, or anything in between. Kids would usually need outfit changes more than grown-ups. Our gang at the Zabana Bar of Richmonde Hotel Iloilo.

When we are just staying in family-friendly hotels, I also bring them comfortable extra clothes that can be like house wear. They use them while lounging inside the hotel room.

Swimsuits and Accessories

Most of the time, the hotel we stay in has a swimming pool. So we make time for swimming, as the kids have taken after mermaids. They even pretended to be mermaids in Boracay one summer!

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Needless to say, our kids love the water. And did I mention that we also bring inflatable water toys? Yes, we do. :p

Most kids love the water even if they don’t know how to swim, so it is best to pack swimwear during your trip. Also remember to bring goggles, a swimming cap (if needed), and most especially, sunblock lotion. A sunburn after a family is not fun, plus the kids get exposed to harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Tripod for Family Pictures

It’s usually I who holds the camera and takes photos. I just love documenting my family and our travels. But when it’s time for me to join in the shot for a family portrait, it’s usually askew, angled badly, or worse, blurred. No matter how I direct people how to shoot our photo, they never get it.

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Our family picture in Macau. I asked them choose to a column and strike a pose. This is what I got.

But if you bring a tripod, you get awesome photos! You get to set up the camera the way you want it and take as many photos. No camera shake, too!

And we also realized that people respect the tripod. Whenever we use ours, even in a crowded theme park like Hong Kong Disneyland, people stay away and don’t photobomb.

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Whatever their nationality, people seem to respect the tripod more than a human photographer. People said it looked like Hong Kong Disneyland was exclusive for our visit.

Isn’t a tripod awesome?

An Extra Portion of Patience

Our kids are adventurous and willing to try new things. But they can also bicker…a lot! Achi Shawna can be moody and grumpy while Shane can still throw an epic meltdown.

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No family trip is perfect. But all of them are fun.

Do we lose our patience? Of course. And we also mete consequences for their actions. But sometimes, we just have to be in their shoes and understand where the kids are coming from. With some patience and empathy, family travel can be loads of fun.

Costumes (Optional)

I know this is too much already, but our kids love wearing costumes and taking part in pictorials. We don’t really spend so much time with it, just some few shots of them wearing their preferred costumes.

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Costumes are just so much fun for a photo shoot while traveling. At Hong Kong Disneyland, we brought two sets of costumes for our two-day visit. This time with Rapunzel, Shawna was dressed as Belle while Shane was Minnie Mouse.

Believe you me, the output is so nice and so fun to look back to. These are happy memories we are creating and the kids have fun with them. Of course, this is optional. Just saying that costumes make for fun photos!

We have done this several times, too.

Production Number

Our family travels are partnerships between hubby and I. It had always been

We do not only share in financing our trips, we also share in the effort — from packing to carrying stuff.

Hubby enjoys traveling with the family so even if he is usually the one who gets the most work, he doesn’t complain. I guess we just found the perfect match in each other.

Thank you, our dear Ballet Dad!

Other family travel related stories:

Note: Check out discounted airline tickets from this site.


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3 thoughts on “Tips for Traveling With Young Children

  1. One important thing I bring is an empty plastic hehe. I put one in every bag, esp the kids backpacks. When Gianna was about 3 or 4, she had a massive suka episode on our way to Simala in Cebu. Learned my lesson the hard and smelly way!😅😅

  2. I still remember when Dirk was 2 years old when we started to travel. His bag is bigger than mine 🤣 everything packed (regardless if we can use it or not but is better to be prepared). Now he is 7, I can ask him what he likes to bring if we need to travel. Most of time (like some moms normally do), I like bringing extra stuffs for him. 😁

  3. An extra portion of patience is my favorite thing to bring. And like mommy Daphne, I bring in loads and loads of plastic. My kids are always nauseous during long travel. They’ve outgrown it a little bit, but I’m still uneasy every time and always make a mental note to bring plastics.

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