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Her Advice for Travelling With Tots

 

Evelyn Hannon

In a recent newsletter, we posted the following request:

'TRAVELLING WITH TODDLERS -- Journeywoman is looking for your practical travel tips earned from personal experiences of travelling with a tot in tow. We'd also like to hear about the best places to holiday with older babies -- cities, resorts, beaches, etc. Any recommended reading on the subject? Please tell all in an e-mail to: editor@journeywoman.com and we'll compile the information for everybody in an upcoming issue. Put "kiddies" in the subject line.'

This three page article filled with lively suggestions is the result of that one simple request. Happy reading everybody and, if by chance, you have something to add to this list, just write to the e-mail address listed above. We'd love to hear from you!

P.S. The majority of the advice we received is specifically for toddlers but there were some suggestions pertaining to older kids' travel that were too good to leave out. So whatever the age of your children, keep reading!

Tips, tips, tips...

-- Museum & Zoos -- Get a membership at your local science museum, aquarium or zoo and bring the membership card with you. Most facilities have reciprocal arrangements with other like facilities at least in North America and some, worldwide. Then, while travelling you can take the kids to local facilities and all will be free. (P.S. The Children's Museum in Houston is fantastic!).

-- Car Seat -- Children under two years old generally fly free. However, even if you don't purchase a specific seat for your baby on the plane, bring your car seat to the boarding gate with you. If the plane isn't full, the gate/flight attendants will often honour a request for a spare seat beside you (if possible) to put the car seat and kid in it. I have done this many times and never been turned down. It's safer (that's the reason you use them), and this way ensures your car seat isn't damaged or dirtied en route. If the plane is full, aircraft staff will simply gate-check the seat for you. And, best of all, your car seat doesn't count as a carry-on. As long as you plan on using it on the plane, it doesn't eat into your baggage allowance.

-- Tiny Shoes -- Make sure shoes are easy to slip on and off. US and some international security checks are taking off even the smallest of infants' shoes.

-- Takeoff and Landing -- Breastfeed (if that's still an option) or give the child a bottle during take off and landing. Sucking will help the baby to cope with changes in cabin pressure (which causes ear pain). If mamma's ears are sore -- she can chew gum or suck on a hard candy.

-- Playground -- Take the kids to the local playground. There are bound to be lots of local families, other kids to play with, and local parents to talk to. Safety standards in some places may be a bit behind, so check it out yourself before allowing the kids to participate.

-- Food -- Bring crackers of different sizes and shapes other than the babies/kids are used to (e.g. coloured goldfish crackers, rice crackers, mini triskets, etc). Kiddies will be amused and fed at the same time.

-- Chinese Shoes -- If you or anybody you know is travelling to China, ask them to buy some baby shoes for your child (just trace the outline of your toddler's foot on a sheet of paper if the child isn't travelling with you). Chinese shoes are well made, beautifully designed and cost a fraction of what you'd pay at home. We bought our baby's shoes for this year and next. Especially fun are the ones with a built in squeak -- as the child steps down the shoes make a soft noise. This way you always know where she or he is.

-- Masking Tape -- A roll or two of masking tape can be a great distraction for younger kids and even pre-teens. The tape is cheap, lightweight, relatively small and versatile. It can be used in cars, planes, buses, etc. aswell as at your destination. Very young children will enjoy just sticking it onto whatever surfaces they can reach. Those slightly older can decorate it with crayons, markers, stickers, etc. Your kids can make jewelry, nametags, braided belts or whatever their little hearts desire.

-- Baby-sitter -- The best way to travel with an infant and/or toddler is to take Grandma along. You pay her way and she eases yours (submitted by a grandma).

-- Free Hands -- Backpacks are a must. This way you can carry the essentials such as diapers, wipes, baby food, bottles, activities for the child, and still have your hands free -- a must when touring with little ones.

Scrapbooks, strollers, rain gear and more...

 

 

 

 

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