How to travel with kids

I am an American that lives in Europe and travels the world. I am also a father and I always travel with my family. The purpose of this post is to write about how to pack for a trip for children. In this post you will learn:

  • The form of entertainment for kids during travel.
  • Basics of packing which are really common sense, however, one travel tip you might already do.
  • How to relax before and after the trip so your trip is easy.

The first rule is, your children come first. That means you pack based and travel based only on their needs and your needs are secondary. I have traveled for weeks with only changing my underwear and a tooth brush. You do not need a lot as an adult. However, children are another story.

There are two parts to packing for a trip for children.

  • Functional component
  • entertainment component

Traveling with kids – the entertainment part

They are both equally important depending on the age of your child. After about the age of seven kids are at the age of reason and entertainment can be simply a book or a small computer game device.

Before the age of seven it is very hard to find something that is entertaining all the time. This is why I recommend a palmtop or ipod or netbook. Even with children under the age of one you can load it up with videos from baby TV and YouTube. If you need information how to do this just let me know. My net-book has a 11 hour battery life.

I tried to bring Legos and other traditional toys, it was a waste. Too complicated for a trip. Books are often too heavy. This is why I recommend a simple portable electronic device.

Traveling with kids – the packing part

Packing you already know:

  • Undergarments are the most important including diapers.
  • Some to clean them with is very important also. I take a  basic natural soap. I do not like soap and things with  too much perfume. Kids are sensitive to these even if you are not. You do not need to take all the hair conditioners and soaps you have at home. Just buy some very good quality natural things, like Burt’s Bee products for example, sold at any CVS.
  • Extra clothes in case you have a child under 2 and their clothes get messed up
  • Baby formula, baby food, extra bottle in case they drop it. Pacifier
  • Little pillow or teddy bear for them to sleep on.

My one tip about packing is cleaning your house and doing all the wash before you leave. If you do this you will come home to a spotless home and feel good about it your whole trip. I also pay all bills in advance and add extra money on my Visa. Photocopy all important documents like insurance etc.

The truth is never seen in the beginning or the end but always the whole – Hegel.  Therefore , all parts of your trip are important from before you leave to when you come back.

How to relax on a trip and before

If you try these things your travel will feel different. Especially the salt bath.

My two secrets  for traveling are:

  • Chamomile
  • Magnesium salt bath

Use these for you or your kids before your trip. Believe me I have flow 100s of times.  I know what I am talking about.

If you are on a train or a plain I take chamomile tea. I am a big believer in vitamins etc, but there are few things that I trust for safety like chamomile.  You could take capsules too.  Of course I am not a doctor, only my personal experience. Other things I seriously question the safety.

Some people like to stay up late before the trip and sleep during the trip. I highly recommend against this. I recommend everyone sleep as much as possible before traveling. Traveling is very stressful on your body. Sleep before the trip as much as you can.

I take an Epsom salt bath. I use lots of magnesium salt not just one handful.  This will help you and your kids relax that night and all the next day. Do not use anything with colors or perfumes, just pure magnesium salt.

When you are back use the same two things to relax and detoxify as traveling is very stressful on your body.

Please let me know your experiences with traveling with children and how you pack and prepare.

2 Replies to “How to travel with kids”

  1. Thanks so much for this info! I already use Epsom salts for my kids bath, but might have missed the importance of a relaxing bath prior to. And since we’ll be driving 2 long days to get to the East coast, this will be valuable!

    If you have any tips on kids (5 and 3) at the beach, I’d be interested! We’ll be there for 5 days.

    And thanks for the reminder that our needs are secondary to the kids…always helpful to keep this in mind and have realistic expectations!

  2. Wow 3 and 5 are a real challenge because they are not really at the age of reason and they are infants. I would stay with the recommendation if you have any type of portable computer, like we have a netbook or laptop with a battery solution (like it could be recharged with your car or when you stop) and download about five hours or more of Youtube videos or bring they own movies is the idea my friends and I use. Of course songs and games. We use to play the Alphabet game, trying to find all the letters of the alphabet on road signs. There are a score of games like that.

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