Author Corinne McDermott used to throw a few things in a bag and catch her flight. Then she had kids. She still travels the world, but now it’s with her eight-year-old daughter and four-year-old son in tow. “There will be bumps and delays,” says the writer, who shares family travel tips on her blog, Have Baby Will Travel. “If you react in a negative fashion, it will rub off on your kids.
My kids don’t have unfettered access to screens at home, but they do when travelling. In their carry-ons, they also have crayons and paper, a travel-size Etch A Sketch and sticker books.
Pack healthy ones, but also… let’s not call them bribes, but sometimes that’s what they are. You might not win the parent-of-the-year award, but on travel days, as long as the kids are quiet and engaged, that’s what counts.
Don’t think that just because you’re travelling with children, you’re relegated to places that actively market as “family-friendly.” You’re not. We go to Cuba a lot. It’s affordable, and Cubans absolutely adore children.
Buy a carry-on bag with lots of pockets but not so many that things get lost. We have an Osprey with the functionality of a backpack in a rolling carry-on.
If you’re looking for luxury, then chains like Four Seasons and Fairmont have a kids’ concierge and offer special turndowns with milk and cookies.
You’ll need them, whether you have smaller children or older ones. Stuff gets spilled, the kids eat stuff that’s sticky or you’re in a bathroom that’s disgusting. Wipes are also good at getting out spots.
We bring with us a bare-bones car seat that weighs less than five kilos. Renting from car rental agencies is expensive, and this one is perfectly safe since all car seats have to meet the same safety standards.