Travelling with kids can be daunting, let alone travelling through time zones, long-haul flights, unpredictable schedules and weather. Look no further, we’re here to help! Our ultimate guide for international travel with kids will help take the stress out of planning and hopefully, prepare you for international travel as well as give you a good idea of what to expect!
1. Prioritise sleep and food
You might think it’s a good idea to skip a nap before boarding your flight, hoping your kid will fall asleep on the plane. However, things may not go as planned. They might get too excited during boarding and refuse to fall asleep. In any way, a well-rested kid is better than a cranky kid! So, schedule that nap time. Another important way to keep your kids happy is a full tummy. Make sure to have plenty of snacks on the go! Pack their favourite snacks and something that can keep them sated.
#HHWTtip: Usually, infants under 2 years old do not get hot food on flights, but you can request for snacks like yoghurt and fruits. It’s best to bring your own infant food — make sure it’s something easy to prepare. We loved instant oatmeals and ready-to-eat food from Gerber and Heinz!
2. Gear up for long flights
3. Prepare for customs
You’ve arrived at your destination with the other hundred(s) of people on your plane! At first glance, the line to get through customs is huge! Don’t panic. Get everyone a snack while you wait in line and reassure them that going through customs is part of the international travel process. It’s easier if both you and your partner have your own responsibilities — one can keep the kids entertained while the other fills up the customs paperwork and communicate with the customs officers.
4. Combating jet lag
Prepare yourself mentally and physically to fight jet lag. Toddlers have a harder time adjusting their sleeping schedules than older kids, but don’t let that put you down. Depending on your destination, for a couple of weeks before your trip, try to adjust their sleeping schedule slowly to reflect the time of your destination. You might need to skip a nap or two to do this too. Travelling with kids depends majorly on their schedule, so we just have to go with it! So, don’t fret if they’re not getting over their jet lag. Use it to your advantage and who knows, you might enjoy the city more by being up and early!
#HHWTtip: Be sure to get a lot of natural light during the day as this could help your kids to synchronise their circadian rhythm.
5. Trying new cuisines when travelling
Sure, we want our kids to maximise their travel experience by trying new foods. While some kids are more adventurous about it, some are more choosy. Whatever you do, don’t force them as doing so will only aggravate them. Instead, try dining at restaurants that offer dishes that your children will eat such as pasta or grilled chicken. But don’t stop offering your kids to try different foods. If they see you trying new dishes, they may eventually be open to trying them too!
6. Oh no, what if they got sick?
We can’t stress this more: Always travel with a first-aid kit and have it on you at all times! Be sure to pack paracetamol, Bain-Aids, anti-diarrheal treatment and other items that you think you might need in a pinch. We also highly recommend getting travel insurance! Be sure to check what the insurance covers and if there are any limitations on international care.
Hooray! Now you can plan your trip and perhaps even breathe a sigh of relief as you’re prepared to face long days of travelling. Be on the lookout for experiences that will help your family learn and grow during your trip. For more inspiration to travel as a family, check out our articles here:
- 4 Tried And Tested Tips For A Stress-Free Trip In London With Kids
- 22 Ways To Stay Sane While On A Road Trip With Kids
- 11 Tips To Conquering Japan With Kids In Tow
- 10 Hiking Spots In Singapore That Are Perfect For Kids
- 16 Tips For Flying With Young Kids (From Moms Who Travel!)