Travelling with kids — PHEW!!
This is my second trip to the USA in this year (2015). It was very different from the last one in many ways. We were travelling with a kid (my sister’s daughter). She is two and a half year old. It made travel fun but different at the same time. Certain things like what food, which hotel, how to travel required more planning than usual. Right from the time we met at the Delhi airport (that’s where our trip began) to the time my sister left, I was learning a lot about travelling with kids.
Let me consolidate some of my learning:
1) In the flight: It’s important to prevent the formation of air bubble, especially for long flights because otherwise it will become an uncomfortable journey for the kid, who will in turn make it uncomfortable for the parents, and the co passengers. To prevent it make sure the kid is doing chewing/sucking action while taking-off and landing. Carry water sipper or candies can to be used for this time.
Another thing that is important are extra pair of clothes. It becomes cold in the flight sometimes so, don’t forget to carry more than one jacket for the child ( be puke ready). If you are travelling economy carry the neck rest as well.
Also it is important to keep kids engaged at all times especially during long flights so don’t forget to carry books, games, tabs whatever keeps your child busy.
2) Carry a good stroller. In my definition a good stroller is one which is light weight but still is stable enough for the kid to sleep in it. I have seen people carry very really light but the kid can’t sleep in it. They might be good for short distance trips but for long distance do think about a jet lagged kid who needs something more comfortable.
My sister had the one by hello kitty. It seemed pretty good on both the counts- comfort and weight.
3) Food: This is really important because a hungry kid is equal to a cranky kid and a cranky kid is a equal to TROUBLE!! So to start with don’t forget to select your food choice for the flight. Almost every airline provides kids meal. This can be done online at the time of seat selection. Along with that carry some extra food with you.Yes, it is allowed in the flight. Choose to carry something which the kid can have without creating mess (we carried pooris, biscuits and namkeen).
4) Car seat or no: It really depends on how you are going to travel at your destination and also on the age of the child. If you are doing a group tour and are going to be taking shuttles at most times you needn’t carry one. If you are renting a car then most car rental services provide rental car seats, booster etc. Mostly private cabs and ubers will require you to carry your own car seat till a certain age. Luckily, we did not face any problem in San diego, LA and San Francisco for my niece who is 2.5 years old.
5) Poop!! That’s not one of my favorite topics but parents seem to be obsessed. This trip made me realize why. Kids, jet lag, travel and poop! Deadly combo!! So, without elaborating more I would say do plan for anytime anywhere nature’s call and be equipped — sanitizers , baby wipes, soaps and all that is needed.