While many people quake at the idea, travelling with toddlers can be an adventure in itself. If you’re a digital nomad (or nomads, if you’re a couple travelling with toddlers), your schedule is going to be a constant juggling of work and your child’s schedule. But it doesn’t need to be as daunting as it sounds. With a little preparation, you can make sure your child enjoys travelling as much as you do.
Control your child’s food intake before flying: Sure, your kid needs snacks and feeding them small amounts can seem like an easy fix to keep them occupied but the last thing you need is for our child to want to go to the bathroom just as your flight is taking off. Also, control how much sugar they consume before flying. A hyper child is going to be everyone’s problem.
Add plenty of games to your phone or tablet: Sometimes screen time can be necessary for you child. A long flight demands plenty of distractions and your child can only watch so many movies. Keep games and picture books handy on your tablet or phone so they do not get bored.
Travel by night: Picking overnight flights will save you a lot of trouble — your child will sleep, you can sleep peacefully too, and your fellow passengers won’t have a thing to complain about. Also, your child’s sleeping patterns won’t be disturbed, and he’ll be well rested for when you reach your destination.
Pick the aisle seat: The window seat may keep your toddler entertained but it won’t work for long stretches. Instead, pick the aisle seat for easy access to the bathroom, which is a far more important requisite on long flights.
Scheduling around your child: Your toddler is always going to be your first priority on the road. However, it is not impossible to work while travelling with your child. Nap time will always give you a stretch of uninterrupted time to work. Early bedtime for children means you can squeeze in an hour or two of work before you head to sleep yourself.
Making use of small pockets of time: A lot of time during the day goes in supervising your toddler. Early mornings before your child wakes up or long meal times when your toddler is taking his or her time to finish eating can be useful hours that you can get work done in.
Kids clubs or babysitters: Many places offer kids’ clubs, where your toddler can make new friends while you work and supervise at the same time. If you are living at a homestay, you can ask your host to babysit for a couple of hours or ask if anyone will be willing to do so and that you can pay them for their services, while you catch up with your work.
Book ahead: Planning ahead and booking hotels will make life easier for you and your child. After a long flight, you will mostly need to avail some services as soon as possible and booking a place to stay will save you valuable time that you will otherwise waste while looking for a place to stay.
Family deals: Many hotels have family deals as well, so always look for those while booking a place to stay. Similarly, look for hotels, restaurants, and local attractions that are child-friendly, as these come with services like kids clubs or babysitters.
Living in homes instead of hotels: Luxury isn’t always a good thing while travelling with your toddler. You may not be able to take them to fancy restaurants or to the bar if you want a drink. An alternative to hotels are homestays, bed and breakfasts, or house swaps. They are in a position to personalise your stay for you and if they have small children as well, your child will have company while you work.
Travel slow: Travelling slow becomes a necessity when travelling with children. A couple of days will be spent in getting your child adjusted to the destination, and balancing your work with exploring a place will take several more. You can take your time to thoroughly go around though, and long stays at any place can get you higher discounts at hotels.
Short outings: Find local attractions that do not require you to spend the whole day out. It may get too taxing for your toddler and will require you to carry too many supplies “just in case”. Instead, schedule short outings so you can still make it back for important breaks like nap time. You can always revisit their favourite spots again in the duration of your stay.
Take turns with your partner: If you’re travelling as a family, things just become easier. You can take turns with your partner working and taking the children out, and head out together on some days. Your child stays occupied and you can get more work done as well.
Check the menus: Your toddler is not going to take to local food at once so always check restaurant menus for your standard fast food options. Sometimes a plate of french fries is the only thing that will keep them happy.
Hygiene: In small places, hand sanitisers can be your best friend. If you can’t find a place to wash your hands or if water cuts are a problem at your destination, wet wipes and hand sanitisers can go a long way to protecting your child’s health.
Vaccinations: Children are very susceptible to infections and illnesses while travelling. Always check with your doctor before taking any trip with your children. Make sure all their vaccinations are up to date and if you’re travelling internationally, get the medical equivalents of emergency medicines in your destination country.
Hope those tips will make it easier for you. Happy Traveling 🙂