Just because you have children, that doesn’t mean you have to quit traveling. In fact, going on a journey is a great way for kids to learn about people and the world around them. But it can be a challenge to make sure everyone is calm and comfortable on the road. So, the next time you are traveling with kids, here are tips to make you the dad hero by taking the stress out of the experience.
Keep Calming Eye Contact
If you have a little one in a rear-facing car seat, keeping a mirror attached to your rear windshield or a headrest is an easy hack to make traveling a little less of a headache. Position the mirror so that you can see it with your rearview mirror. That way you can see baby and baby can see you. This will make it easier to see exactly why your little one is fussing. And, since you can look them in the eye, it will be much easier to calm your fussy toddler while you talk to them. This one is a surprise lifesaver for traveling with kids because it costs next to nothing. Best of all, you don’t have to update it with a more expensive model every year.
Bring a Bottle and Snacks
Make a bottle right before you leave home. This will ensure that you have a perfect bottle when your little one, inevitably, starts to get hungry about an hour or so into the drive. Obviously, you don’t have to be driving to enjoy this tip. It’s always good to bring a bottle when you’re taking a moody little one out with you. For older kids, bring sandwiches, fruit, snacks and beverages. Keep water bottles handy, too. Always follow food safety rules and be sure to stop when your kids are hungry so you can supervise them.
Bring Some Mess-Less Fun Along
As your little ones get older, it’s going to take more than a mirror and a warm bottle to keep them happy. So, stay prepared with mess-free fun they can take along with them when you travel. Mess-free markers and coloring books are a favorite go-to, along with magnetic toys and games. Also, bring your child’s favorite doll or toy to keep them distracted for the entire trip. If you want to avoid a mess of toys in your car, there are plenty of fun car ride games and activities you can play right alongside your child all while still being buckled in with no extra clutter.
Grab a Safety Blanket – or Two
Always remember to bring your child’s favorite blanket, and an extra one, just in case. First, just because you’re not cold doesn’t mean they aren’t. Remember this is a tiny person so they lose heat a lot faster than adults. Second, never underestimate the power of a nice blanket when it comes to calming and soothing a stressed-out child of any age.
Keep a Cool Head
This is one that every parent, aunt or uncle knows, but they always seem to forget. Don’t lose your cool when the tears come. That will just confirm they have a reason for their freak out. Use reverse psychology and smile until you have them convinced. Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare like they depict in the movies. With these tips, you’ll make it easier on everyone. Turn your next trip into a memorable experience everyone will enjoy the next time you hit the road, rails or sky. You’ll be the biggest dad hero around.