International travel with kids may seem daunting for some – especially those mums and dads who have never gotten on a plane with their little ones, and even more so when it’s a long distance trip.
Well-known South African media personality, business owner and mom to three children, Jo-Ann Strauss, is someone who travels with her little ones a lot.
“Thinking of traveling with kids? It’s actually a great idea, but only if you have the right mindset and are well-prepared,” said Jo-Ann.
Here are a few really handy tips from Jo-Ann for those wanting to travel with kids.
- Don’t expect your trips to be like your past trips. It will be different, but memorable in a different way.
- Mentally prepare and set your expectations lower. If you expect not to sleep on a flight, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to catch an hour or four of shut-eye.
- Get all your documentation ready and in a plastic waterproof folder. Accidents happen with bottles and leaks.
- Plan your carry-on luggage cleverly. You might have delays. Make sure you can handle your carry-on and kids and remember some airports are huge and might require running.
- Take some dry snacks and some cheap new toys for distraction.
- There are volume-limited earphones for kids and will help to protect their ears from over-zealous inflight entertainment.
- Kids cry. Adults snore. Don’t let a mean person stare you or your crying kid down. He/she was a baby once too.
- Check luggage limitations and plan accordingly.
- Pack a smile and patience and remember – they are only small for a while.
- Drink one glass of bubbles or wine if you need to calm your own nerves. Kids can sense your anxiety and will mirror it. Be as calm as possible.