Tip to travel with kids is a special topic for me to talk about on this travel blog – not only because I travel with my daughter a lot, but also because I lot of friends and readers ask me how I do it, and I want to share my experiences and tips to try and make it easy (and fun!) for them as well.
However fun it is, I admit that it is not easy to travel with kids. You need to be fully prepared for anything – starting from sudden hunger pangs to lack of sleep during a long trip.
Whether you’re planning a road trip or flying to your destination, the potential hassles are numerous when accompanied with kids. Every parent knows that they cannot make a sleep deprived child suddenly interested in the scenery, or even in a game on the tablet.
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And a sleep deprived kid means sleep deprived parents, which could potentially ruin your vacation. A good night’s sleep is extremely important for our well-being, especially so when we’re travelling. And it becomes a bit difficult with travelling with kids who might find it hard to get accustomed to hotel rooms, or the travel schedule.
But, there are a few tips and tricks to make your kid sleep peacefully during travel, that I have personally tested and have worked. And they work for parents as well, because – like I mentioned earlier – a kid who sleeps well means parents who can sleep peacefully as well.
5 Tips on How To Get A Great Night’s Sleep When You Travel With Kids:
When travelling with kids, I always advice packing your their favorite blanket or a bedtime toy. Having a familiar blankie or a toy comrade along for the trip, has a calming effect on kids that makes them comfortable to new surroundings and new schedules. This comfort is crucial to engendering sleep. For parents, I suggest you carry comfortable cotton or silk eye masks for flights (check out this super cute eye mask!), trains or even airports, so that you can catch a shut eye when your kids are asleep as well.
[ I have a cool info-graphic on things to invest in for hassle free travel with kids the you might like ]
- Physical exercise.
It’s no rocket science that an active day leads to good sleep, and this applies to both – kids as well as parents. So while you are travelling, try to include physical exercises like walking or running and the kids will be ready for a peaceful night’s sleep for sure. In my recent trips with my daughter, I have tried to include a walk to the local park and a trip to the zoo in my itinerary, and it makes her excited as well as sleepy by the evening. The idea is to tire them with fun!
Read more: Ten Things To Do In Taiwan With Kids
- Warm Milk.
Warm milk does the trick for me and my kid, no matter where we are. A mug of hot chocolate is most welcome, but just regular milk is good too. If you’re travelling, I strongly recommend you try this time tested trick. If it’s winter, I like to add a pinch of turmeric powder in the milk. I also carry a travel size box of hot chocolate powder with me, just to put a twist on this daily ritual.
- Game Time!
This one is a little funny. But it works wonders for me, seeing how talkative my little one is, haha. I play a few rounds of a game called “Who Can Be Quiet the Longest?” Ad the name explains, this game is won by the person in the car/plane/hotel room who stay quiet for the longest time. My friends have tried it too and all have the same thing to say – The kids get a big kick out this game and they will most definitely try to win it. And more often than not, this makes them sleepy while they are at it. I make it a point to give her a small prize when she wakes up because hey, my little superstar wins every time! (wink wink)
- Incorporate Naps
Never underestimate the power of a nap! One of my top tips to travel with kids is to make sure they get a couple of naps in between the travel, so that they get rested and you can grab some much needed time to sleep as well. But remember to never let a nap go for too long, about an hour and a half is good enough for me, but it also depends on how much the kid needs to sleep. Please check out this great post on How Much Sleep Do Kids Need to figure out what’s the best for your kids.
These tips are from my personal experience of travelling with my kid a lot, and they work wonders for me. The result is a well rested kid – which means that I sleep well during travels as well. It’s the perfect situation, really.
I’d like to add here that in the end of the day, it is a vacation so you can break some rules and have fun. A family that has fun and enjoys every minute of the vacation will come back happy and sleepy to bed, that’s a guarantee.
So don’t fret too much about getting your kids to sleep during travels, try some of these methods and tell me how it goes. Also tell me if you use a trick that works for you! I’d love to know from all travelling moms how you get sleep when you travel with kids.