Family holidays are great fun. Getting out into wide open spaces with the kids, getting fresh air and burning off all that energy is great for the whole family, but even the most prepared family can run into problems when traveling with kids. We’re going to run through the 15 most common problems you’ll face when traveling with kids and how to deal with them, so you can make the most of your holidays this year. Here are the most common problems:
1. Joint Pain
One thing that parents get worried about is a joint pain in children. Normally the causes of joint pain are viral infections such as Viral Hepatitis and Rubella or juvenile arthritis. To avoid the causes of joint pain, ensure that your children have had their vaccinations and allow children to get up and move around frequently on long trips.
2. Illness and Disease
It’s horrible when our children are sick, but it’s even worse when we’re on holiday with them. The most effective way of preventing diseases is to make sure your children have had their vaccinations. Check with your doctor before you travel about the vaccinations your child needs to have and how long before you travel your child needs to have them.
3. Jet Lag
As adults, we know that jet lag is horrible and yes, children get jet lagged too but don’t worry there are a few things you can do to help your kids out. You can adjust your sleeping schedules a few days before traveling, encourage your kids to drink lots of water as dehydration contributes to the side effects of jet lag – and be active and in brightly lit areas during the daytime.
4. Ear Pain in Flight
Flying with children can be difficult when it comes to trying to help them deal with ear pain. Ear pain can be caused by the changes in air pressure – in fact, 22% of children may have damage to their eardrum after flight – but things like encouraging children to swallow, yawn or chew gum can help. Your infants can suck on a pacifier or bottle or you can nurse them. If you have children who are particularly affected by ear pain during flight, you can have them take pain relief 30-60 minutes before take-off.
5. Motion Sickness
Motion sickness or travel sickness can be difficult for children to deal with, so when you’re traveling with your kids you can do a few different things to help ease the sickness. Eat a light meal before leaving on an empty stomach can make motion sickness worse, however, during your journey try not to have them eat much and keeps snacks light. Having your children look at things outside the car can also help, as well as having a headrest to minimize head movement. If it becomes too much for your child, see a doctor for medication.
Travelers diarrhea is a common problem for adults, but it can be quite dangerous for your children as it can really dehydrate them so here are some precautions you can take to protect your children from diarrhea. Use bottled or purified water for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, making baby formula etc and make sure all food is washed and well cooked before eating. Encourage your children to drink lots of water as diarrhea can dehydrate children quickly.
7. Dealing with Others
If you’ve ever traveled with children, you know what I’m talking about when I say that dealing with other people on the journey can be a real hassle. The best advice I can give you is to be friendly and kill them with kindness. Try to take it on the chin, introduce your children to the people who may be getting frustrated and ask them to come to you directly with any problems they may have.
8. Bored Children
Every parent knows that bored children can be a nightmare on long journeys so make sure that you take things that can keep them occupied. Providing children with their favorite toys or books to read can help as well as having everyone join in with some family games such as I-Spy! Making frequent stops and encouraging children to get out and move around can help them work off some of that built up energy.
9. Children Behaving Differently After Flying
Children can start feeling a little out of sorts after flying so take plenty of books and snacks to help keep them settled. Between different time zones and high altitudes, children can feel a little lethargic after flying but that should all pass after a few days. Just don’t sedate your child before flying as this can cause breathing problems!
10. Water Safety
With pools at the hotel and ponds, rivers and lakes while you’re out and about, water safety is a huge issue as water can be a huge danger. Make sure to follow the water safety regulations and equip children with life jackets or personal floatation devices just in case they do fall in.
11. Travel Stress
Children get stressed on long journeys for several different reasons so here are several different solutions to combat travel stress in children. Older children could benefit from being educated about where you’re going, explain to them cultural differences, customs, language barriers etc and familiarize them with your destination. For younger children pack things that would remind them of home and make them feel more comfortable such as familiar toys, comforters, and snacks.
12. Insect Bites
Insect bites can be a nightmare when traveling but you can keep your children safe by taking a few precautions. Make sure you pack insect repellents and bite relief gels and creams for if your children do get bitten. Be sure to avoid anywhere that has a malaria risk when traveling with children – Children under 5 accounted for 69% of all malaria deaths in 2015 – and have your children fully vaccinated before traveling.
13. Car Travel
Are you familiar with the chorus of “are we there yet? Are we there yet?” if you are then you’re familiar with the common problems of car travel with your kids. Be sure to have the correct seats for your children and check the guidelines of how long each age group should spend in a car seat at a time. Make frequent stops and let your kids walk about, stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. Make sure you are familiar with the routes you’re going to take before the journey to make sure you don’t spend extra time on your journey checking where you need to go.
14. Children Getting Lost
Losing a child while you’re on holiday is every parent’s worst nightmare so prepare your children for any possibility of being separated. Have your child carry something with their name on and your contact details. Make sure your children know to seek help from authorities such as the police or the resort staff etc.
15. Availability of Necessities
Traveling to other countries means you could find yourself without those things your child needs. Make sure that you pack plenty of nappies, a formula for infants, and any other special dietary items your child may need.
Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be stressful if you can remember to follow the precautions to avoid these problems. The benefits of drinking water, moving around and providing familiar items for children are massive so make sure that you always pack plenty of water, make frequent stops and be prepared before traveling with kids.
Kathy Mitchell is a Travel & Beauty Blogger. She likes to Go Out with her Friends, Travel, Swim and Practice Yoga. In her free time, you can find Kathy curled up Reading her Favorite Novel, or Writing in her Journal. To know more about her follow her on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.