Six tips for traveling with kids

Six tips for traveling with kids

July 2017 – Recently, as I was traveling to the Rift Valley (Nakuru,Kenya), I came across a young couple who by observation were traveling to probably see their parents upcountry. I know that you are wondering  what is wrong with that. Nothing is wrong with traveling but when you have kids, in the freezing July season in Kenya and a big traveling bag, then traveling starts to become a nightmare.

So, this young couple were desperately looking for a matatu to board. They had two boys with them roughly aged 3yrs and 6yrs. It was around 3pm and I kept wondering why they didn’t plan early enough. The whole scene was chaotic and really sad especially the fact that they were not properly dressed for the weather and the woman seemed to be straining to walk in the 4inch stilettos she was in.

How do you travel with kids?

The key to having a comfortable journey especially by matatu is planning. Always plan for every trip you take. Here is a list of 6 things you need to plan for when traveling with kids;

1.Bring new toys and books or use technology

Something that they have never seen before will hold the attention far more than something that has been played with dozens of times.

Use the technology made available to you. Even if you don’t let your kids watch the television at home, now is the time to break those rules. Little screens in the armrests of chairs are a godsend for those traveling with small children, and for those around them. Don’t worry about headphones, if your child won’t keep them on, or if you worry about the noise damaging their ears, the pictures will most likely be enough to distract the most irritated of children.

2. Bring a spare t-shirt for yourself.

Obviously you can’t travel in footie pajamas, or even have a full change of clothes on hand, but if you are thrown up on you will appreciate a clean smell around your upper body instead of wiped up vomit.

3. Forget the pacifier wipes, but bring a hand cleanser.

I like individual packets of wet wipes with anti bacterial goodness. Your child will be touching something gross before you have chance to call out their name, so make sure you have your hand cleanser of choice with you.

4. Bring snacks.

The way you eat will not necessarily time well with your child’s needs, and hotel food is not always suited to the palate of a toddler. Use snacks they are familiar with, snacks that don’t break any customs laws, and snacks that don’t need refrigerating and are still edible after a good deal of squishing. Familiarity with the snack you bring means they are less likely to vomit. Trust me, once your child is sick mid-journey once, you will be as obsessed with vomit as I am.

Inside the airport, your best bet is a fruit cup, since you cannot bring your own fruit with you unless travelling within the country.

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5. Keep your little ones warm and comfortable.

Know your child’s needs. When cold, make sure you have leg warmers, mittens, sweaters and scarfs to keep them warm. This also prevents your child from cold related illnesses. Remember that your child’s immune system is not as strong as yours.

Keep asking your child if they need anything. Your child may want to sleep, use the washroom or (s)he might be bored. Keep them comfortable and happy and the key is making the journey memorable.

6. Travel early.

My mother asked me one question one day and it didn’t make sense till a few months ago. I simply showed up at home late after traveling from school to home and my parents being the strictest parents, I got a serious scolding since they are against late hours and I am talking about past 6:30pm.

Read more here.

Anyway, mum asked me what parent would I be if getting home early was so hard for me. And she was right. A good parent doesn’t let her child see that late nights are ok. You teach your child from their early years. As my parents say, daylight is best to be safe in this world. Any crime can be followed easily and people can actually see.

Traveling early is important if you have kids or not. That’s one of the things I have learnt from my parents. Plus, it, in some sort of way, shows that you are a responsible adult who can plan wisely. Think about it.

Those are among the things you should plan for if you are traveling with kids. If there is more traveling hacks or any questions or suggestions, feel free to email me at or leave a comment on the comment box down below and I will be happy to add them on my next blog.

For more information read How to make traveling less stressing.

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