Traveling with kids!

It’s mid July, and even though it has been raining the entire last week here in Amsterdam, it is supposed to be summer in this part of the world! School vacations have more or less started, and everybody is packing their bags, cars, minivans, private planes (I wish), etc. to relocate their families temporarily to another, hopefully more sunny/beautiful/exciting part of the world.

Now, I’ve tried to count the number of hours that Courtney, Emilie, Michela and I have spent traveling the globe with the 8 children we have between us, but it is sheer impossible. It must add up to weeks – if not months!
I think Courtney has probably made the most flying hours with her kids, traveling to her family in the States and back. Emilie definitely made the longest flight with kids — she flew to her in-laws in Australia! I’ve hit the most orient location when we took our baby to Hong Kong, and I’m sure Michela has spent the most hours in car journeys with her children.

PlaneSo, this begins our second week-long series: a series of all our best tips on traveling with kids!

Now, although we all have traveled loads with our kids, we are FAR from mastering the skill, so we would really like to hear YOUR experiences and advice on traveling with kids – so please feel free to leave comments!

OK – here we go with my first tip…

You should NEVER, EVER travel without a little medical kit in which there is a very good supply of children’s paracetamol and/or ibuprofen. Little kids, well kids in general, tend to get sick, and especially on vacations it seems that they are extra prone to illness. You want to avoid having to step into that little Hungarian pharmacy where you will have to explain in sign language that you need a couple of suppositories – I promise.

Things I always keep in my mini travel first aid kit:

    sick teddy

  • Little sachets of Calpol (strawberry flavoured infant paracetamol, in liquid form) – very common in the UK and the US, not so much so in most European countries
  • Paracetamol suppositories (for when they’re throwing up or refusing Calpol) – very common in most European countries, not so much in the UK and the US
  • Re-hydration fluid (for diarrhea)
  • Kiddies plasters
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Sting relief (insect/jellyfish bites)

Of course sunscreen, insect repellent and a good nappy rash cream are absolute musts as well…

xxx Esther


Comments (7)

July 14, 2008

By far the best resource about air travel with babies and kids is this one, by a former flight attendant with 3 kids. Is extremely detailed about all aspects of flying and what you will need for each age group.

Sara from Bruxelles
July 14, 2008

GREAT article! Haven’t read it ALL yet but did send it to myself as I will be flying with my baby girl in November at about four months old. A bit nervous about that!

Does anyone have advice on time changes as I’ll be first flying to the east coast for about one month and the to the west coast in the US for only one week and possibly from there straight back to Belgium.

July 14, 2008

I have flown twice to NZ from Amsterdam with my baby. The first time she was 3 months old and the 2nd time she was 1 year old. All I can say is she coped the best with the jet lag out of all of us! It took her 2 days to be in a complete opposite time zone. I think travelling with babies is the easiest as they sleep most of the time just make sure you reserve a bassinet. Also make sure you pack clean clothes for yourself as well as your baby as they have a tendancy to throw up on you as well as themselves!!!

July 14, 2008

i traveled to australia from amsterdam with a 4 week old – hassle free and super easy. he just slept. now, at 18 months old, a 4 hour train trip to Paris is hell. so is a 25 minute tram trip.

my tip is download of those favourite youtube clips to a folder on your desktop. birds chirping, lions roaring, vintage sesame street and trusty old schnapie keep him amused better than any toy.

July 14, 2008

Sara- i will write a post some time this week all about jet-lag. I fly to the states at least 3 times a year, so I am all too familiar (sadly) with jet lag!

Gabrielle – I love the tip about downloading youtube clips!

July 14, 2008

Well, fresh off a 23 hour trip from NY to London (no, that’s not a typo), I can tell you to pack loads of snacks, an extra change or two of clothes for the kids and a change of clothes for mum too. You never know if you’re going to end up with some bodily fluid or water or something else on you. We also like Colorforms and sticker books for flights.

Sara from Bruxelles
July 15, 2008

Thank you ladies for all the great tips! Puts my mind at ease, and also hearing the different stories makes me feel like I’m not the ONLY one traveling with a small baby. (Obviously not!) I want to at least look like I know what I’m doing!! :0)

I’ll be coming back to this theme week when I’m getting ready to travel. Thank you all again! GREAT theme week idea!!! Also, enjoyed your birth theme week. I’ll be having my cesarean one week from today!!! Can’t wait to meet our little girl!!!

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