Tips for less stressful travel with your kids

It will not come as a surprise to you that some children tolerate travel better than others. Take the example of my two kids: Gabriele has always enjoyed traveling by car and, now that he is 4 and a half years old, he is used to medium-haul flights during which he adapts perfectly to any situations (long waits at the airport, turbulence, late evening arrivals, etc.). A real dream for any parent who, like me, loves to travel! Bianca, my little girl who is now 2 and a half years old, has hated the car since birth and, although she usually is an extremely happy and easy to go child, she literally becomes hysterical every time we travel. On a plane, she constantly needs to move (which is also typical of her age) and struggles to fall asleep in any non-ideal situations.

Whenever we travel, therefore, we must consider our little ones’ personalities and preferences and accept them, but there are some tricks we can use to make the experience less of a burden for them and less stressful for us.

First, if you have a long journey by car ahead, travel overnight if possible. The continuous sleep of your children will allow you to travel without having to constantly rush to their requests. Furthermore, you will have less of a chance of encountering traffic and will therefore be able to count on shorter travel times.

If, for whatever reason, you cannot travel at night then it is good to know that the early hours of the morning are the best ones for traveling by car or flying by plane. A well-rested baby after a regular night’s sleep will deal with the stress of travel with less fatigue.

Once you reach your destination, give your child a couple of days to recover from the trip and get used to the new environment.

If your trip involves time zone changes, there are several ways to handle this situation:

  1. If time difference is less than 2 hours, you can either gradually adapt the times of your baby’s naps and bedtime to those of the destination country or keep the previous ones (particularly if yours is a short stay).
  2. For greater time difference and in case you are planning on staying longer than 3-4 days, try to get your child used to the new time as soon as possible. Don’t be alarmed if, upon your return, they experience some difficulties in going back to their previous routines. Remember that their biological clock may take up to a week or two to fully recover.

I wish you a pleasant and safe journey with your little ones!


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