Tips on traveling with Kids 5 and under
We have been starved… starved of traveling, starved of new adventures, new experiences, changing weather…… The last time we traveled was in 2019 when Mr. 2 hasn’t even started preschool. Traveling then was a whole different ball game. Luggage was full with diapers, milk bottles, formula milk, washing necessities, wet wipes etc. Baby carrier, portable high chair for restaurants, and we kid you not that we even brought a portable baby cot. He was at the age where he would ‘walk’ into danger, so to keep him safe, we had to bring the cot to keep him in when we were busy.
Just a little more than 2 years, we no longer bring any of the above. But with an active preschooler, the number of luggage is somewhat the same. Hahaha. To curb screen time, we had to occupy this little guy.
1. Choose a destination that can allow self drive
Due to the covid climate, we wanted to minimise exposure to others, so we decided to drive 1 car all the way to minimise contact with others. Make sure the car you rented has enough space for all the luggage. We got a 7 seater for the 4 of us.
2. Keep itineraries simple and allow for flexibility.
We had more outdoor activities this time as we were concerned about the covid situation. We equate less indoors, or crowd as safer. At 4 years old , Joseph is no longer a toddler, he has his likes, dislikes. He is also fully capable of deciding if he wants to participate and not. Hence, we need to prep him and entice him about a certain activity for buy-ins.
3. Bag of razzle dazzle in the car
Have a big bag in the car, filled with lots of snacks, activity books, drawing materials, games, blanket and pillow( the benefit of having your own car) Oh and a full set of change for the little one.
One occasion on our trip, we passed by a beautiful beach and decided to stop by for a bit. Lo and behold, my free spirited boy just walked into the waters with his sneakers, jeans and down jacket. The waves were strong, and he lost his balanced and fell into the water. If that was not enough, he thought it was fun, and started to roll in the sand. You can imagine the horror on our faces as we didn’t bring extra clothes etc.
4. Bring the stroller!
Yes it is bulky and it is an extra weight. But when it helps you alleviate the possibility of carrying your child for a distance, its all worth it. Extra perks, you can get to store your shopping loot at the bottom of the stroller.
Due to the time zones difference between Singapore and USA, Joseph needed to adjust and nap. He was such a trooper! When he was tired, he simply retreated to the stroller for his nap while we continued our activities. Another benefit, we can also put all the shopping loots in the stroller compartment. By the way, most airlines allow for the stroller to be pushed right to the gate of the flight you are taking, and will collect it at the gate for stowing. And when you alight from the flight, it will be ready for pick up also upon your exit from the airplane.. By the way, strollers are not considered an additional piece of luggage on Singapore airlines just in case you might wonder if it will use up your luggage quota. You will need to inform upon check in that you have a piece of stroller that you will want it received and stowed at the entrance of the flight though. A luggage tag will be issued for the stroller to be collected at the gate.
5. Ordering kids meal in advance
It would be good to order your kids meal in advance as the meals will be more suited for kids.
Between my husband and myself, one of our meals will always be ordered in advance. E.g. vegetarian meals, seafood meal. This is so that we can start eating earlier together. Gives us more time to eat and feed the child at the same time.
6. Check to ensure travel documents are in order
Thankfully, a lot of countries have eased their travel restrictions by now. However, a lot of countries still only allow vaccinated individuals to enter only. Get your certificates here. (https://www.notarise.gov.sg/)
There are some countries who require covid-19 pre departure tests to be done. Do check to ensure your test is done within the required timeframe. PCR requires more than a day, and supervised ART tests can be done in clinic or via online. The rules change quickly, so do always check again before traveling to ensure you got all the necessary. Especially with kids, having immigration or check in issues can be frustrating.