Mummy Corner: How to Survive Travelling with Young Kids

By Gina Batmunkh 2021-05-28 14:20:47

Are you planning your upcoming trip to a beautiful destination with your family? Does travelling with small children make you nervous? Bringing babies and toddlers to travel by train or air can be chaotic. I have been there and I feel you. I don’t blame you. I have had my fair share of experience travelling with my son over the years. I hope these tips will ease your pain of travelling. But remember, no matter how prepared you are, there is bound to be some tantrum, stress or chaos involved while handling kids. And that’s just parenthood.



Being in the air for hours and hours with a baby/toddler is a challenge. I have been flying around the world with my son since he was six months old. We flew from the United States to Shanghai which was a long-haul flight. To be honest, after my first time flying with a baby for more than 15 hours, I was like the walking dead. It required a great amount of concentration and attention during the flight, so I did not sleep well. Actually, I got no sleep at all. Every time during turbulence, I had to carry out my baby from the bassinet in front of me, and I don’t remember how many times I had to do it. Being trapped in a seat for many hours is not fun. But during take-off and landing, I had to prepare a milk bottle for my son which was wonderful because the act of sucking helped babies with ear discomfort. Luckily, I wasn’t alone during this flight. There was another mum who was also taking her daughter to Shanghai. We were seated next to each other and both of us had matching panda eyes.



Over the years, we travelled to Europe, Southeast Asia, back and forth between the United States and Mongolia (Ulan-Bator). We even had back-to-back flights. And do not even mention our countless high-speed train rides domestically in China. What can we say, we are travellers.   


Whenever my family travel to places, there were random people who would love to share with us their parenting advice. Some of it I took, and some of the others I threw it away because it just would not work with our child or, our values.



Foldable Stroller




The stroller was such a lifesaver up until four years old for me. When it comes to travelling, foldable strollers are one of the most practical and handy things to have. Easy to fold, light in weight especially small-sized ones which is easy to handle for a mum like myself. In addition, airports are big and long. You have to walk distances and need to be quick. If you have a bulky stroller that can't be folded you may need to check in with your luggage. If your kid gets tired halfway, that’s where the foldable stroller becomes handy. Put your kid in there and vroom-vroom off you go the airport.



Spill-Proof Cup/Sippy Cup



No matter how old your toddler is, having spill-proof sippy cups is awesome to bring on you. Especially since airlines and trains do not provide lids for their cups. Bringing your own will minimize potential spills.



Backpack/A Snack Bag



This is one of my absolute favourite things to do a few days before the trip. All you need to do is go to the grocery store and purchase a variety of snacks which will be in their snack bags or backpack. If they behave good, why not give them a treat? Because I don’t allow my son to eat candy at home, it becomes like a sweet treat for the trip. By giving them their own backpack it allows them to practice ownership. It makes them feel important and kids will take the responsibility seriously. 



For parents or a parent travelling alone with kids, you need to be super organized during the trip. On one hand, you have a child and on the other hand on a stroller or something. Make sure you put your important documents in a safe place but also, where they can be easily accessible. Want to bring back fashion on fanny pack? You could use it instead of a purse. It is super practical and easy to access. You can always bring back the 80's retro vibe.



New Toy



Most often I buy a new toy during the trip. It doesn’t have to be expensive and certainly not big to carry. Kids get excited about new things, and they can touch, look, and play with them for hours. Parents, you are not spoiling the kids, it is a little treat for them.  And I am sure you will enjoy the few minutes of "me time".







There are few things I can’t travel without and that would be crayons, colouring books and plain white papers. Usually, I pick new colouring books for him, and he gets so excited about it. Choose something lightweight and would hold your kids’ attention for a while. We also like to pack stickers in our travel bag so they can stick them on the back of the seats, windows (but make sure you get the ones that are easy to peel off).




Favourite Shows



Like many other families, we have a limit for screen time in our normal routines. But travelling is an exception. All you need is to be mindful of other passengers around us. So, prior to the trip, download some of your kids’ favourite TV shows. It will keep them occupied for a great amount of time, so you might have some time for yourself to read few pages of your book. Long-haul flights provide inflight entertainment programmes. So that can be very useful too. 



I had problems with airline’s earpieces/headsets because they were way too big for my kid’s ears. Sometimes it wasn’t working consistently which was irritating. So, we always carry our own headset.



Hard Candies/Lollipops



As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, for infants during take-off and landing preparing milk bottle helps them, or it could be pacifier. For older kids, hard candies or lollipops work great. Hard candies are great if your child has trouble with ears popping. 







Talk to the people around you as a courtesy and, let them know that you have a small child (that is if they are oblivious to you). And please do not apologize just because you have kids, let alone being seated next to them. If people have a problem with kids, it’s their own issue. They could upgrade their seat. However, do not be the obnoxious parent and teach your child not to kick the passenger seat in front of them.




Lower Your Expectations



Although you have been diligent about packing everything from snacks to new toys, don’t expect everything to go smoothly all the time. You will only end up disappointed and frustrated. So lower those expectations and take everything as a small win.