Saturday, 23 April 2016

What I do Before Travelling Overseas with A Toddler

"We're bringing LittleLim along with us to Vienna / Singapore / Thailand / USA" is my answer whenever anyone asks what happens to LittleLim when Hubbycat and I travel overseas. It's no secret, LittleLim travels with us. She has been travelling since she was 5 months old and yes it is scary. It is ALWAYS scary. 

The thought of travelling with a baby (now toddler) will make any sane parent nervous. I know I was and still get nervous every time we go for international holidays. I get nervous over the plane ride to the actual holiday destination that no amount of preparation will ever make me feel ready but I have learnt that preparation helps. Here are some of my pre-travel routine that I found really helpful for any holiday trip. 

1. Research Destination
I find that knowing where we'll be going helps. I usually prepare itineraries and research all the things that are suitable for us to do with baby in tow. I also search for accommodations that are near the main spots so that we don't have to travel too much or too far because long car rides are boring for tiny active kids! Besides sightseeing destination and hotels, I usually check the weather, how safe the place is, public transport routes, how baby friendly a place is and the rules when travelling with baby - car seats, prams etc.

2. Checklists!
I love checklists! Mommy brain has made me forgetful and careless. Sometimes I forget things and having checklists are very useful for times like these. These are 3 checklists I always prepare:
- Carry On checklist for Hubbycat, LittleLim & myself
- Luggage checklist for Hubbycat, LittleLim & myself
- Personal Document checklist which usually comprise of Passports, Birth cert, Medical cards, Insurance cards and travel documents such as plane tickets, hotel bookings etc. 

3. Set A Routine
I usually get LittleLim on a routine so that when we're sightseeing and travelling I know when she's supposed to nap or eat. I also can predict when she's on the best of moods for all the activities that are meant for her. I do try to help her get used to how she's going to eat / sleep / travel as well just to make things more familiar for her. 

4. Prepare
Don't procrastinate! (note to myself too) Time always flies so quickly now that I'm a mom. Before I know it it's 4 days to travel and I'm rushing to get things done / bought before we leave. Always prepare beforehand. Besides the packing, here are some things I make sure to prepare before hand: 
- LittleLim's health. Whenever needed I make a trip down to our pediatrician just to get a clean bill of health / vaccinations are up to date and get a supply of paracetamol for our travels. 
- Insurance. I never realised the importance of travel insurance until I had LittleLim. Having kids makes everything unpredictable because they're so fragile and susceptible to getting sick :( Also active kids screams accidents and while we pray that every holiday is uneventful, we never know. So for my peace of mind, I get our insurance sorted out. 
- Credit Cards. Nothing more embarrassing than you're trying to pay for something overseas and your credit card gets rejected because the bank thinks it's a fraud. So I let my banks know I am planning to travel so I can have my cards ready for when I need it. 
- Entertainment for LittleLim. I buy toys / books or plan activities to keep her entertained during our travels whether it's the plane ride or when we're just sightseeing.  

5. Breathe
I remind myself that LittleLim is not a robot and that no matter how prepared I am there will always be a chance that LittleLim will mess all my plans up. So just breathe! At the end of the day it's that we're all together and that this is a great opportunity to show LittleLim how to handle flexibility and change. Remember to breathe and face it one crisis at a time. It will be alright! Just remember to take photos! :D

Happy Holidays!

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