Travel Tips For Dads
Travelling was a breeze before our son. We decided we were going on a break, booked tickets and we were off.
Since his arrival though, the stress levels have gone up a notch.
When we brought him home the first time, my mother was with us. Years later I’m super glad she was there. On the flight back home, our son refused the bottle and picked up on how stress both hubby and I were and we could not stop him from opening up his lungs.
Mother jumps in and calmly soothes our son to sleep for the rest of the two-hour flight home.
Tips for Dads(Dadvice)
Don’t book flights around peak times, you will only be raising your own stress levels. Book mid-morning or look for the period where the flights are cheaper. Everyone will enjoy the flight.
Still bottle-feeding your child then make sure you have full at least one bottle ready with the child’s feed or at least water. Use it to feed the baby during takeoff and landing. The sucking assists with managing the pressure on their ears.
Baby already sleeping before you take off or is about to nod off, get them to suck on their dummy(pacifier) as it does the same job. If you’re travelling with a toddler, have some sweets or a juice with a straw for them to suck on during takeoff and landing.
With the baby on hand, they could potentially sleep right through the flight or be reasonably calm during the flight. The challenge comes in when you’re taking off or landing as it affects their ears. If your child is a little longer, have entertainment handy. Have a fully charged tablet or phone handy with movies or games, but if you’re on a long haul flight you have the onboard entertainment system to assist you.
Your child may get ratty during the flight, so what. You have every right to be on that flight with everyone else. Do your best to calm your child, and that’s all you can really do.
If you’re travelling by road, know that your trip down to Durban will not be as short as it used to be.
No way dude!
There will be more toilet stops than you’re used to, but that’s fine as you can use these as an opportunity to get a cup of much-needed coffee and stretch your legs. Don’t be put off that the signage is of a mother and child, you as a dad with a baby that needs changing have just as much right to use these facilities. After a while of having to change nappies on the back seat of the car, we decided enough was enough and stopped making the facilities own challenges our own.
Travelling with a toddler, there will be times where you make a toilet stop and they “don’t” want to use the toilet. Only to travel literally a kilometre further and have to make an emergency stop because they suddenly need the toilet. Best you stop! Else you the dad will live to regret it! Honest!
Kids are like vacuums. What you put in front of them will be consumed, especially if it’s junk food! If you don’t manage their intake you may regret it literally down the road on your trip. You will hear “dad my stomach hurts” or “dad I feel sick” and literally with no warning at all their breakfast, lunch and supper – they may not have had yet – will all be splashed over themselves, their car seat and everywhere in the car. You don’t want vomit stench in your car right from the start of your holiday.
Make sure that your hotel or guesthouse is child-friendly. You will be surprised that there are some that are not.
Book a family room instead of a room for a couple only, the extra space comes in handy.
Travel with your own camper bed for your baby if you can, we forgot ours once or twice and regretted it because the accommodation didn’t have a decent one and we ended up sharing a double bed for a week with our son.
Either book a place that has a pool or you’re close to the beach. Kids love playing in and with water. They don’t for some reason fear the cold water. When you’re done they will sleep, as all the pent up energy will have been exhausted.
If your child is fussy about the milk or food they eat, I strongly suggest taking these with you. Especially if you’re not sure the city or town or village you’re travelling to will have these.
Hiring a car? Why don’t you hire a car seat for your baby or toddler as well? Makes life so much easier than having to trek your normal car seat with. Less to check-in and stress about. If you’re travelling with more than one child make sure you select a larger can than you have at home. Space is everything when you’re travelling as a family, with kids that need for example their nappies changed.
Have loads of snacks and drinks available or make sure that you have regular pit stops.
We once did Durban and back listening to the same three songs our son was enjoying at the time. Aaaaagh! Now that he is older he has his own headphones. What an awesome purchase. He can listen to his favourites over and over, without irritating his dads.
Lastly, travel as lightly as possible. In the beginning, I used to pack his whole bedroom and more, we would get back from the holiday with less than half of it used.
Do you have any travel tips to share with dads?
EKL – if you aren’t a fan of our new Two Dads and a Kid’s Facebook Page, check it out and give the page a like? 🙂