Stick to their schedule.
For small children and toddlers especially, changing time zones can be tricky. In general, most children adjust to the time change in about three days, so there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! But for shorter trips, it might be helpful to stick to the same sleep schedule you follow at home. If you’re traveling east, this might mean sleeping in late in the morning and staying up way past bedtime at night – but a moonlit stroll on the beach can become a special memory for you and your kids.
And don’t forget nap time! It can be tempting to fit in every minute of vacation fun during your holiday, but skipping naps will result in cranky kids and unhappy parents. Take turns relaxing in your room with your little one while they snooze – even if it means an hour or two of downtime midday, it’ll pay off when the rest of the day goes smoothly.
When you’re traveling, the unexpected can happen: your child can get carsick or seasick, bug bites happen, tummies become upset, knees get scraped. If you’re in a place like The Bahamas, your local pharmacy or resort convenience store is generally well stocked with first-aid items, but it’s easier to bring everything with you – you can use brands you know and trust and have experience administering to your kids.
Bring along baby or children’s pain reliever (Tylenol, Advil, Motrin) to deal with everything from unexpected fevers to teething emergencies. Children’s Gravol is a good idea if your child has a sensitive stomach. Pack Band-Aids and antiseptic cream to deal with any minor cuts and scrapes, and if you’re traveling to a place where bugs are plentiful, some anti-itch treatment is also a great idea. Of course, you’ll want to stock up on sunscreen too!
Beyond illness, travel can be full of other unknowns, like delayed flights. Make sure you pack plenty of snacks, books, and toys to keep kids busy and entertained in case your waits are longer than anticipated.
Don’t forget snacks!
Speaking of snacks…just like naps, you don’t want to skimp on snacks on vacation! Bring along granola bars, fruit snacks, crackers and hummus, or string cheese wherever you go for a quick hit of energy between meals. Staying hydrated is also important especially if you’re visiting a warm location like The Bahamas. Bring along a full water bottle when you head out for the day and be sure to drink lots!