Heading overseas without the kids can be stressful especially if it’s for the first time. Here’s how to get them and yourself ready for what can be an emotional time.
Travelling with the little ones in tow is a whole lot of fun. No doubt, there will probably be a hiccup or two along the way but trust me, it will be well worth it. While creating those precious family memories are important, taking the time out and heading off without the kids are equally so. So get your checklist ready mums, because it’s time to plan your next getaway.
First Things First
Before you go off on your next great adventure with your better half, there are some things you might need to keep in mind. You’ll also need to get a number of things in order before you board that plane.
What about the kids?
This will probably be one of the first questions you will ask yourself if you’re contemplating a trip without your brood. Depending on how old your kids are, separation anxiety might come into play so it’s important to keep their needs in mind and not upset their daily routine. Some kids might even feel that you are going away because of something they did. Be sure to assure them that it isn’t the case.
Choosing a caregiver
This is an important decision. It could be grandma and grandpa or a favourite aunt and uncle. Whoever you choose, be sure to leave your child with someone she is comfortable with. Don’t forget to check in with your caregiver before letting your kids know who will be with them when you’re away. Looking after your kids for a day may be easy enough but anything longer might be a whole different ball game.
With your trip booked and as you prepare to pack your bags; there is still a lot to be done before you leave your kids in the care of someone else. If your kids are staying in the comfort of their home while you’re away and if the caregiver is not too familiar with your home, it’s always a good idea to get her over to go through the house rules and daily routines.
Don’t forget to cover other important issues you may have as well. Sue Ann, mummy to 23-month-old, Jake, says, “My aunt was going to look after Jake when we were away, and while she was over at
my place a lot, she was not too familiar with where we kept all of the stuff she would need for Jake. So we got her to come over a day earlier so we could familiarise her with everything.”
You want to make the time your little one has with her caregiver go as smoothly as possible so ensure the following are taken care of before you close your front door behind you.
Got to eat it
Stock up on your child’s favourite snacks and his milk formula. Load up on the groceries for mealtimes. You might even want to whip up a few meals and freeze them ahead of time so your kiddo can still enjoy your cooking while you’re away.
Check that your medicine cabinet has the necessities your child may need such as paracetamol and ibuprofen for fevers and antiseptic for cuts and scrapes. Throw any expired medicines away and clearly write the dosage of each medicine down and tape it to the cabinet or on the bottle itself. If your child takes any regular medication, make sure there’s enough at home to last the duration of your trip.
You might want to leave your membership cards to local attractions, the club or even shops behind.
Wrap a few small presents which your child can open when she misses you. Your caregivers might even want to use them to reward good behaviour.
All kids have a few book or toys that they tend to reach out for when they need a little comfort so let your caregiver know where they are.
Keep them informed
If your child is in school, don’t forget to tell the teachers about the caregiver who will be transporting her. Do also give them your caregiver’s number in case of an emergency. If your neighbours aren’t familiar with the caregiver, let them know about your travel plans too.
While You’re Gone
Sure you’ll want to talk to your child when you’re away and there are apps that allow you to have a video chat with them without costing a whole lot. You might even want to send her pictures or videos of the places you’re visiting just so he knows you’re constantly thinking of her.
But also think about just how much contact she really needs. For some little ones, hearing your voice may cause her to miss you more. Maybe a text or even a postcard from your travels might be a better choice. But whichever way you choose to communicate with your child, check in with the caregiver regularly.
To make things a little easier, Jasmine, a marketing manager says she created a travel calendar for her two kids. “That was how they knew where daddy and mummy were and what we were up to. My mum who was looking after them when we were away, had them tick off the days each night at bedtime so they had something to look forward to.”
Fiona, mummy to six-year-old Sandra and five-year-old Samantha, also had a trick up her sleeve when she was planning to leave for her trip with her husband. “We left some extra spending money which my parents who were looking after the girls could use to treat them to a special day out. The girls got treated to a day at the water park as well as to their favourite ice cream parlour on a couple of occasions. Now when we tell them we’re going away, they look forward to these special outings with grandpa and grandma.”
Now that you’re home, give your kids a big hug and tell them all about your trip. Be sure to make some time just for them too. And I hope you remembered to buy them a souvenir or two from your trip – because a little bribe doesn’t hurt!