Essentials for Traveling With Children

momfamily fun & traditions

By CanCan of

Though I do review travel gear, when thinking about “must-haves” for travel with children, it isn’t material items that come to mind.

Starting when my first child was seven weeks old, I have traveled with my children to places like the Bahamas, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, spending time to get to know each place beyond the guidebooks and at our own pace.

When I think about it, I don’t really buy anything special for use only during trips.  We use sun clothing with UPF +50, but I also send them to school with it sometimes. Recently we have made trips without the child carrier or even a stroller, but there was a time when we used those too.

I often pick our destinations on a whim or based on a good ticket price. Next I read about the history of the place, which in Asia can span back thousands of years.

Searching out specific things to do is actually my last priority, and I think that when traveling in an uncertain place where real life happens, this is actually a strength.

I guess you could say that my first “essential” is to be relaxed. Do what needs to be done to keep your family safe and fed, but be prepared to take detours and enjoy the unexpected.

The second essential is like the first: be flexible. There will always be times when things don’t go as planned. Usually these are things that provide hilarious stories once you get home! Sure, it is frustrating in the moment when the double room turns out to be 2 twin beds instead of 2 queens, you are forced to share your “day train” seat with a goat, or you can’t stomach the regional specialty. But it is the shared experiences, the awkward and the enjoyable, that cause you to stretch and grow as an individual while bonding more closely as a family.

Lastly, lead by example in showing your family that learning and doing new things is what traveling is all about. I didn’t set out with a goal to eat a plate of deep-fried crickets, but I did it, and lived to tell the tale.

What I really want my kids to learn through travel is that you can find adventure in the everyday. It doesn’t have to be a theme park or other manufactured environment to be thrilling.

Life is happening and everyone does everyday things a little differently. That is the beauty of traveling with eyes wide open rather than scanning the pages of a guide.

About CanCan and

CanCan is the mother of two strapping young boys; Jojo (born 10/04) and Deeds (born 8/07). They have logged in lots of miles, traveling around the globe.

Since 2002, CanCan has flown between Asia and the USA fourteen times (and counting…).

Mom Most Traveled imparts the wisdom gained from experience on the road with my children. Read about my triumphs and mistakes, and be armed with information to have the best travel experience possible!

What kind of baby food can I buy in Laos? Are there disposable diapers in Thailand? Mom Most Traveled is continually adding more information about child-friendly activities at each destination, as well as available infant and child care items.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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