The entire foundation of Mini Jetsetter comes from the idea of trip prep and preparing your kiddos for travel. Learning about travel begins BEFORE you leave.
Give Kids the Joy of Anticipation
Think about the process of travel for you as an adult. The weeks and months leading up to a trip are one of the most enjoyable as you plan all the things you will see and do, daydream about your adventures, think about the memories you will make and also mentally prepare for all of the logistical challenges, items you need to pack, etc. Anticipation is a really powerful way of savoring positive experiences. So for kids, if we just tell them "we're going on a trip" without any preparation, that can be really scary. It also robs them of an important part of the travel process, which is the joy of anticipation! Kids get excited about things too. **One caveat to this is that kids have a different concept of time than us, so don't start preparing them 6 months before your trip. weeks before is a perfect runway for them to learn, get excited, and prepare.
Introduce "Trip Prep Play"
So traveling BEGINS with preparing your kids for what is going to happen, which includes learning about the way they will get there (airport, airplane, train, etc) AND the places they will be visiting.
This is why I encourage "Trip Prep Play" - a way to help illustrate the upcoming experience for kids through books, toys, and activities. It's all about exposure to what they will experience and finding ways to play that are related to those experiences.
The more they are exposed to something, the smoother that transition will be, and the more enjoyable the trip will be for EVERYONE involved. This works even for young toddlers!!
Take Them Through All the Steps
Walk your kids through what will happen at the airport and use books to explain each of the steps from check-in, security, boarding, take-off, and landing. You'll be surprised how familiar and your little ones will be when they experience these things in person! In this way, the scary and exhausting parts of travel with kids can become fun and educational parts of the travel journey. (Although let's be real ... they'll still be exhausting LOL).
Check out the list below for our favourite books and toys about airplanes, airports and traveling.👇
Reframe& Just Do It
Reframe what travel looks like now. Kids will be kids no matter where you go. Don't expect them to be any different from what they are. The trantrums, the potty accidents, picky eating, sleep regressions, messes and runny noses don't stop for vacation. (In fact, they may even be worse). But your alternative is staying home, doing nothing, and playing it safe. Travel with kids is not easy, but neither is parenting. So go make the most beautiful memories that will last a lifetime - nothing compares to the feeling of showing your kids the world.