I’m a certified traveler. During my single days, I used to travel with my family and friends. We always look for a long weekend and search for the promos that airlines and hotels offer. We even joined the travel expo and book instantly pag may nakita kaming okay like what we did for our 4th wedding anniversary, when we booked one room at Thunderbird Resort – Poro Point.
Before we got married, Ian and I traveled a lot. Name it and for sure napuntahan na namin yung place na yun, from Philippines (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) to Asian Countries, natawag pa nga kaming “Kaladkaring Mag Jowa” kasi pag may nag aya sa amin and if budget permitted gora kami. But everything has changed when I got pregnant with our first child, syempre we need to set our priorities before our wants. The last time we travel together was our Davao Trip with Ian’s officemate before we found out that I’m pregnant, so imagine that was 4 years ago. The first time we travel with baby on tow was during our Boracay trip last March 2015 and I was 4 months pregnant with Rhaine that time. It is one of the most challenging trips I ever had because Rhian was only 1 year and 3 months then buntis pa ko, we don’t have any yaya that time so imagine lahat ng gamit namin na halos pang 1 linggo si Ian ang nagdadala then I have no choice but to carry ChingChing all the time, medyo takot pa kasi sya maglakad sa buhangin nun eh.
Fast forward, we had our recent trip at La Union for our wedding anniversary celebration. This time we have 2 kids in tow kaya mas lalong challenging for us knowing that we need to travel for almost 7 hours just to reach our destination. Ang hirap kayang mapag stay and relax ang 2 bagets sa loob ng sasakyan ng hindi naiinip, so I told my husband that it is easier to drive than to be passenger with a kids. Promise ang hirap, but I enjoyed it and I survived!
The moment when your 2 daughters want to hug and be with you throughout the trip.
Ganito kami palagi pag umaalis. #Priceless
Here are some tips, practical advice and check list for parents who will travel with children in tow, this is based on my own experience ha and if you want to add more just let me know para ma take note ko sya on our next travel.
Plan your trip / destination
If you’re planning to go out of town with the kids, make sure that your destination is child-friendly, meaning not only the adult who will enjoy the trip but also the kids as well. Let’s say you are planning to go hiking with your 2 year-old child or with your baby, how do they enjoy it kung mapapagod lang sila kakalakad at kakaakyat ng bundok and for sure mas mapapagod ka dahil magpapabuhat na sila sayo pag pagod na sila. So please, think at least 10x on your travel destination, book a place/ hotels that are suitable for your family needs and mag eenjoy ang mga kids, try booking at Traveloka as they offer cheaper and competitive price for flights and hotels.
Bring lots of Clothes
I know it sounds crazy but this is a MUST! You will never anticipate what will happen during your vacation especially you have kids na super likot and kulit. I brought at least 12 pairs of clothes each for Rhian and Rhaine for 3days/2 nights vacation, kaya nga minsan nasasabihan ako ni Ian na parang isang lingo kami magbabakasyon, but I told him na it’s better na sobra kesa kulangin kami. I want my children to be comfortable and presentable whenever we’re away from home, kaya ganon karami ang dinadala kong damit sa kanila, wala pa dyan yung pang swimming nila ha. I also bring a small bag or what I called “Carry-On Bag” where I put extra clothes, diapers, baby wipes, powder, alcohol and bib. It is much easier to grab it than through the big luggage.Right?
Bring on the snacks. Whenever we go out on weekend, we make sure to bring as much food that can fit in the bag. Mahirap kasing magutom ang mga bagets pag umaalis kami so what more pa if we travel on the road or via plane, I make sure I prepared lots of portable snacks and drinks for my kiddos. I brought sandwiches, biscuits, juices and even chocolates para may energy booster kami kahit papano. I allow my panganay to eat chocolates pero tikim lang, I don’t want kasi na masira agad teeth nya kaya very small amount lang sya. Well, eating gives you something to do especially for long trips.
Diapers, Endless Wipes, Hand Sanitizer & Plastic Bag
Bring twice as many diapers as you could possibly need, this is only applicable if your child is still wearing them. This is in case of emergencies or delays. Bring also disposable bags for storing of soiled diapers, paper towels for the spills for easy cleanups as babies and toddlers always spit up and hand sanitizers to cleanse your hands after eating.
Accessories for Entertainment
During our recent trip, it’s so hard for us to keep the kids on still. Andyan yung tatayo sila, tatalon, paikot ikot sa loob ng sasakyan, iyakan mode, etc. I already visualized this even before our trip, kasi I know my children, hindi sila matatahimik sa isang lugar not unless they are sleepy. This is one of the most challenging parts for me, syempre ako kasi ang nasa likod, so I beat their boredom by few amusing games like pitik-bulag, bato-bato pick and telling them endless stories. I also bring their favorite toys to distract a bored toddler and cranky baby. I also put them on the window side so they can see the view and enjoy the scenery while on the road. We also bring the Ipad pero hindi ko pinapagamit while on the road, masisira kasi mata nila eh, kaya we just use it pag may free time.
Bring their favorite stuff
Rhian can’t sleep without her favorite pillow while Rhaine can sleep well if she hugs her favorite bolster. So we always brought their own pillows para kahit na wala kami sa bahay, they can sleep well.
Although hotels provide basic toiletries, it is advisable to bring your kids own toiletries. Baka kasi mamaya matapang masyado yung soap or shampoo and hindi hiyang sa mga bata, baka ma allergy pa sila. Whenever we stay at the hotel for staycation or for a short vacation, I have a small plastic container where I put all my kids toiletries, (shampoo, perfume, bath soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, powder, baby oil, lotion and hair brush), para mas mas organized I separate their things to us. Yes, we also bring our own toiletries kahit na staycation lang kami.
Double your milk supply
This is only applicable if you’re not breastfeeding. If you breastfed your baby then good for you at least less na ang bitbitin nyo. Since I have two kids in tow, they have different milk kaya hindi pwedeng magkapalit and maubusan ng gatas. I remember one time during our Boracay trip, nagkulang ang dala kong gatas ni Rhian as in 1 timplahan nalang sya and our flight was delayed that time so super worried ako dahil baka mag tantrums si Rhian during the flight, thank God at may reserve akong mga biscuit and food for her. Lesson learned! So every time we have staycation or trip, I make sure to bring the whole box of milk for them, mahirap nang maubusan. I also bring our own sterilizer, yung pang travel lang so we don’t need to bring the sterilizer that we are using sa bahay. I make sure that even though we are on vacation, the bottles and nipples that my kids are using are clean and sterilized.
By the way, before I forgot don’t forget to take lots of photos of your trip and printed it out para pag laki ng mga anak nyo, makikita nila yung mga memories nyo together. I have more than 30 photobooks of our memories, so if you want to get your own photobook, just go to www.photobookphilippines.com.