Has it already been a week since WLW’s first event? AWW, we made it, WOO HOO!! I actually can’t quite believe that we managed to pull together “KIDS & TRAVEL, GO TOGETHER!” within less than a month. Being moms of young children, plus the fact that each of us have different schedules and running around other commitments, meant that we did not have the luxury of sitting down for solid, uninterrupted meetings. When Atiqah from FamilyTrippers chatted with Rasheda about her dreams of having a travel sharing session for other parents with young children – we thought, heyy.. why not, let’s just do it! In line with our mission to support women and their aspirations in remote work (and for Atiqah, a full-time working mom with 3 young kids), we decided to collaborate with her and expand on the original idea.
I must say, luck was on our side when we approached other speakers to join us in the event. Shazana and Mariam, who are wives of our college friends, were more than happy to share their campervan holiday adventures – and that’s when balls of ideas started rolling in: home-based businesses selling travel related products, topics revolving around safety aspects, demonstration by a certified babywearing educator and usage of essential oils. The list could probably go on, but we streamlined to what we felt was most crucial and would give the best essence when traveling with kids. It was a great honour to have the Founder from TaxiBaby Co sharing 3 simple steps to making travel with kids easier and safer, an experienced Flight Stewardess showing important first aid procedures, as well as a First Aid volunteer from People’s Association sharing tips and certifications. Even the vendors whom we approached were mostly excited to come on-board and were easy to work with (HalalBabySG, O.W.L, OhMyMats, SewQ, The Little Travellers and Sarah Bal-kiss). Within all the mad rush, we also got the buy-in from our wonderful supporters (Daisillia & Co and The Bambini SG), and won the hearts of our sponsors (Audanis Bakes, Soul Slings, Mintdrop SG and SewQ) who contributed generously to our event! Coincidentally, all of these businesses we dealt with are run by amazing lady bosses who work tirelessly and offer products with much dedication. Without all of these mentioned people, our event would not be as meaningful and informative as how we’ve been told it is.
Here’s a (halal) toast to our first event, which was also a great opportunity to formally introduce our team and soft launch Women’s Life Work (WLW)! To those who missed “KIDS & TRAVEL, GO TOGETHER”, fret not as we are here to share top 5 takeaways from all our amazing speakers that day –
(1) PLAN THOROUGHLY & BOOK EARLY
All parents want our holidays to be memorable & enriching for our kids. To do this, you must spend some time to research and include kid-friendly activities & sight-seeing places in your itinerary! You may also want to find out the best timings to catch the perfect scenery and check if there are alternatives. Avoid disappointment by pre-booking tickets to places of interest/entertainment and especially, popular campervan sites. This is one of the simplest way to create a positive experience for your family.
(2) SAVE LOCAL EMERGENCY NUMBERS & PACK FIRST AID KIT
As parents with young children, we need to travel with a peace of mind. Thus, do ensure that important phone numbers, medication & essential oils come in handy when unexpected situations arise. Getting yourself certified with basic first aid may help tremendously while waiting for professional help to come. Oh, do you know that you should NOT tap baby/child’s back when they are coughing out their choke? The tapping action may worsen it and push the item further down instead – so just let them cough it out!
(3) CHECK AIRLINE REQUIREMENTS & ALLOWANCES
Wherever you need to be, you would want to arrive early – especially when you have to be at the airport. Most airlines do give priority queue to families with young children & strollers, but you may need extra time to change/feed your babies, settle down the kids, stow your carry-ons, etc. Also, if you know beforehand what the flight’s requirements and limitations are, you won’t get any surprises when checking in or when getting everyone in their seats on the plane. Do you know that you may bring along & fix your child’s carseat on the plane? That’s awesome news, because it may ease you out a lot!
(4) MANAGE YOUR OWN EXPECTATIONS
It is important to remind ourselves that change is the only constant thing when it comes to kids! Or that when you finally arrive at the place of your dreams – it won’t be so for them. Keep calm & be flexible/realistic with your itinerary – it’s good to include buffer time, have a plan B, or distract your kids with their favourite toys/snacks/songs to help them feel composed and become more open to your requests.
(5) GET THE KIDS INVOLVED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Benjamin Franklin was quoted, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn” – even if it’s the smallest task (like looking out for signboards, navigating the map with you, packing their own toy bags), your kids need to feel that they are part of the big adventure. This way, you and your kids can build fond memories – and usually, the kids are the ones who remember all the small details, better than us adults!
And… that’s the final wrap up for “KIDS & CHAOS, GO TOGETHER!” – oops, I meant “KIDS & TRAVEL…..”, but I know you know what I mean 😉