Asian mom and son high-fiving in the airport.

An old study reveals that kids exposed to travel early do better in school and are more inclined to attend college. They’re more respectful, more tolerant, and more eager to try new things. It's all terrific, but what the researchers don't mention is that behind all the fun, family travel can also cause a lot of stress for both kids and parents. Especially parents.

With family, travel can be both rewarding and back-breaking. The new environment, the jam-packed itinerary, and maybe the (if you’re going somewhere outside Southeast Asia) could put a strain on anyone. So why do people do it? Because there’s a way to get around the exhaustion that makes the perks worth it: proper and meticulous preparation.

1. Tell Your Kids About the Upcoming Trip

Condition your kids about the trip at least two weeks before. Explain your itinerary and list your expectations. Get them excited but also prepared that they’re going to be walking more than usual, eating a bit faster, and doing a lot of waiting. If you have a toddler, show them a book about airports, buses, or road trips. Helping them understand what’s happening will reduce any potential whining.

2. Definitely Overprepare

The weather can be unpredictable, so you need to be ready for extreme heat or storm clouds. One tip is to dress in layers so you can remove or add articles of clothing depending on the situation. Also, bring lightweight raincoats and umbrellas in case of sudden downpours.

Not every mom needs to pack their entire house in their luggage. If your child is picky or has other sensitivities, you’d do well to stock up on snacks they enjoy or things that would make them comfortable. More flexible tots might be able to adapt better with fewer travel crutches.

Here are some other essential things you can pack for traveling:

  • Basic medicines and first aid, particularly allergy meds, fever reducers, and bandages
  • Spare clothes – for sweat, mess, and more
  • Wipes and tissues

3. Don’t Overpack

If your itinerary entails younger kids and constant movement, you might fall into the trap of overpacking. However, bringing seven suitcases and toting around a couple of toddlers do not make for relaxing family travel.

Be thorough in your research. Does your destination have a stroller or car seat rental? Does the grocery store carry your child’s diaper brand or favorite snacks? Find out which items are readily available, so you don’t need to lug around unnecessary weight. Especially since your toddlers are going to ask you to carry them eventually. You’re going to bring so many other things that you might as well know which ones to leave behind.

That said, again, be conscious of your child’s sensitivities.

4. Stay Mess-Free

Bid slime and kinetic sand goodbye. Messes mean stress. Bringing toys to occupy your kids during a road trip or a is a . Be smart about the activities you prepare. You don’t want to crawl all over the plane, looking for crayons or blocks. Mess-free coloring sheets, compact toy systems, and busy books are available in major toy shops.

5. Expect Messes Anyway

From wee-wee accidents to melted ice cream, your clean-up game must be strong. Bring extra wipes, burp cloths, tissues, and spare clothes everywhere. Pack good sanitizers and soap, too. Lifebuoy Antibacterial Soap Total 10 can help protect your family wherever you are. It’s formulated with Activ Silver+, a germ-fighting ingredient that makes you confident everyone is safe and clean. It's one less thing to worry about during your travel.

6. Plan Your Travel Time

Are you going on a long voyage? Schedule long-haul flights or lengthy road trips in the evening – ideally during bedtime. This way, your kids will be asleep during a significant portion of the transit, giving you time to relax, pull yourself together, and start your trip on a good note.

7. Make Things Easy for Yourself

As much as you anticipate those gorgeous mother-child OOTDs for the ‘Gram, put convenience at the forefront, especially if you’re not traveling with extra help. Opt for sneakers without laces or clothes with zippers instead of buttons for hassle-free dressing. Think Velcro, snap buttons, slip-ons, and pull-up diapers. Unless the weather calls for it, skip hats or other accessories because you might end up picking things up all day. Don't forget, you should also , too.

Family and you’ll be creating more memories than your IG reel can handle. But don’t let the stress overshadow the fun. Follow these tips and hey, remember to enjoy yourself, too, Mom! You got this!