A Family Affair

Travelling with Kids: Braving the Tantrum Tempest

Bringing your children out for a trip can be a challenging experience. There may be outbursts, temper tantrums and arguments. To save your sanity and salvage your family holiday, we’ve talked to some parents and found out some tips and tricks to help when travelling with the little ones.

Before you’re even out the door

No matter how short the trip, packing supplies for your child is essential. As you pick what you want to bring, think of your bag as a magical one filled with everything you need to curb every possible situation. While it’s not possible to pack for every situation, it’ll help you start thinking of which ones are likely to happen.

If you’re going on a trip that involves a plane flight, be sure to get well-acquainted with luggage weight limits and dimensions. Check with your airline about how much baby formula, baby food, and breast milk are allowed so you don’t have to waste and you can also plan ahead. Don’t forget to also check if about car seats, cribs and, strollers.

As mentioned before your magic bag should be the backpack you have easy access to at all times. This bag should include all the essentials like snacks, water, entertainment such as picture books and favourite toys and, tissues (you can never have enough) as well as the important items like passports, tickets, itineraries. You should also always remember to bring basic medical supplies like plasters, salves and balms as well as prescription medicine. You may also want to bring extras such as extra pairs of clothes and toiletries in case of emergencies.


Involve your kids in the packing process if they’re of a suitable age. Tell them what you pack and why, and ask them if they’d like to help. Let them pack for themselves (making sure you bring all their essentials). It’s a valuable skill that they’ll appreciate knowing in the future.

Before you go on your trip, you might also like to research places that are would be fun for your little one to experience. A good example would be DIY restaurants like Slappy Cakes where you can make your own pancakes. Restaurants with their own playarea are also very good options to consider.

Out the door and away we go

Everything has hopefully been packed and it’s time to go. This is the period where you will have to monitor your child as closely as possible. Your child is like a finely tuned puzzle, where anything might upset them and lead to a lot of tears and frustration for both parties.

There are several factors for why your child might throw a tantrum or get upset, more so when travelling. First off, make sure you know what pushes your child’s buttons. Some children have more tantrums than others and all children react differently.

Some of the common causes of tantrums are when your child is tired, hungry, uncomfortable, or not getting what they want. There are several ways to go about handling this.

Firstly, try to plan out ample naptime for your kids because tired kids are not going to be easy to handle. If anything, try to have naptime with them! Well-rested travellers are the best kind of travellers.

Always make sure that your kids are comfortable while travelling. Whether in a car seat or hotel room, make sure nothing is causing them any discomfort; it could be as small as a scratchy clothes tag, or a cramped back seat.

Now it’s time to pull out your magic bag. If your child is hungry, there’s a fair chance they’re also cranky. Get convenient snack packs for times like this to make sure they’ve got something to munch on and ensure they’re always hydrated.


What if they’re fed, comfortable and rested but are still making a screaming scene? Young kids haven’t yet learned how to deal with situations where their emotions take over. This is a good time to start teaching them how.

Never raise your voice or your hand, that just adds fuel to the fire. You must remain calm or at least pretend to. This kind of full-blown tantrum usually stems from them either not wanting to do something or being refused something.

Here’s the hard part, parents. Do not give in. Giving in means your child learns that they only need to scream and shout to get what they want. A calm head is required to get past it as painlessly as possible.

Usually there are two major parts of the tantrum you need to focus on. If you see it about to start, whip out that bag and try to distract them with their favourite toy or picture book. The second is when it is in full swing and nothing you do seems to help. Don’t panic; never let your child think that throwing the tantrum will get your full attention. Bring them to a quiet and if possible, secluded area and wait for the tantrum to blow over.

Another thing you need to remember is to constantly reward good behavior and give your children plenty of positive attention. This can be as easy as giving lots of hugs as well as letting them know when they’ve done a good job. Children are much more intense emotionally and they may not know how to control how they feel. By giving them validation that they are doing well, you let them know they are in a positive environment.


After the trip

Each tantrum should be treated like a learning experience. By handling everything calmly, your kids will hopefully understand that they too should act the same.

After each trip, you can ask your children what part they enjoyed the most. This helps them adopt the mindset that each new holiday is another adventure to be had.

Tantrums may be a dreaded part of parenthood but keep calm, stay positive, and they may just become fruitful lessons for both you and your children.

Wondering where to bring your kids to keep them occupied?


Here are some examples of places to bring your kids that may interest them enough to forget why they were throwing a tantrum in the first place!

Wild Africa, Singapore Zoo
80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826 (Map)

See lions basking in the sun, Singapore Zoo’s first giraffe calf in 28 years, and many more animals that live in the grassy plains of Africa, right in Singapore! Your kids will be in awe and you might be too!

47 Malan Rd, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109444 (Map)

Visit Playeum and have lots of family fun with your little ones as you create, play and, imagine! From inventing to dancing, there is no doubt that you will have a most artistic family day out.

Wings of Time
Beach View, Singapore 098604 (Map)

If there’s one thing that can grab a child’s attention, it’s a light show. At Sentosa, their famous Wings of Time tells a story of two children and a pre-historic, bird-like creature. Between the stunning water displays, lasers, pyrotechnics and more, you and your children won’t be able to tear your eyes away.


Get more tips straight from our #SingaporeJunior web series here!

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