Temperament and Travel: Advice for Travel with the Cautious Child

travel with cautious child

Planning a vacation with a “cautious child”? She may take a while to come out of her shell…but these tips should help.

Today we continue the “Temperament and Travel” series, featuring bi-weekly advice for traveling with children of each and every temperament. In case you missed them, the previous posts in this series offer advice for Travel with a High-Energy Child.and Travel with a Low-Energy Child, and the previous post with Advice for Travel with the Eager Child. Today we look at her counterpart, The Cautious Child.

Approach to New Things: Eager vs. Cautious

Eager – Does he rush into new places, ready to explore, find the best toys, and make new friends? To see what snacks might be available? Is he happy to try a new food or wear a new jacket?

Cautious – Is he slow to warm up to new people and surroundings? Is he hesitant to talk with strangers and new acquaintances, turning away from them and in toward you? Does he prefer tried and true toys and clothes, and the same favorite book

Advice for Travel with the Cautious Child

Whenever possible, seat yourself between your child and strangers or people she is not familiar with, even if they are relatives you yourself have known since birth or your child has met before.

Family reunions can especially overwhelm this child, where many people may expect hugs and kisses, as well as holding privileges.

Remember that you are your child’s advocate, and be ready and willing to politely say no to people on her behalf. Practice saying phrases like, “Now’s not a good time—maybe later,” and “She’s a little shy, just give her some time.”

She may prefer to observe other children playing in the splash pool or on the playground from a safe distance before joining in, or need your company while she gets familiar with the new children and supervisors at a kids’ camp type program at the resort or on your cruise ship.

Understand that in all likelihood, you may be your “cautious” child’s playmate for the duration of your trip, so plan activities you can both enjoy together (this may actually work in your favor!).

Your child is not just slow to warm up to new people, but also to other novelties including new places and foods. Pack along some favorite snacks from home to help while she adjusts to new cuisine, or be prepared to do some of your own cooking.

Single-destination vacations are favorable, where he can become familiar with the new surroundings, routines, and any additional people–including possible new playmates at the pool or kids’ club, family friends or relatives, or caregivers–before the vacation ends! 😉

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More tips and advice are on the way! For help for planning travel of every kind–with babies and children of every temperament–in Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Travel with Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler.

Read More from the Temperament and Travel Series:

Advice for Travel with a High-Energy Child

Advice for Travel with a Low-Energy Child

Advice for Travel with the Eager Child

Advice for Travel with the Cautious Child

Advice for Travel with the Very Regular Child

Advice for Travel with the Unpredictable Child

Advice for Travel with the Fast-Adapting Child

Advice for Travel with the Slow-Adapting Child

Advice for Travel with the Intense Child

Advice for Travel with the Mellow Child

Advice for Travel with the Highly Sensitive Child

Advice for Travel with the Low-Sensitivity Child

Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby guidebooks

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