Holidays are supposed to be the best time to unwind, but getting to your destination can sometimes feel anything but relaxing. Travelling with kids is especially hectic and to make sure no one loses their minds, you should prepare well for the journey ahead. Next time you are taking the kids on a holiday, prepare with the following advice in mind.
Set the timetable with plenty of extra time. With children, anything is possible and you will increase the likelihood of trouble by rushing things. Don’t worry about having extra time at the airport or preparing extra hours for the car ride. It’s much easier to fill the time with stuff to do, then to get your kids run across the platform to make the train.
Although making bookings ahead of your travel might not always be the cheapest route to take, it will pay off when you are travelling with kids. Being sure there’s a bed to sleep on, food to eat and tickets to enjoy the entertainment can prevent a lot of heartache.
When it comes to travelling, layering is the way to go with your clothing. Kids can get cold or hot depending on their mood and the weather. Ensure there’s an extra cardigan and a t-shirt underneath it all to ensure you can adjust the clothing. Layering also ensures you have something for those moments when the juice spills over.
Get the kids involved
Make the holiday and the journey more fun by involving kids with the planning and the entertainment. You can look at travel brochures together, get them to help you packing and picking out the snacks. Don’t give them free reign to choose whatever they want, but present them with good options and allow them to choose.
Furthermore, make the actual journey smoother by inspiring your kids to participate. Get them a journal where they can write stories or draw images of the things they are seeing and experiencing. Purchase disposable cameras and get them to take photos. These are perfect ways to keep the children busy and interested in the journey.
Avoid sweet treats
You might be tempted to pack up sugary sweets to keep the kids happy, but this isn’t a good idea. Sugar rush can cause more crying and arguments; you are better off with savoury snacks. Breadsticks, bagels, cheese and meats can keep the kids happy. For something sweet, you can take dried fruit.
Have an emergency kit
You should always have an emergency kit with you when travelling, but especially so when it comes to kids. The most important things to include in your kit are painkillers, antihistamine and plasters. Also, remember to have any specific medication the kids need, together with a doctor’s note to ensure you can get your hands on appropriate pills in case of an emergency.
Tag your children
Now it might sound horrible to imagine, but children can get lost in the crowd. There are a lot of things you need to keep an eye on and children can move about with such speed that it can be hard to keep up. Prepare for the situation by adding contact details to your child’s clothing or using a marker to write your mobile number on their arm. You can also purchase a child locator, which is a small unit the child wears and you can set an alarm on it in case the child wanders away.
Don’t forget the baby wipes
Whether you are travelling with toddlers or older children, a package of baby wipes is a must-have. You can wipe hands, clean toilet seats and other such things with the wipes, ensuring you don’t need to be a mess throughout the journey.
Entertain with games
Games are a good way to keep children busy. You should check out family games at Family Lives and memorise the rules for a few. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, download a few games that can be played in offline-mode and pack up an extra battery to ensure you don’t run out of steam. Don’t feel bad about the kids staring at an app during travel. Explain how it’s a special occasion and get back to limiting game time afterwards. Having the child watch videos or play games on a single device is much easier than carrying a ton of toys, crayons and board games with you during travel.
With the above tips, you can make travelling with children a bit less painful. Remember to get a good sleep before the trip and count to ten if things start going wrong. The calmer you stay, the positive the kids will be during the trip!