Many parents dread travelling with children and opt to plan a mini getaway and leave them with in home child care. It is easy to understand why. But for those sticking it out and planning a big family vacation, what should a parent do when travelling with their children? Is it even possible to have a relaxing and enjoyable trip with your kids nagging and worrying you with their curious wandering minds?
Sure it is! And here are a few tips that can help to make travelling with your children a smooth and easy experience:
Give Them Options
It is important to have a bag of tricks which is a number one rule. Plenty of work goes into the preparation but it is surely worth it on the long journeys.
Get age-appropriate toys and different activities but the secret here is to give it to them one by one. Giving them everything at once gets it over and done with fast. Give them one thing at a time and let them lay with that then bring something else out once they are finished with that.
- Animals and dinosaur figurines
- A wallet filled with items fun to pull out like feathers, stickers and homemade credit cards
- Stickers and paper, it can take little ones plenty of time to fiddle with stickers and try to stick them on.
- A mini set of toy cars to share between siblings or the whole family for a race
- Playdough or clay and a little tray to keep it contained
- Books. Buy some second-hand books your kids have not read before
- Pack of cards like snap or memory and a small tray so everyone can have a turn
- Audiobooks with headphones are a good option too
- iPads work wonders but use these as a last resort, they’re on vacation to enjoy the scenery
Stock Up On Easy Snacks
If your children are hungry, they are going to be grumpy. Kids love to snack and are always looking for a treat here and there. Keep some low in sugar snacks that are pre-cut and portioned so they can be dispensed easily. Keep in mind that if you are travelling internationally or out of the state you might need to dispose of food that is uneaten or already cut.
Good ideas to use:
- cheese and crackers
- mini muffins
- bliss balls
- muesli bar
- veggie sticks
- cherry tomatoes and grapes
- sliced fruit
Be Prepared For Anything
Pack a change of clothes for each child and the parents also. One of the children may have car sickness and then a change of clothes can come in handy. Take some bags so you can wrap them up and eliminate bad smells. Ensure you have Panadol on hand if you are travelling a long way or if the little one has an ear infection or cold these can flare up at the last minute and it can be the worst travel time ever if you don’t have pain relief.
It may be good to keep motion sickness tablets on hand as well for those not used to flights and cruises and be sure to check for the right amount for children and adults to avoid any other unexpected complications.
Keep It Flexible
Give yourself plenty of time and don’t go rushing around. If you get to the airport early there is always an area for kids where they can play and burn off some steam before heading off. When you are driving to your destination allow plenty of time to make regular stops for babies that need feeding and changing and older kids who are sick of sitting around and need to run around and parents can stretch their legs.
If your kids sleep well at night, then consider travelling at night so most of the travel time is spent sleeping. For those with a dedicated full-time nanny, it may even be worth it to consider bringing them on the trip to make it easier and treat your extended family member at the same time!
Follow these few tips to ensure you have a more pleasant trip when it comes to travelling with the whole family.