Whether you are off on a road trip or are going to be boarding a flight or a boat, travelling with children can be a bit of an ordeal. Waiting around, sitting down in confined spaces for long periods of time and having to be relatively quiet so as not to annoy other travellers do not feature high on a childs list of fun things to do.
Here are some tips to help you get through the journey so that you can get there in one piece, relatively unfrazzled, and enjoy your holiday.
1.Research your particular mode of transport
Make sure you know what allowance you have so that you can determine whether you can take a buggy, how many bags you are allowed, what weights and so on. Each mode of transport differs greatly and each carrier has different rules too. You don’t want to get caught short and face additional charges.
2.Pack each child a surprise travel bag
Packing each child a travel bag is a great way to keep them entertained and excited about the journey. Keep it a surprise for the big day for maximum impact.
Colouring books, favourite items of treat food, drinks (if you aren’t flying) and so on will keep them entertained and they’ll love pulling bits and bobs out of the bag and seeing what they have got.
3.Check in early
Avoid having to run through the airport like crazy people and starting the holiday off negatively and get to the airport early. You can get checked in and have some fun in departures, have some food, mooch around the shops, let your kids choose a new magazine or book for the journey and everyone will be chilled and ready to go.
4.Pick flights at good times
If at all possible try to choose flights/boats/car journeys at times that fit in with the kids body clocks. If they need a nap then think about the logisitics of it all, its always nicer for them and for you if they sleep in transit; the journey will whizz by much faster for them and you’ll get some peace and quiet yourself.
5.Snack, snacks and more snacks!
Ok so encouraging our kids to snack is not what we are all about, but when your are on a journey it can keep them entertained during those lulls, if its not meal times and blood sugar levels are running low it can be a good pick me and up, plus its a nice holiday treat for your children. Pick healthier snacks if you can that won’t send your child into a sugar fuelled lunatic on a 12 hour flight, dried fruit and healthier snack bars are always good.
6.Take the trusty tablet
Ok so we all began our parenting journey with good intetnions of no TV or screen time, but, well, yeah……pack your tablet! When all else fails, a movie can ease tensions and give the kids some much needed chill time (and appease all of your fellow travellers who don’t want to listen to your children’s screaming!)
7.Dress to be comfy
Don’t put them in their best dresses or jeans, go comfy, joggers or shorts if its hot that are loose and comfortable for trying to sleep in awkward positions. We all know how uncomfortable travelling is so don’t add to this discomfort. Make sure you have layers that can be popped on and off easily as temperatures fluctuate.
8.Don’t stress, take it slow
Try to remain as chilled as your can even if things are getting stressy. Children pick up on their parents vibes and so if you are cool, calm and collected they are far more likely to be as well. However dire or good the journey, you will get there, it will be over at some point!
9.Research your destination
Its a good idea to familarise yourself with your destination before you head off. Some countries aren’t massively breastfeeding friendly (ridiculous yes, but best to know before you go) and some resorts or hotels might not be great for children or buggies. Don’t get caught short before you arrive, know what you are heading for so that you can plan accordingly.
10.Explain the journey
And lastly – explain the journey to your little ones so that they know what to expect, its always better to keep them in the loop and manage their expectations as you travel. Let them know how far your’ve come and what’s left to go and try and keep things upbeat and exciting, pointing out all of the new things around them as you journey.
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