Travelling with the kids can be very stressful! But whether you’re trying to soothe a crying baby or cranky toddler on a plane or you’re road tripping with a couple of bickering kids in the back seat, there are a few things to bear in mind to make the family vacation more conducive to relaxation and fun.
Prepare the kids
It’s really important that your child knows what’s in store for them on the trip ahead – especially if they’re adverse to change, a bit fidgety or are about to take a flight for the first time. Some can become upset by a change to their surroundings, so make sure they’re prepared for the fact that they’ll be expected to sit quietly for a long period of time.
If you’re going by plane, you may also need to prepare them for what’s going to happen at airport security – perhaps play to their imagination and turn it into a game for them – but bear in mind that you should all treat it with respect, too. Letting them pack their own little suitcase can also be a way of engaging them in the process and helping them understand and get excited about going somewhere different. Prepare for your adventures with your kids by getting all the travel gear and distractions to keep your kids entertained while traveling.
Go with their schedule
This point is especially important for younger ones: when making your travel plans, remember to plan around your children’s sleeping and eating schedules. Coordinating nap times with flying times or overnight flights can mean the difference between an awful journey and a peaceful one. Packing enough tasty and nutritious food and drink for the kids is also a key factor, especially if your child is a picky eater. You never know when there are going to be delays or long periods without access to refreshments.
Pack toys or travel games
Quiet toys, games, books and coloring books can be a godsend on a long journey. They’re engrossing and mentally stimulating and you may even find something that could complement their travel experience, incorporating their journey into a story or a game. Family games like ‘eye spy’ can also be a nice way of engaging the whole family in a fun activity – if you’ve got enough energy!
Break some rules
If you have strict rules about, say, video games or junk food, consider bending them a little to make the holiday journey feel like a real treat and not a chore (although be careful not to let them eat food that’s going to send them into overdrive, of course). Allowing your kids to eat their favorite food can also be a great help when they’re faced with scary and unfamiliar food choices.
Get appropriate travel insurance
If nothing else, you’ll have peace of mind. Travelling without insurance can put you and your whole family in danger, particularly if you are involved in an accident and require medical treatment. Comparison tools will search hundreds of policies from a wide range of insurers, so get on there to find the best deal going.