The long summer holiday or yuletide season is an ideal time to take the kids on a trip – be it via road or air. Travelling with kids can sound like loads of fun but believe me it can also be exhausting, stressful and frustrating depending on the ages of your children. To be honest, the best advice that comes to mind when travelling with kids is avoid it as much as possible till they turn five (5) years old. This might not be realistic. So how do you stay sane while on the road or flight with your children?
Here are a few tips to make the trip a little more bearable:
#1 Plan the trip to accommodate the little ones
When travelling with children, specifically plan the trip taking into consideration your children. For road trips plan more time than normal to accommodate frequent stops and need for restaurant breaks. If by air, use kids friendly airline, ensure minimal stop over times, use direct flights and fly at night as much as possible.
#2 Go loaded with activities, books, toys, etc
Take as many items as possible that can keep the kids entertained – Lego, colour books, crayons, toys, puzzles, tablets, kindle, etc. Whatever you can think of, take it. Make sure it’s in your hand luggage and easily accessible. The whole point of this is that it shortens the journey for them. You could have them read a story and write a summary of it or even ask them to write down everything that fascinate them as they spot each and promise a reward.
#3 Double pack on snacks and food
Road trips can be unpredictable – an hour trip can easily become a 4-hour trip. The worst thing not to have is food. Long road trips or flights can leave kids feeling cranky and hungry. Hungry children are a nightmare. Most children don’t like the airline menu. When packing snacks, plan for delays – it’s always better to overpack than to run out. Consider snacks that don’t need refrigerating and that can still be edible after squishing. Finally, make sure the snacks are those the kids like, this is not a time to try out new snacks.
#4 Be prepared – pack the “extra”
Your motto on any family trip should be “Be Prepared” Plan for everything. So, make sure you pack extra outfits for unforeseen circumstances and kids medicines in case of fever, tummy ache, cold, cough and headache.
And most importantly get travel insurance. You will be shocked how expensive a visit to the doctors can be in another country. If you don’t want to spend all your holiday money on medical bill, go with your travel insurance.
#5 Forget about screen time.
Even if television is a no-go area at home, you would have to soft-pedal on this rule. For anyone travelling with kids, screens are a life saver. Ensure tablets, kindles are fully charged and armed with offline apps, movies, books and headphones before leaving home. Maximise usage of the on-flight entertainment– they are usually loaded with movies, games and a lot of their regular TV shows.
#6 Avoid dehydration
You don’t want to joke with this honestly as you need to make provision for water. You might be considering the fact that if you allow them take excess water then you would probably have to deal with regular trips to the toilet. Lol but don’t forget this, experts warn that dehydration is common in children on a long plane flight or journey. So, in any case, if you’re travelling on a plane, you’ve already got dehydration issues because of the dry air. As a way out of this, make provision for water and let your kids sip as much as they want.
#7 Make travel IDs
My son has gotten lost at the airport. The same thing has happened to my sister and several people I know. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare to be separated from their child at the airport or in a foreign land. Make a travel card – a simple laminated card with information such as your mobile phone number and other relevant information if your child goes missing – and place it in your little one’s pocket and bags. You can even make ID bracelets to keep the essential information on the child.
#8 Don’t be shy – ask for help
It’s always better to travel with your partner or help. But in case you are travelling solo, don’t be shy to ask for help at the airport especially all the additional luggage. Total strangers are usually happy to help you fold up a buggy or lift a bag, carry a car seat, hold a baby, etc. You might get the occasional refusal, but most people do help out.”
On a final note – while holidays are wonderful time to bond with family and create wonderful memories, remember you are travelling with kids. Do scale down on your itinerary. Don’t plan activities every single day. Leave days in between busy ones for relaxing and down time.
Click share button below to share with parents in your network , you might be helping someone .