Travelling with the Kids this Holiday Season? Keep Everyone Happy with Tips for a Stress-Free Time
Busy airports, traffic jams and bad weather sometimes characterises travel during the ‘silly season’. When you’ve got the kids in tow, small issues can blow out of proportion, leading to tantrums, mishaps and serious delays.
While times ‘on the road’ are inevitably fraught with unforeseen obstacles, a little bit of planning goes a long way towards being stress-free. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you out this holiday season.
Make Sure You Book Ahead
It’s fun to be spontaneous on holiday, but not when it comes to accommodation, food and facilities for children. Booking ahead ensures you get everything you need, to save the frustration of searching for it when you arrive. Family-friendly hotels have cots, babysitting services, playgrounds, access to medical services and children’s menus, to make your holiday as easy as possible.
If you want to go to popular attractions, it also pays to book ahead. You’ll avoid those long, tantrum-inducing queues, plus you’ll save money, as online prices are often heavily discounted.
Get the Packing Right
Packing for the whole family can be a nightmare, so simplify it as much as possible. If they’re old enough, it makes sense for each child to have their own bag or backpack, with favourite toys, games and books to entertain them, plus snacks and drink bottles. That bag will be your lifesaver, on long plain or train trips.
For larger luggage with clothes and toiletries, consider separating each person’s items with cloth or plastic bags. This way, your suitcases will stay much tidier and you won’t spend an inordinate amount of time rummaging through them.
Most importantly, depending on where you’re going, don’t forget to take common medicines from home. They could include antiseptic wipes, band aids, mosquito repellent, hand sanitizer or children’s paracetamol. When you have it all with you, midnight mishaps are so much easier to deal with.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
There’s nothing like being late for a plain, bus or train, to start your trip off with a huge dose of stress. The thing is, the time pressures of travel are lost on the little ones. There’re a million toilet stops, exploring every nook and cranny, getting lost and random hunger attacks that take precedence over the estimated departure time. Always arrive with plenty of time to spare, for transport throughout your trip.
Make Sure Everyone is Occupied
If everyone’s immersed in the travel experience, you reduce the risk of anyone storming off in a sulk. Give little kids a camera and the excitement will last for hours. Ask teenagers what they’d like to see and do, as involving them in the decision making will add to their enthusiasm. Have everyone collect a postcard or fridge magnet from each place, so there’s always a goal and make sure time is set aside for the kids to simply run around, at a park, beach or local attraction.
Above all, stay calm, flexible and remember you’re all there to enjoy yourselves! Don’t let stress get in the way of a wonderful family holiday.