Travelling With Kids? You’ll Need These 8 Tips!
Travelling. With. Children. Three words strong enough to strike fear into the hearts of the strongest of parents. People always like to give you a look when you say you’re going to get on an aeroplane with children, but here’s the thing: you cannot leave your children behind when you travel. You just can’t. It doesn’t matter how old they are; children get so much out of going to new places as much as you do. Not taking them with you because you think they won’t remember is like saying you won’t read them books because they won’t remember that, either. It just doesn’t make sense. So, travelling with children is going to happen, and you’ve got to be prepared for it.
You – like most other parents – may find that your experience travelling with children is better than you imagined. If you think that you find new places wondrous, imagine how your children feel? They’re going to feel filled with awe, wonder, be eager to learn and experience new things. And you get to do it too, with them, through them, and together as a family. Still, while all this is lovely, you have also to remember that children are a little unpredictable at times and you need to be able to balance their shifting emotions and moods without wanting to jump back on the plane home again! So, below, you’ll find our very best tips to survive a holiday as a family.
Where To Go?
As a family – if the kids are old enough, of course – sit down together and decide where to go. You, the parents, will have an idea of precisely what you want and where you want to see, but you do need to think about the children, too. It may be helpful to trek the hills in Jakarta, but are the children going to want to do that? Probably not. The beach, though? Oh, yes.
Plan Your Trip Within A Trip
You’ve got to your destination, and you’ve got some daily trips planned. The key to the happiest holiday for all of you is in the careful daily planning that you do. Three things will cause meltdowns and upset for kids, and those three are their exhaustion levels, if they’re bored and if they’re hungry. Try to keep up with the usual meal times and sleeping times on holiday as you would at home, and you’ll be able to solve the problems as they come. For the hunger, always keep snacks in your bag so that you can grab them as you need them – “always be prepared” wasn’t just for the scouts!
More Time, Fewer Places
You could be in a hurry to rush around and pack everything in while you’re away, but it’s not the best idea. Slowing down can make the entire trip more enjoyable, and you get to take more in while you do so. Plan for a slow pace, and keep everyone informed of the plan of the day so that you can keep everyone abreast of the situation for the day.
It may be tempting to pack morning outfits and evening outfits, spare sets plus pyjamas, swimwear and more, but it’s not a smart thing to do. Not only do you have to meet the weights for the airport luggage scale, but you are also going to have to carry all these clothes around. Instead, choose enough clothing for the whole trip, and find somewhere to rent with a washer and dryer. This way, you can wash as you go!
Speaking of finding somewhere to rent, wherever you do decide to go, make sure you’re choosing cheap accommodation. Your family budget every day needs to go to experiences and food rather than being spent on a rental. So, plan that WAY in advance, get a cheap deal, and you’ll also end up with the washer and dryer you need for the luggage!
It can be so tempting to dive into the authentic experience in the hustle and bustle of a busy city, but when you have kids with you, make it easy on yourself. Make sure you’re within walking distance of a park or a swimming pool and ensure you’re on the right side of the town for attractions, too. If you do decide to stay in an apartment or hotel, make sure that you get a lift to get you to the floor with the luggage and the pushchair!
Fly, Fly Away
Despite what people may say, flying with kids isn’t all that bad. Choose your flight time wisely, and you can ensure that you stick to your usual daily routines. When you take off with younger children, have breast or bottle ready for taking off and landing. Older children often need a lollipop or something to suck while the plane adjusts. Give the kids a snack before landing and make sure everyone has used a bathroom; there is nothing fun about an hour in customs with hungry kids who need to pee!
Being On The Road
If you have a hire car while you’re on the road with the kids, it could be everything that you need to enjoy your trip. You can enjoy a place to store your stuff while you travel, and it can be more enjoyable for the whole family to road trip around a country and see new sights every day than stay in one place. You can stop where you need to, slow down where you need to, nap when you need to – the kids more than you! – and it makes for an all-around better experience when children are involved.
Travelling with children is going to be an experience for everyone, and while you will have your stressful moments, you’ll also have a holiday full of memories that you will remember forever. Children can MAKE a holiday rather than break it, and you can ensure that you give them the holiday memories to last a lifetime.