5 Tips For Travelling With Kids
My daughters and I have travelled a fair bit since they were born. We have had issues at times with motion sickness, not being able to travel overseas and other things. Overall, travel for us appears to have been easier than for many I know. Here are my tips.
1. Keep Them Entertained
As obvious as this sounds, it is necessary but it is not totally your responsibility. My daughters know they need to entertain themselves. As such, they have their iPads and sometimes do schoolwork. Each daughter has a mini LEGO kit we created out of their own LEGO and a plastic container they take with us. Notebooks, pens, pencils and things they are interested in having with them all fit neatly in a mini backpack.
2. Outline The Details
My kids tend not to ask “Are we there yet?” because they know what time we should arrive. I outline the trip, what we are doing, where and when we will stop and what time we will arrive. For younger kids, depending on the travel you are doing you could do a visual reminder. For example, if you are driving have a piece of string across the car. Mark each hour on it and have a picture of your car you move as the time goes on. This way the kids can see how far away they are.
3. Be Prepared
A first aid kit, snacks, sick bag and wipes are all necessary. You do not want to have to clean up after someone gets sick. I’ve done it a few times, it is disgusting and ruins everything in its path.
What items do your family use a lot? If you are in a car for a long period, what will they need? Which foods travel well, do you all have water and what about travel pillows? Little things like this make a difference. You don’t need to take loads of things but a few bits and pieces can make all the difference.
Not everything goes to plan and you need to be prepared to roll with it. I’ve turned up to accommodation only to have them tell me yes, I have a reservation but no, they don’t actually have the room. Cars have broken down, kids have gotten sick, my Mac died once and we were stuck in that city waiting for it to be fixed. Life happens. Relax, take a deep breath and deal with it.
5. Plan Time Out
We all love our kids but at times, you want some time out. On trips I have done this either by having someone else travel with me, booking babysitting or having trips on my own! It’s not a bad thing to take a trip without the kids. You all get time away from each other and come back refreshed.
Kids need time out from each other too. My daughters get along extremely well most of the time, which everyone comments on. That doesn’t mean they don’t get to a point where they need time away from each other.
Also, kids need freedom. Planning 100 activities and rushing from each thing isn’t generally their idea of fun. We have down days where we stay and do nothing. They can ride bikes, swim, play, whatever but nothing is planned
What tips do you have for travelling with kids?