No matter if you’re flying or having a short road trip with your family, you’ll need to prepare well. Kids are needy and naughty and even the best-behaved little ones often make a scene when travelling. However, there are things you can do to minimize meltdowns and make your trip full of laughs instead of tears.
Get everyone on board
Older kids understand what travelling is, but younger ones might be a bit confused by the concept. They might not understand that you’ll not be spending nights at home or why you need to walk so much during the day, so you might want to clear things up. Use simple words and make sure to look thrilled while talking about your upcoming trip (kids pick up energy super fast). This way, kids will understand what’s going on and they will feel much calmer and happier in an unfamiliar situation.
Prepare for arguments and tears
If your kids sometimes fight at home, they won’t stop just because you’re away. Anticipate tricky situations and try to prevent them rather than solve them. If your kids can’t share, make sure to provide each kid with the same opportunities. Youngsters often throw a tantrum when they don’t get their way, and this can intensify when they are tired or hungry. Make sure to take your time and arm yourself with your child's favourite snacks and toys and have a full supply of water, milk or formula.
Pack a bag with essentials
Always carry a small bag filled with essentials. Having this bag close to you can reduce a lot of stress and provide you with a smooth trip. Fill the bag with things your kids need all the time like wet wipes, their fave toys, water, healthy snacks, diapers and changing supplies, zip lock bags and some light clothing in case the weather turns. If you have more than one kid, it’s smart to invest in packing cubes in different colours, so you can always know where to look for specific things for your little ones.
Keep away the hunger
We all get a little cranky when hungry, especially kids. So make sure to keep the hunger away with plenty of tummy-friendly and nutritious snacks—this is one of the most important tips when traveling with kids. If you’re travelling by car, you don’t have to worry about carrying food and drink, but air travel is a little different since it prohibits liquids. However, many airports make exceptions for kids and permit mothers to pack breast milk, formula and baby foods. Make sure to call the airport ahead of time and ask for specific instructions on how to store and transport your kids’ food.
Handle motion sickness
While babies and toddlers usually don’t suffer from motion sickness, kids aged between two and twelve are especially susceptible to this unpleasant phenomenon. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent motion sickness and help your kids have a more enjoyable trip. First, play a game that encourages kids to look out of the window to reduce sensory input. Provide plenty of fresh air and make sure to eat a light meal before you embark. For a longer trip, you might even turn to medication (ask your doctor for recommendations).
Make many stops
It’s best to take many stops on your way and use every opportunity to have a bathroom break, food break and a chance to stretch your legs and expend some of the collected energy. Travelling can be boring for kids, especially when you’re in between destinations, so find fun places to stop and relax. Once you get back on the road, everyone will feel fresh and be in a good mood. This will also prevent potty accidents, which is something you don’t want to happen in the car.
Pack some entertainment
No matter if flying or travelling in a car, you’ll need to pack some entertainment. While you might find it relaxing to enjoy the silence and look out the window, kids find that super boring. To prevent arguments and tears, make sure to pack some toys, games and gadgets that will provide hours of entertainment for kids of all ages. You can also play some old-fashioned road trip games like the car scavenger hunt and spy-eye. Getting some kid-friendly audiobooks is also a great idea that will keep kids entertained and help them fall asleep.
Take it easy
You might want to organize a trip full of excitement, but make sure to keep your schedule loose and light. Having too many things to do and see in a day will make everyone overwhelmed and cranky, so be flexible and relaxed. It’s better to skip an activity and spend the day at the pool than to have angry and tired kids.
It’s more than possible to have a fun and relaxing trip with kids, you just need to plan well and be ready for some shenanigans. Take these tips and keep them in mind when travelling this year and you won’t be able to wait until your next family adventure!