Travelling with kids isn’t all that easy but it doesn’t have to be a hassle. With little tots in tow, what used to be free and easy travel can become a complete nightmare. However, we share with you a few tips to keep travel woes out of the way and make family travelling fun and drama-free.
Take It Easy
Kids have short attention spans. Sometimes, this is an understatement. On long journeys, schedule some rest time so young children can run around and play while the adults relax and recharge. Long, uninterrupted monotony makes small children fussy.
Also be prepared to travel at half the speed you would normally take if it were just you on the trip. Children slow processes down and need extra care along the way. The less you plan to squeeze into the itinerary, the easier it will be on yourself and your family.
Bring an extra set of everything for the kids; underpants, cover-ups, socks, shirts, pants, dresses, bibs, towels – you name it, they’ll soil it, lose it or somehow destroy it. Also bring emergency items like sick bags or small toys, games or books for long journeys. You may also want to make sure all tickets are kept by adults.
Don’t allow your children to keep any important documents, even if you think they can be trusted with these items. You don’t want to take any chances and be stuck at a port or terminal with tired children to pacify.
Many Hands Make Light Work
You may love your little ones to pieces, but travelling with children can make you want to break them into pieces. When they kids get whiny and fussy, patience runs thin. You’ll want to split the responsibilities with your partner so you lighten each other’s loads and make the trip enjoyable for everyone.
Plan kiddy duties before the trip – milk feeds, diaper changes, who takes the kids to the loo during pit stops, who’s in charge of travel documents, who’s in charge of discipline, the list goes on.
Give your kids a briefing before the trip to let them know what they’re in for, be it a long journey, rough terrain, bad weather, or any situation that might alarm them or long spells of travelling that may cause restlessness.
Let them know the run-down of the programme so that if any distractions come up during the trip, there won’t be any power struggles or abrupt changes in plans that may disrupt the itinerary.
By this we mean bringing some technology to keep your kids entertained when all else fails. A laptop or an iPad provides multiple entertainment for your tots and shortens distances. Also, while they amuse themselves with movies or games, you can get some shut-eye.
It also comes in handy if you need to check up on travel itineraries, travel or accommodation bookings or need to get information with which to facilitate your trip. Nobody likes noisy children on public transport, and you won’t either when everyone else is glaring angrily at you.