Getting kids from A to B is hard enough when you’re just popping around the corner to see relatives, going to the shop, or walk them to school. So, when you’re traveling long distances that task is made all the more difficult. But it doesn’t have to be.
There is plenty you can do to make travel with kids easier and a lot less stressful, and as long as you plan well, things can go smoothly. We’re going to show you exactly how you can take the hassle out of travel with kids.
1. Professional Preparation
The more prep-work you put in, the easier things are going to be when you travel with kids. With children of all ages, it’s vital to make sure you control as many of the external factors as you can before you set off. That includes researching the destination you’re traveling to and knowing what to expect when you get there.
One of the best preparation tips is to write down what you need to do before you travel, what you’re going to take, and the time at which you want to set off. Writing things down means you’re more likely to stick to the plan, because if you’re a bit vague with your prep those minutes quickly tick away.
2. Pack the Night Before
Rather than trying to deal with getting the kids out of the house whilst also trying to sort through what you’re going to take on the day, pack up the car or your bags as much as you can well in advance.
Think about essential supplies and get them sorted well before you set off. Nappies, food, drink, medicines, wipes, extra clothing, and entertainment; whatever you can pack before, do it! For example, if you’ve got a baby, knowing how to sterilize baby bottles the night before is going to save you vital time in the morning. If you would like to find out how to sterilize baby bottles efficiently, click here.
3. Plan your Journey
Whether you’re traveling to a hotel, theme park, friends and family’s homes, or the airport, your journey is going to be a lot more stressful if you haven’t planned it out properly. You’ll feel much more in control if you take a little time in advance to check out the route and get familiar with the route you need to take.
This is also a great time to check out travel hotspots and find alternative routes so that you can always divert if need be. Being aware of places you can stop along the way for snacks and toilet breaks can be extremely handy!
Travel with kids on public transport can be just as hectic if you’ve not planned ahead, so make sure you know the exact times of departure and any changes you’ll need to make. A good rule of thumb is to pick a route that requires the least amount of changes – it might take a little longer but not having the hassle of having to get the kids on and off trains, buses, or coaches multiple times will be worth it.
4. Plan for Problems
No plan is totally foolproof, especially when it comes to travel with kids, and there’s always the chance that your plan takes a different direction. We’ve already mentioned the need to find out about alternative routes to overcome traffic problems, but there are other things to consider too, including:
Just because the weather and temperature is one way when you set off, that doesn’t mean it’ll be consistent throughout. Be ready by packing a variety of clothing, blankets, extra water and sun cream. Arrange them so you can get to them easily when you need them. This could prove essential if things do change.
Something could happen in your home before you set off that could put a spanner in the works; anything from spillages to your child not being able to find their favorite toy. You can take the sting out of any potential hold-ups by building in sufficient contingency time just in case.
See the above tips about planning and prep to make sure this doesn’t happen. We can’t stress it enough, and in this instance imagine the amount of time you’re going to lose if you have to go back. Passports, tickets, phones, wallets, keys etc. – these are the sort of things you can’t afford to forget. So check and double check.
If your kids are content, things are going to be a lot more straightforward for you when you travel. With kids of all ages, from babies to teenagers, boredom is one of your biggest enemies, but being aware that it’ll likely kick in at some point will really help.
The temptation is to chuck everything at them at the start and hope that that’ll keep them entertained, but we’ve got a more subtle approach that’ll drip-feed them with fun:
Hold back some toys:
Having the ability to be patient and let a little boredom buildup can help in the long run. Wait as long as you can before introducing toys and never give them all out at once.
Kids love playing games, and whether it’s peek-a-boo on a plane or road sign games in the car, they’ll easily use up a few minutes.
Whilst sticking your kids in front of a tablet or phone for hours on end is not a good thing, when you’re traveling they can be an absolute godsend. Again, don’t crack them out early; keep them in reserve and switch them on when the time’s right. After all, that way you won’t need to charge anything less than halfway through the journey.
Distract with food:
In the same way that we’re not advocating hours upon hours of screen time, we’re not saying that filling your kids with sweet treats is ever a good thing. However, taking their minds off the boredom with a special treat to eat every now and then can certainly be helpful. (Read: 5 Easy Healthy Breakfast Recipes for Kids)
6. Calmly Travel With Kids
Once you’ve followed these tips for travel with kids you are ready to take on the task and hopefully enjoy a great family trip. Even if things do go wrong it’s really important to stay calm. Kids pick up on your mood, and if they see you getting stressed out they’re going to go that way too.
When it comes to travel with kids keeping everyone relaxed is essential, so channel your inner swan; serene on the top of the water for everyone to see, paddling like crazy underneath the water to make sure you get what you need to do done.
There you go! Some of the best travel with kids’ tips you are going to find. Put them into action to take the stress out of your next journey.
Categorised in: Lifestyle