Our ‘little one‘ has just finished university, it can be scary how quickly your children grow up. However, Mrs W can testify that these child friendly travel tips can work with irritable travelling husbands as well as kids.
Remember when we were kids? A car journey meant long hours sat arguing with siblings in the back of a roasting people carrier. Mile after endless mile would roll past the window. We’d fight over sweets and who’s turn it was next on the one hand held computer game that we were told to ‘share’. Someone would inevitably start crying. Someone else would express an urgent need for a toilet break. For the first time, we kids were introduced to strange sounding words like divorce and custody (the former being wanted, the latter not so much). Bliss. Family time. That’s how it should be. But not these days…
Unless you’ve packed one tablet per child, complete with charger and headphones, and unless you’ve packed a group snack, teddy, the correct choice of colouring book and pencils, another snack, the correct choice of favourite sugary drinks, twelve plastic toys that won’t be played with, and four more snacks, you’re in for a trip that you’ll live to regret. And then there’s the airport! And the actually destination itself! Let’s look at how to plan ahead, keep calm, and live to tell the tale of travelling with kids.
Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
Choosing your holiday destination with temperature in mind is crucial. Unless you’re off on a skiing holiday, the chances are that you won’t be headed anywhere too cold for the children to cope with. At the other end of the scale, however, is heat. By all means, head to the tropics with your children, you’ll have a lovely time. Probably. But bear in mind that anywhere ‘tropical’ means ‘close to the equator’ – and that means the temperature is likely to soar along with your child’s frustrations. Check out this infographic by LED Hut showing some of the world’s hottest travel destinations, and begin to get an idea of the kinds of temperature you can expect if you don’t take heat into consideration when planning your trip.
Are We There Yet?
Whenever a child is made to wait for anything, they will start to feel like time is standing still. Whether it’s breakfast or an upcoming birthday or half a day spent travelling to your holiday destination, they’re going to reach the end of their tether with the wait in impressive style if they can’t refer to some sort of countdown. This one’s easy to solve. Simply set your phone alarm to go off every 15 minutes. That’s four updates an hour to keep them going. With the countdown in place, you’re less likely to have to answer the age-old question “are we there yet?”.
Granted, most kids these days are reasonably tech savvy and prefer to plug in and play on their own devices. Nevertheless, consider downloading an audiobook or two. These can be invaluable during long car journeys in calming things down and settling in for a few minutes of concentration and peace. Time this part of the journey well, and book time can quite easily and sneakily become sleepy time.