Truth be told, travelling with kids can be quite a challenge, and not many people enjoy the experience. But think about it, what is the point of a vacation that leaves you over the moon while your kids gnash their teeth back home in front of the TV?
It doesn’t matter whether you are heading to your ancestral home in the village or making that dream vacation happen this Easter break. No longer will you have to leave your kid perpetually tied to the tail of your nanny at home. You can make traveling with your kids just as much fun as eating a great ice cream on a sunny day.
Below are 5 simple ways to make the experience more enjoyable.
#1. Take it slow
Slowly and patiently. These two words ought to be etched somewhere in your mind if you want to enjoy travelling with kids. The reason is that children, by default, don’t appreciate the time pressure of a trip. Unlike you, they are never in a hurry, and would like to explore everything that catches their eye – from the co-traveler with a funny face to the screen showing their favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
So, prepare to keep your cool when they pour the contents of your bag on the aisle, hit your mobile phone on the floor, faff around or throw tantrums just to get your attention.
#2. Get them a cool game device
Children, as you already know, are naturally curious with a short attention span and this makes it difficult for them to sit in one place for long. So, while planning the trip, consider getting your kids a device loaded with cool games and apps to keep them constantly engaged. Or you could load up the device with great animations and cartoons so they are constantly entertained while the trip lasts.
Don’t be like those travelers who start bugging the flight attendants with requests for crayons and games. Have your make-shift entertainment strategy in place.
#3. By all means, keep to the aisle
When booking your flight for the trip, consider a seat by the aisle of the plane. After eating sweets, candies and other junk while on a trip, your child could become a frequent guest at the toilet. Be nice and don’t make life unbearable for your co-travelers with your frequent trips to and fro the convenience.
#4. Stuff a few snacks into your bag
One mistake some parents make when traveling with their kids is to leave home without stacking a few cookies and chops in their bags. If you don’t want a repeat of #OccupyWallStreet, we advise you slot a few chow into your bag. As you may be aware, no amount of petting would pacify a child whose stomach screams hunger or a kid who wants his mouth busy. Be proactive and avoid the ugly protests.
If you are travelling with more than one kid, don’t buy one pack of chips or juice, except you are prepared for World War III. Most kids don’t enjoy sharing food with others; they prefer exclusive ownership of their own food.
#5. Think safety, assemble a mini first-aid box
Let’s face it, your child could take ill while on a trip. Perhaps a mild illness, a cold, a flu, etc. You don’t want your kid to remain in that condition until the plane lands. So, remember to put together a small first-aid kit. A few pouches of painkilling syrups, antiseptic wipes, surgical tape, elastic bandage and anti-malarial can save the day.
#6. Get your kid involved in the packing process
You want your kid to be excited about the trip, don’t you? A powerful way to build that excitement is by teaching them to pack their bags. This way, everybody gets involved with what to expect and what to pack for the journey – from toys to all the goodies that keep them engaged.
#7. Book your trip ahead of time
We can’t emphasize this enough. We always advise that you book your trip way ahead of your travel date, but no time is this more important than when travelling with kids in tow. You don’t want to spend the entire duration of the trip chasing your flights or hotel in addition to the pressing demands of your little nomads.
#8. Encourage shared learning
Let’s face it, travelling is not only an opportunity to have fun, it also allows us discover the mysteries of the world. So, consider getting a postcard for your kid(s) and encourage everyone to keep a journal. This helps their recollection a great deal.
Let your kids write down the names of animals they encounter at natural parks, the food they ate, a new language they learned. Gift them mini-maps and encourage them to mark the places you have visited. After all, travel ought to fill us with incredible memories, and your kids should not be left out of that experience.
Travelling with kids this Easter break? Recognize that your kids are not as experienced as you are. Knowing how to manage them while the trip lasts will help you enjoy, rather than endure, the entire journey.