Going on holidays with the kids? Here’s some tips to make it all a lot easier.
#1. Involve Them In The Planning
Start by telling our kids how you’ll get to your destination – plane, train, car, or boat – and show them your destination on a map. Get your oldest kids and show them your accommodation’s website. That way, they can check out their rooms and learn about the activities they can engage in during the holiday.
You can involve your kids in the packing process. Let them pack a few of the comfort items they like, so they’ll have a sense of home while away from home. If you suspect your kids will find it difficult to fall asleep at night, you should pack a pillow from home. Additionally, if you have the space for it, carry their nightlight as well, especially for kids who’ve grown used to it.
#2. Chill Out
There is a temptation to pack as many activities as possible every day of your holiday, especially if you’re visiting a new destination with plenty of kid’s activities to enjoy. However, you should remember that trips are tiring for young kids. After all, they tend to get up early and do more high-energy activities than adults, like running around. As such, factor in some quiet time for everyone to sit back, relax, and simply appreciate the holiday. Remember, it’s a holiday! A great way to have a relaxing break is stay local and visiting the Lake District.
#3. Keep It Kid-Friendly
While you might have a keen interest in the local art gallery and museum, you kids might get bored pretty quickly. Whether you like it or not, you have limited choice. In a nutshell, you have three options:
– either lay off the culture circuit of your destinations until your kids are in their teens,
– hit the art galleries and museums first and race around them in about 20 minutes, or
– arrange for a babysitter to get some time to enjoy the ‘boring stuff’ if your resort or hotel offers this service.
#4. Fly Right
Sometimes the only option to get to your destination is to fly. Flying comes with the prospects of your kids throwing tantrums in an enclosed vehicle flying at 30,000 feet. As such, it pays to think of your kids before booking. If your kids are older and likely to settle down and kill the flight hours enjoying movies, a direct flight is a good choice.
For young kids who are not used to sitting still for an extended period, a stopover (or two) along the way is a good idea to allow them to stretch their legs and relax. Additionally, avoid peak travel hours as they can be hectic. Generally, flights tend to be less crowded earlier in the week and the evenings (although later flights tend to experience more delays). Remember to arrange meals for your kids when booking your flights, as you’ll need to order the meals in advance.
Carry some new games in your carry-on bag to keep them busy. Coloring books and stickers, small toys, puzzle books, and word search books that you dish out a few hours apart will keep them engaged.
#5. Avoid Airport Rage
Arrive at the airport early enough to check-in and go through security with little to no hassle. If you’re lucky to find bulkhead seats still available, you can request some as they are closer to the bathroom and offer more legroom.
Let your kids know what will happen at the security check-in – they have to remove shoes, their carry-on bags will be searched, and they must pass through security scanners. Ensure your kids know better than to make jokes about having a bomb (or any weapon) in their bag – this might result in missing your flight.
If you’re departing from a large airport with a kid’s play area, head there first so they can burn off some energy before your flight and limit your stress levels. For older kids interested in exploring and shopping around, ensure they know when and where to meet you before the flight.
During take-off and landings, give your younger kids a juice box or sippy cup and your older child a piece of gum to chew to help relieve and equalize the pressure in their ears. For babies, breastfeeding or bottle-feeding helps relieve pressure build-up in their ears.
#6. About Road-Trips
While road trips involve sitting, they are still tiring. As such, plan your drive when your children can take a nap. Many parents swear by traveling with their kids overnight. Just load your kids in the PJs and drive as they sleep. Every child should have a carry-on bag with things for their entertainment if you’re traveling daytime. Consider buying your kids a tablet or borrowing one for binge-watching movies.
#7. Drive Smarts
Do not exceed driving for more than three hours. Your children need to take travel breaks to stretch their legs. If your children are young, they will not be able to travel for long stretches. To make your road trip enjoyable, find small towns, places of interest, parks, and playgrounds to pull off at rather than parking by the side of busy roads.
Pack some sunscreen, insect repellent, towels, bathing suits, and a change of clothes in a carry-on bag in case you stop by a swimming hole or beach. A carry-on with these items saves you from digging into your suitcases in the middle of your journey.