Kids are a blessing, but travelling with them can be a big challenge if you aren’t prepared. It won’t be long before your kids start the ‘are we there yet’ and ‘I’m bored’ mantras. Kids tend to be distracted and restless easily. They constantly need something new to do – whether you are driving down to your holiday destination, or you are flying, or going on a boat, unless you are equipped with many things to keep your children occupied, it might be a stressful trip.
Travelling should be fun for everyone. Besides, nothing teaches you more than travelling does. You learn essential life skills, you learn to appreciate the small things, you learn to be independent and understand different ways of different people. It needs to be a much enjoyed experience for your kids as well. Here are some ideas to help you help your kids:
If you have a very young baby, pack all that you are going to need. Food, bottles, sanitisers, antiseptic, change of clothes, diapers, toys etc. If your baby can only consume a particular kind of food, it is a good idea to carry a generous supply. Don’t rely on your destination for supplies for your baby.
If your kids are a bit older, involve them in the travel plans from the very beginning. Kids love it when you make them feel that they are an absolutely essential part of the planning of the trip. Give them responsibilities. For example, tell them they are in charge of packing the picnic baskets and choosing the music that you are going to play. Also make them in charge of gadgets – cameras, video games etc. When they feel grown up, they will act grown up.
It is a good learning experience, apart from imparting a great deal of confidence in your child, to sit down with a map and trace the path you are going to be taking. If you are going to drive, mark out the spots on the map where you will stop at.
Have enough games that you can play while you drive. Even simple games where you ask your child to count the number of animals you see on the way will keep them interested for a while. Play words games or memory games. When on a plane, carry colouring books, illustrated story books etc.
Having snacks handy can relieve you of a lot of stress. Kids like to munch. Although, remember to keep the sugar intake low – you don’t want your child testing everybody’s patience!
In the end, even if your experience travelling with your kids isn’t very peaceful, it will be worth it as it will be an experience that you will look back on and wish you could relive it.