Today the lovely Amelia Meyer from Suddenly a Mom is popping in to share some tips on travelling with your kiddos. Take a look!
This advice isn’t quite straight from the mouth of my sage 8-year old. But, her input coupled with travelling with her has certainly given me an insight into the world of parents-on-the-move. I’ve also gleaned some tips and advice from other parents that have braved the world of travelling with little ones.
So, to save other parents from having to learn this from experience (read: holidays that were anything but relaxing), here’s what we’ve learnt:
Keep them busy – on a recent trip to Cape Town (this stunning city is only five hours from our home), it became clear that she needed more than pretty scenery and an imagination to pass the time. Ensure that you’ve prepared by downloading some new games and old favourites on the iPad (sneak in some educational ones, if you can), have books (or eBooks) on hand, think ahead of fun games that everyone can play, and so on. This takes preparation.
Comfy kids are happy kids – keep them warm, keep them cool, keep them fed, keep them busy. It may feel like a lot to think about during your time away, but it’ll pay off in the long run. There’s nothing like a cold, hungry, tired toddler to distract from even the most thrilling of getaways.
Take your time – a child works at their own pace. Trying to cram in more things to do and see will only stress everyone out. Little ones need toilet breaks, snacks, time to ask questions about the stars and the sea, and a slower pace of walking. So, take your time, relax, and allow for flexibility. This may mean staying over instead of rushing to catch a connecting flight, sticking to one highlight a day, or even ditching the rigid itineraries you may have planned altogether.
Do some research – well ahead of time, ensure that the accommodation you’ve chosen and the fun activities you have in store are suitable for children to avoid major disappointment and complications at your destination.
Safety first – be super-vigilant when travelling with your children. This may mean connecting them to your body (in a harness or carrier) or using some sort of tracking device, such as a watch with GPS or an app on their mobile phones. I particularly like this watch as it is waterproof and combines the functionality of a GPS and phone. It even has a panic button.
Empower them – this is their vacation too, so allow them to make some of the (minor) decisions. Would they prefer to go to the toy train museum or the aquarium? Fish or soup for lunch? Can they choose their outfit for today? This also takes the load off parents a little, as children are more likely to be cooperative knowing they had a say in the day’s activities.
Pack with purpose – it’s impossible to pack the whole chemist, but ensure that you have all of the basics for tummy aches, fever, cuts, rashes, and so on. In addition, pack back-up activities, their favourite snack (or get some snack ideas here) and extra clothing for inevitable surprises.
Travelling as a family will make for very special memories, but it can be particularly challenging with young children. By taking some time to get prepared, you can make it fun. And maybe even a little relaxing.