Planning a journey with kids can be a stressful prospect, from dealing with the boredom of a long flight, to the constraints of trying to keep little ones quiet so that others don’t get annoyed. Don’t forget to get the whole family insured for your own peace of mind and it doesn’t have to be costly. No matter where you’re trying to get to, or how exotic your destination, with a little bit of forward planning you can make sure that the trip is enjoyable for everyone from the people around you to the kids themselves. Here’s a few tips on how to do it:
Make the travelling part fun
If you can make the travelling fun then this will immediately engage little ones’ attention and make them think they are playing a great game with you, rather than doing something that is out of their normal routine and maybe a bit unnerving. Whether this means buying some fun individual luggage for kids who are old enough to pack and pull their own cases, or offering them the chance to wear something new or special – a favourite fancy dress outfit, pajamas or a brand new jumper – it will bring an element of novelty that will keep them distracted.
Be prepared, especially if this is your first time travelling with little ones, as it can be quite an unsettling experience. Make sure you pack enough of all the essentials, from nappies and baby wipes (or hand sanitiser) to spare T-shirts, diaper bags and dummies. It’s a good idea to have these easily accessible during a journey – pack them into one bag if possible and store them in an organised way (rather than shoved in all together) so that as soon as you hear the first cry you know exactly what to reach for. It may sound obvious but don’t forget the toys! Distraction is key when travelling with kids and taking toys is one of the easiest way to do this.
Make use of distractions
Make use of any distractions available to you, whether that’s the countryside whizzing past the windows of the train, or the in-flight entertainment on a transatlantic flight. On a plane, the TVs in the back of the seats or overhead can be a godsend. Even if your kids won’t keep the headphones in they will still be distracted by the images enough to keep them quiet. If you don’t normally allow the kids to watch TV then this is a great time to relax the rules a little. They will be so excited that they’re unlikely to make a fuss the entire trip as long as the screens are on.
Don’t forget the food
There’s nothing worse than a grizzling, hungry child when you’re trapped in an environment when it’s difficult to get hold of their favourite snacks. Even if you’re travelling on a plane where you’re going to be fed, the food won’t necessarily be served at the right times and it might not be what your kid wants to eat. Take some snacks with you instead – avoid the high sugar treats with lots of E numbers if you’re going to be in a confined space – as well as some juice cartons and plenty of water.
With these few tips you’ll find that travelling with kids doesn’t have to be half the nightmare you might have thought it was likely to be. You might even find it fun!