As all parents undoubtedly know, travelling with children can be difficult, regardless of their age. Here’s a few tips and tricks to keeping those tantrums under control so the whole family can enjoy the trip.
Before you hit the road
Children, and especially young children, thrive on familiarity. It is always a good idea to bring up your trip with your children a few days before departure. The more you prepare your child for this upcoming change in scenery, the better they will respond when faced with new surroundings and people. With preschool aged children, it always helps if you build positive anticipation towards the trip. If travelling by air, for example, try to give the child a toy plane, or point out planes in the sky or on television prior to takeoff. When your family boards the plane, your child will be excited to experience the flight, and will be less likely to have a tantrum.
Pack along the comforts of your home
Children often take comfort in the familiar, and a favorite teddy bear, blanket or pillow can go a long way in making your child feel at home in new surroundings. Keep a watchful eye on your child’s belongings though - items can get lost in transit, and children often do not react well to losing a favourite toy.
Take it easy
Try to work within your child’s timetable. Whether you’re at the airport, sightseeing or simply hustling from A to B, extra time will allow you and your kids a more relaxed trip. Toddlers and small children don’t care much for the pressures of travel. Keeping a relaxed schedule makes everyone more likely to keep calm and enjoy the trip.
The last thing you want is your kid having a sugar rush in an airplane or a strange city.
Make sure the kids are comfortable and appropriately dressed
A comfortable and appropriately dressed child is a happy child. Make sure to pack the proper outfits for your destination. If you have a child with longer hair, make sure that it doesn’t bother her, especially when visiting somewhere windy. You can always do a simple braid or a topknot and top it off with one of our Little Bugs.
Pack up medicine
New locations often mean changes to diet and weather, and as a result, children often seem to get ill on holidays. First aid products are not always readily available. Avoid having your child’s trip ruined by health issues by packing a simple first aid kit! Some basic ingredients in your first aid kit should include antiseptic wipes, plasters, sting treatment, some easy-to-swallow paracetamol and a thermometer.
Make sure they can’t get lost
Busy airports and streets make it easy for your child to get lost. Keep an eye on your children! You could also write your mobile phone number on your child’s arm or invest in a child locator. There is nothing more stressful than a wandering child!
Engage and involve them in the trip
Be sure to include your children in your trip with some fun, age appropriate activities. Try giving letting your child use your camera - you might be surprised with the photos they take. With older children, you can also encourage them to keep a travel journal and write about all of the new and exciting things they are experiencing. Remember, a family vacation is for the whole family - be sure to find out what types of things your child would like to try.