The thought of travelling with kids can often strike fear in the heart of the most patient of parents. Chants of “are we there yet”, “Mummmm, I’m huuuuungry” and “Dad, we’re booooored” stick in your head like the bad lyrics to a song you can’t stand. It’s almost enough to make you want to forgo holidays until the children are grown and have left home.
The good news is that with a little forethought and advance planning, travelling with tots in tow can actually be a stress-free and enjoyable experience! We’ve put together our top tips to help you out and ensure a happy holiday for all.
It’s a well documented fact that children thrive on routine and familiarity. To make sure your little ones aren’t thrown completely off track by the change in surroundings, make a list of things that are non-negotiable parts of their daily routine and bring them with you. This way you will make sure that no lego-man, teddy or blankie gets left behind!
The formula for arriving on time is to double the usual travel time to your destination and add 15 minutes. Murphy ’s Law dictates that if you’re in a hurry, your children will be hungry/ thirsty/need to use the restroom/throw a tantrum/all of the above. The extra 15 minutes is for you to regain your composure
Even if you were never a Boy Scout or Girl Guide, this motto is for you. Pack a bag of child-friendly travel essentials that can be easily accessed on the plane, in the car or whilst waiting for transport. Fill it with snacks, bottled water, crayons, paper and treats that can be used as bribes in the case of an emergency! Small toys purchased from a discount store and wrapped up as gifts also work as great distractions.
Yes, that’s right – be a sucker! If you’re flying to your destination, you’ll almost certainly find that your tot will be freaked out by the change in air pressure during take-off and landing. Help them to adjust and reduce discomfort by offering them something to suck. If your baby is breastfed or still takes a bottle, feed them during ascent and descent. If they’re a little older, a dummy, sippy cup of diluted juice or water, or even a lollipop will do the trick.
This should be obvious, but it’s surprising how many parents choose holiday destinations that don’t really cater for kids! Save the romantic resort for your next anniversary when you can send the kids off to Grandma & Grandpa’s house. Do some research and look for a fun family resort that offers facilities such as a kids’ club, games room and children’s pool. For a great getaway the whole family will enjoy, try Club Wyndham Denarau Island in tropical Fiji.