Traveling with children isn’t without its pitfalls, however if you know what to look for, know how to side step it, and can make it through the other side without a few extra grey hairs, you’ve succeeded!
Family holidays are an important part of growing up; I still remember mine to this day, however I also remember that getting from home to our destination was never the most fun part – ‘are we nearly there yet?!’
Does this ring a bell?
As the adult in control you need to appear completely calm and Zen, even if inside you’re wanting to scream ‘just get me there already!’ Personally I believe that being totally informed is the best way to be in control, so in the days and hours leading up to leaving the house to go to the airport, head online and check your flight status. Why? Well basically this will tell you whether to expect a delay or if there are any other problems. More often than not there is nothing to worry about, and this knowledge alone is enough to calm you to a degree! We all know that feeling calm on the inside, due to no niggling worries, is what makes us appear calm on the outside, helping to avoid transferring those travel day stresses to everyone else, including your children.
Keeping your worries at bay will transfer a calmer demeanour to your little ones, in theory, so this is another reason to insure your holiday. If you’ve not looked yet, Holiday Extras holiday insurance is an awarding place to start. Now, you should do this regardless of where you’re travelling and who you’re travelling with, but the comfort blanket effect of knowing you’re covered no matter what is, well, comforting!
Staying calm, or at least acting calm, is the first step, but distraction techniques are probably the most important second step.
You can’t do a lot about your kids being over-excited, but you can do something about them being over-tired. Try and make sure they get enough rest in the days leading up to your departure, as much as you possibly can anyway, because this will mean you’re starting your travel day on an even foundation, without over-tiredness seeping into proceedings. We’ve all experienced this before, right? Over-tired children, excited about an upcoming event, really does lead to tantrums!
Having a sit down meal at the airport is another good suggestion, because this instils a sense of routine into the day, and keeps hunger at bay. Try and avoid the fast food restaurants and instead go to a sit down, table service affair, where everyone can have a balanced meal, as near to meal time as possible.
Entertainment-wise, the iPad or tablet is your friend! Charge it right up and load it with games, apps, films, music etc, and remember the earphones. When the kids start to get a bit irritated because they’re bored and time isn’t going fast enough, pull out said piece of technological wonderment and let them be as occupied as they can be, allowing you time to breathe and have a minute to yourself!
The most important thing to remember about travel with kids is that at times it will get a bit stressful, but that it will end; you will arrive in your destination, the holiday mood will seriously kick in, the laughs will begin, the memories will be made, and everyone will be smiling, with the ‘are we nearly there yet?’ moments nothing but a distant memory!
Photo credit – Flickr