Travelling with children can be fun, however, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. You need to factor their needs into your journey, making sure that they’re happy and comfortable throughout. Even though it gets easier the more times you do it, you’re always going to face a few challenges every time you travel with kids. Being prepared is half the battle, and essential if you want your family trip to go smoothly. Here are our top tips for travelling with children.
Leave plenty of time
Keep in mind that everything will take longer than you expect when travelling with kids, from checking in to buying snacks and drinks for your journey. You need to get to the airport as early as possible in case things go wrong, as the last thing you want is to miss your flight and have to wait for the next one with screaming kids in tow. If this does happen, it makes sense to have entertainment on hand to keep them occupied, such as a tablet, iPod or small toys. It can be hard to take toys with you because it's highly likely that they will lose them, therefore it's easier to keep Mr Snuggles at home. The perfect solution would be to make a little bag dedicated to holiday toys, now these should be compact, easy to travel with and guaranteed to keep them busy for hours. You also want to avoid spending a lot of money for items they might lose and this is when our toy sale comes in handy. This collection is stocked to the brim with toys and items suitable for a variety of ages so you'll definitely be able to find something for your little one. Last you want to keep a flexible schedule that can be adjusted accordingly. This will reduce stress and ensure a much happier travelling experience for all.
Don’t pack too much
It’s natural to want to pack everything your children use at home, especially if you’re hoping to maintain their normal schedule. However, this is a bad idea. Travelling with kids can be challenging enough without having to carry several bags full of things you probably won’t need. The trick is to pack as little as possible. If you find that you haven’t packed something your child needs, chances are that you can buy it when you arrive at your destination. Most places will have all the essentials you need to care for your kids. Plus, if you pack light, that means more room for those all-important souvenirs!
Don’t forget snacks
Hungry kids are cranky kids, and this is bad news for your fun family holiday! This is why you should always pack plenty of snacks when travelling with children. Mealtimes can be erratic when travelling, with delays and holdups extending the time between meals. Good snacks for your journey are those which are easily transportable and take up little space, such as cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts. Healthy, nutritious snacks will help keep your children’s energy levels up until their next meal, preventing them from getting too tired and grouchy. Snacks are great for the adults too, as it’s not just kids who can get hangry!
Book everything in advance
Pre-booking everything will make your family holiday so much easier and a lot less stressful. As well as booking flights and accommodation in advance, you should also consider booking transportation before you arrive. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and be unable to find a taxi or bus to take you to your hotel. You can also book sightseeing tours, and tickets for museums, theme parks and many other attractions before you get there. A tip we would recommend would be taking a bag or something specifically for the children when having the days out at the museum. However the time span they have can be very minimal so you want to give them a break here and there and there's no better way than to do that with toys. You can also maintain the element of learning with educational toys and so forth, so you can keep them busy and happy and learning all in one! Additionally keep in mind that child discounts are often available that can save you a significant amount of money. If you can’t find any mention of discounts on the website, don’t be afraid to ask.
Give them your contact details
A child can easily get lost whilst travelling, despite parents’ best efforts. So, it makes sense to give them your contact details if the worst should happen. Make sure they know your name, phone number, email address and the name of the place that you’re staying in. Young children can find it difficult to remember this information, so you may want to write it on a note and put it in their pocket or even inside their shoe. Make sure they know where to find these details. To avoid the nightmare scenario of not knowing where your child is when travelling, make sure you keep an eye on them at all times, even if you’re stressed. If necessary, hold their hand or even consider using a GPS tracker that can attach to their belt or shoes.
Travelling with children can certainly be stressful, but hopefully these tips will help to make the experience more enjoyable for all involved. If there’s one thing for certain when holidaying with kids is that things will go wrong. Maybe your child might take too long in the toilet and you end up missing the bus, or they get a little too tired and end up throwing a tantrum in the departure lounge. Just keep in mind that travel is an adventure and whilst there may be a few hiccups along the way, your kids will benefit greatly from exploring the world and discovering new cultures. Don’t let a potentially challenging travelling experience put you off taking your children on holiday with you!
Let us know in the comments down below what dream destination you and your family plan on exploring this summer...