Nothing says quality family time like taking time off from work to go sightseeing with your children. But before you set out on the journey, you should set realistic expectations since things aren’t going to run as smoothly as you’d think.
As you know, you don’t stop being a parent just because you’re traveling. You’ll still have to pay attention to your kids and cater to their every need. Sometimes, it can be a headache since children tend to be very uneasy when they’re seated in one place for too long. They’ll likely ask you questions and make loud noises just to get rid of the boredom.
Because we know how much you might be looking forward to that family trip, we have prepared a list of strategies that you can use to take the headache out of traveling with your kids.
Take Your Time
When you’re traveling with your kids, expect things to go slower than usual. Don’t arrive at the airport five minutes before your flight’s departure and expect to board on time. Passing through security is likely to take longer because you’re not alone. Additionally, your kids may want snacks before you board the plane, or one of them may have to go to the bathroom.
Always make sure that you set more time aside for your kids and take regular breaks. For example, in the airport scenario, you’re better off arriving an hour early so that you can mitigate any bathroom or snack emergencies that might arise and cause delays.
Avoid Carrying Too Much Stuff
You might think that packing everything that your child uses and needs will make the trip less stressful, but it won’t. Upgraded Points recommends, “pack as little as possible. The act of traveling itself will mess with your home routines, so trying to preserve all of them isn’t going to work anyway. It will just lead to frustration and sore arms.” When you get to your destination, there’s a high probability that one of your children will be too tired to walk, and you may have to carry them. If you packed heavily, dealing with both loads can leave you in pain.
The best way to deal with this situation is to pack only the essentials. If your child has a favorite toy, carry that one instead of their entire toy collection. Always remember that if the situation is urgent, you can always buy your kid what they need at your destination.
Play a Game
Children are very active and always want to engage in an activity. Top Deals 4 Wheels says, one of the best ways to keep kids happy while traveling is to play a game. To make the journey less stressful, you can join them as they play one of their games. Children love attention, and sometimes, the best way to get what you want is to do what they love. They are more likely to behave themselves if you play with them.
To make things more interesting, you can suggest a game before they do. A good example of a fun game to play is “spot it.” To play “spot it,” take turns saying the names of things that you see on the road and the person who “spots it” first wins the round. This game will definitely get your kids excited since it makes them pay close attention to their surroundings.
Source: Sell My Car | Top Deals 4 Wheels
Set a Schedule
Before you begin your family trip, sit your kids down and tell them what you plan to do during the day. After you’re done, allow your children to make recommendations and suggestions. Involving your kids in the decision-making helps the trip feel more inclusive and not something that was imposed on anyone.
In addition, as you set your schedule, tell your kids what you expect from them. Let them know that bad behavior won’t be tolerated. Remember to tell them the importance of sticking to the set schedule. That way, you maximize your time for fun activities and minimize any unnecessary delays.
Pack Plenty of Snacks
A hungry child can make your life difficult with constant nagging and crying. Make sure that you carry snacks to avoid such scenarios. Kids Are A Trip explains, you never know how things will turn out even if you set specific times for having meals. Make sure you bring along foods that your kids genuinely like as well as things that are healthy. It’s alright in instances like this to not make them eat 100% healthy things. Vacations are also a chance for them to experiment and for you to relax. For example, there could be unexpected traffic, which can make you take longer to get to your destination to find something to eat.
In another scenario, your kids might not like the foods that they serve at highway restaurants or on an airplane. They might take a bite or two and then feel hungry an hour later. If you don’t have snacks to give them, then you’ll have a very long day.
Source: Travel Snacks | Kids Are A Trip
If you implement the following strategies, traveling with kids won’t be a headache. You’ll also be able to take better care of your family because you won’t be as distracted while you drive, and you’ll be able to actually enjoy your vacation! In fact, you’ll love every minute of it and make memories to last a lifetime.
Liked this article? Here’s another you’ll like: The Ultimate Packing List!