With a new semester beginning, children once again find themselves confined to the classroom. Thankfully, all schools schedule breaks to liberate them before holidays and exams. PA days and reading weeks are great opportunities for families to get away and reward their kids. But for time off in the fall, travel planning needs to happen now.
Although we all intend to take relaxing, memorable family trips, they often become hectic. Kids are difficult to travel with even when they don’t mean to be. There are just so many responsibilities parents face that downtime is a rarity. Nevertheless, there are three rules for travelling with kids to help make life easier:
- Prepare—letting your kids know how long the trip will take and what there is to do helps avoid the “are we there yet” conversations;
- Practice—the more often you travel with your kids, the more accustomed they will be to it;
- Pace—cutting your itinerary in half takes it easier on your children and avoids exhaustion.
Involve the Whole Family When Decision-Making
Some kids feel stress in the loss of control that comes with travelling. Understandably so: you need to be more restrictive to keep your children safe in unfamiliar places. However, if you can involve your kids in more decision-making, you can offset that loss of control. Try asking their opinions on restaurants and activities or where to stop along the way.
Build Some Excitement Surrounding the Day of Travel
The idea of travelling can be really exciting. However, the act is sometimes lackluster when spent idling in traffic or pacing an airport. To overcome the boring aspects of travel, think of creative ways to keep your kids engaged.
For example, one traveller recommends new outfits; your kids might look forward to putting them on for the first time. Similarly, another traveller suggests bringing activities from home to familiarize new places. Something interactive like a gaming console can help kids escape at the hotel or a relative’s house.
Bring the Right Supplies
The thing about children is that they like to get into mischief. Sometimes, this results in minor abrasions, so always pack first aid along with supplies for cleaning stains and treating sudden illnesses. Likewise, ensure that you purchase adequate insurance coverage in case of emergencies. For more information on travel documentation, please read our earlier post here.
Acknowledge When Things Are Getting out of Hand
Watching over your kids does not always prevent accidents. Often the consequence of your kids’ unruliness is what causes the most stress. For example, if your kids kick the back of someone’s seat on an airplane that disgruntled passenger can escalate matters. Therefore, you should always acknowledge bad behaviour and reprimand it. Doing so shows the individual that you do not condone what happened and that you’re trying to make amends.