5 family hacks for stress-free travel with kids
You want your kids to see the world (or at least your little part of it) but the idea of travelling with one or more children can seem daunting. There’s packing, mode or method of travel, and keeping the kids occupied, not to mention finding a kid-friendly destination. Here are five ways to make holiday travel with children a little easier.
Create a packing list. Write down everything you think you’ll need for the trip, and cross it off the list when you’ve packed it. You’ll feel reassured that you’ve covered all your bases, and if you bring it with you on your trip you’re less likely to forget something and leave it behind.
Have the kids share a suitcase. Children don’t have as many extra packing “skincare essentials” as adults do and their clothes take up less room. Save on the cost of luggage or make more room in the car by packing all of the kids’ clothes into one bag or by spreading them out between suitcases.
Be armed and ready for the journey. Long flight or car ride? You can survive it if you prepare for it! Pack (sugar-free) snacks in your bag separate from whatever you’ve stashed in the kids’ bags so you can bring them out at intervals throughout the trip, as a distraction or bribery. Have something on hand to entertain them – a colouring book, activity set, or stickers (Orchard Games toys from Squires Garden Centre in Woking are the perfect size for packing away and robust enough for the journey). Gel window clings work for car rides as well as window seats on planes, or you can pack some books like 100 Things For Kids To Do On A Journey and/or Axel Sheffler’s Flip Flap books stocked by Calliope Gifts in Dorking. And if all else fails, there’s always the electronics you’ve been hiding.
Do your research before the trip. This awesome guide by Lonely Planet is packed with helpful info for travel with kids. Know if the city is going to be hilly or full of steps (in other words not pram friendly), where the good family restaurants are, and what activities you can plan in advance (and maybe get the kids in for free). Interactive museums, aquariums, and zoos are all great destinations for keeping kids entertained.
Find kid-friendly locations. Not only are you looking for places with a kiddie pool, but some resorts have activity centres for kids where they can learn to surf, or go on nature walks, or just make new friends. Having a quiet afternoon to yourself while your kid learns to make friendship bracelets or joins in a talent show is a win-win situation. Honest Mum blogger shares top tips in her latest article and you can also win a holiday to beautiful Bahia, Spain.
Do you have any hacks to share? What do you do to keep your children happy while you travel?