Travelling with children can quickly turn a holiday into a nightmare: screaming toddlers on air-planes, long car rides with complaining kids, airport transfers with an extended break for tantrums. While considering a holiday with children does present obstacles, advance planning is the most crucial guarantee that the whole family is happy.
Airports present a number of problems to the fussy child. Potential extended periods of queuing, long walks finding terminals and large open spaces with lots of people can spell disaster. For those with very young toddlers, a great piece of kit is the Trunki. This kid friendly item is a piece of kid friendly ride-on luggage. The funky design can help interest the child in the decision making process during planning, and the ability to rest tired legs while mum or dad pulls along the case with the attached strap will be both fun and convenient.
While it may be tempting to try and rush through the airport in the least amount of time, this can prove to be frustrating to all members of the family. Give yourself extra time to deal with any little problem that may crop up. Toilet breaks, clean-up sessions and feeding breaks are much less of a problem when they aren’t rushed.
Despite the fact that you may be concerned about giving your child a tablet or phone, the ability to allow a fussy or screaming toddler to watch their favourite TV show can be a lifesaver. Long plane rides are prime periods for tantrums and embarrassed parents, so offer a tablet with pre-downloaded content as a special treat if your children do not have their own devices. Remember to make sure the tablet is fully charged and has earphones to ensure a peaceful ride for all concerned and avoid glares for the other passengers. If you don’t like the idea of using a tablet or phone, have enough activities planned to keep short attention spans occupied. A good rule of thumb is to change tactic every fifteen minutes or so for those very young.
Snacks are a great way to break up the monotony of long periods of travel. Don’t be tempted to offer sweets or chocolate as the sugar rush and subsequent crash will make transfers tricky. Give children a selection of treats that have a slow release of energy so that moods will be more manageable throughout the journey.
A new country or location can make for unpredictable reactions from all ages. Provide a list of options to children during the booking stage of your holiday so they have some idea of what to expect and to alleviate worries. Older children and teenagers will also feel more like equal contributors rather than being dragged on a family holiday and may offer interesting suggestions. Book adequate travel insurance and be aware of all potential environments and pack appropriate clothes. Small children should have footwear on beaches with sharp rocks and warm clothing for chilly nights.