Nice or Nightmare?
Ah the great Aussie family holiday. With school holidays just around the corner we thought we’d think of ways to make travelling with the whole gang fun. Yes! Travelling with kids can be fun. Seriously.
Of course your travel needs will vary depending on whether you are heading off on a camping trip, a visit to the country or an extended overseas holiday. It will also depend on whether you are travelling with small children and babies, or older children.
But one thing does remain the same, like most things with kids, the rules are: BE PREPARED. Get organised so you can concentrate on having fun!
Here are my top tips:
Involve the kids
Age dependent, get the kids involved in the planning. If they are little, ask them to pick an activity they would like to do one day, and for older kids, ask them how they’d like to spend a day. Get them to plan it out and do the research with your help. It’s the best way to keep kids (especially teenagers) interested and they’ll love the sense of independence and trust given to them.
This is probably the hardest one for me. I like options. I like my son to have options. What if this gets wet, or stained or is too hot/cold/I want to wear something completely different. I pack all those ‘just-in-cases’, which, let’s face it, never get worn. There are lots of packing checklists available online. But the best advice I’ve read is pack by colour – black, white, denim and a colour. That way you can mix and match everything and you need less.
Pack their favourite things
Favourite books, action figures, dummies, sleep aids. Make sure the things that make life run more smoothly and comfort them, are packed in your travel bag or backpack. Keep kids occupied and entertained with colouring books, cards, portable board games, stories and some Chalk Cloth from Harlequin – it will roll or fold up and is easily packed for a fun indoor or outdoor activity. Lay out flat on a table or floor or pack a few pegs or thumb tacks so it can be strung up.
Pack snacks, lots of snacks in a lunch bag to take with you. And plenty of water too, especially if you won’t be able to get it along the way. Keeping kids fed and watered keeps the complaining to a minimum and with a full tummy there much more likely to drop off to sleep too. Hallelujah! (it does happen sometimes!)
Leave it at home, or greatly reduce it. This is a time for talking, playing, laughing and connecting with your family members! Having said that, a portable DVD player or a handheld gaming device can be a lifesaver on long road trips or long haul flights when everyone needs some quiet time.
Make sure you pack it with you and have it all clearly labelled. Check out the rules for carrying medication especially if you are flying overseas. Ask your GP for a doctor’s note if necessary.
If you’re travelling overseas check visas and travel insurance. Photocopy important documents, carry several copies and place them in different bags. So if the bags go missing you can track them and also have a spare copy of the documents. Also leave a copy in your home or with a family member or friend.
First Aid Kits
Ensure a small kit is in the car with you – stock it with band-aids, gauze, antiseptic cream, soothing cream, aloe vera. And if you’re leaving the country, check your immunisations and vaccinations are up to date.
Clean the house before you go away
If this one sounds like a pain and in the busyness of organising a household to go away but stick with me. Changing sheets, emptying bins, taking out the rubbish and do a straighten up will be a welcome relief when you return home, relaxed after your holiday. There’ll be enough to do on your return with unpacking, washing and grocery shopping that being able to fall into a bed of clean sheets will be very welcome!
And most importantly…
Don’t over schedule your time, play, laugh and have fun together and keep it simple! Your kids are only young once – enjoy it.
Some great websites to look at kid friendly travel ideas and tips:
Share your tips for a fun packed holiday with the kids in our comments below!
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Thanks for stopping by, see you again soon!