Don’t rush it
Plan your trip so you have a lot of spare time. Children don’t understand the concept of running out of time, it will make your trip more enjoyable if you make sure you don’t have to run from one place to another. It is always better to enjoy one place than to briefly see ten, and it doesn’t only apply to travelling with kids
Use your imagination
There are hundreds of fun games you can play while waiting on an airport or during a long travel by car. Often it is you who can entertain your child best…
Make toys your friends
… but if you can’t do that – remember to bring a stash of toys with you. That doesn’t mean you have to take a 20 kg bag full of “entertainment”. Take a lot of little colouring books, some tiny teddy bears and puzzles. It will keep the child occupied without the need to carry the whole toy box. And when the toys don’t help – the apps will. Many parents don’t like using smartphones to keep their children busy, but in today’s era there are thousands of apps that are not only meant to be fun but also can teach your child some valuable lessons. Just don’t forget to put on an internet password for those unwanted websites!
Keep their diet sugar-free
Sugar makes the children hyper. It is a well-known fact. Maybe giving your kids a chocolate bar will calm them for a few minutes but after they will be unstoppable. So better switch that ice-cream for an apple.
Make them focus on what they see
But how to do that when children are not so good with concentration? Let them be a part of recording the whole process. Let the children use the camera. But also make travelling a game. Ask them what are they seeing, what are the monuments, make sure you know some fun stories about the places you’re visiting and tell them to your child. Don’t just show them the city and expect them to appreciate the architecture. They need travelling to be fun and exciting. Also – ask them what they want to do. Both toddlers and teenagers will like the trip more if they could choose the places and activities.
And I don’t mean get all crazy and don’t let it go even for a minute. But definitely hold them if you’re walking next to a busy street or are in a crowded space. Also put a card with their name and your phone number in their pocket or on a bracelet on their wrists in case of emergency.
Don’t expect the place you’re visiting to have pharmacies at every corner. Besides if you don’t know the language it can cause more damage than good. Take some basic medication for fever, motion sickness, stomach flu etc. And definitely bring something to keep the bugs away. Not only will the itchy marks drive your child (and you) crazy but especially in more exotic destinations the bugs often carry dangerous diseases.
Probably the most important point. Of course it will be stressful and very different from the trips you did before you had your children, but travelling with kids can be an eye-opening and wonderful experience. You will see the world in a completely different light and you will be able to share something very special with your little family. So embrace it and just enjoy whatever comes, because it will be unforgettable.