Whether you are embarking on a long holiday or a short visit to stay with family, any kind of travel with children can be challenging. As can the rest of the holiday! Children love routine and don’t always respond well to change, even for something as fun as a holiday or trip. Here are some great tips to make your travels as stress free as possible.
Kids absolutely love an adventure. Make the journey fun. Include them in the planning and packing so they feel involved and important. Consider getting them to help you make a scavenger hunt. You can make it full of things for them to spot at the airport, or on the road. Children also have incredibly good imaginations, so suggest a travel back in time, or pretend the plane is a rocket ship. They will love it.
Snacks are one of the best ways to placate a bored or irritable child. Make sure they aren’t messy or smelly and can’t be eaten too quickly. Lollipops are a great idea and will help reduce ear pressure on a flight. Remember to pack drinks and wipes, too.
Try to think of other ways to keep them entertained. Children get bored easily, so you might need a few different options. Coloring books are great for passing time. Or any favorite toys, as long as they don’t have small parts that could get dropped or lost. For older children, a hand-held games console if they have one, or a portable DVD player, would work well, but don’t forget the headphones.
If you are going for a long break, you’ll want to make sure your kids continue to learn and develop. If your children are school age, speak to the school to see if they have a digital library you could access while you are away.
Make sure anything you could possibly need is to hand for the journey, including wipes, nappies, a change of clothes, and a bag to keep rubbish in. Make sure all of your snacks and entertainment supplies are easy to find, but also easy to repack afterwards. Consider investing in a lightweight stroller, both for the journey and for the holiday. You might be tempted to pack everything you can think of, but remember, unless you are going somewhere unbelievable remote, you will be able to buy most things at your destination, so go for lightweight packing instead.
Take a Pillow
Even children that can sleep anywhere may find it difficult to sleep on a plane or in a car. A pillow offers them a home comfort to make it easier. This will also be true when you arrive at your destination. While there probably will be bedding available, their own pillow can help them settle and feel safe.
Look After Yourself
Stressed parents lead to stressed children. Remember, you are going away to relax and refresh, too. You might be taking some time off work, or away from your online MLIS program, but whatever you are leaving behind, remember to have some fun and relax. Use the time to reconnect with your family, and yourself.
Hopefully these tips should help make your journey and holiday easier, so when you return home to your job, home life, or online MLIS degree, you will feel reenergized and ready to face the challenges ahead.