Whether it’s getting inside a jumbo jet to fly to a Caribbean island for the summer holiday or it’s just the weekend getaway destination that you’ll drive to, taking the kids along is a major factor. There is a world apart between traveling with and without children, so you need to take extra caution, safety, and organizational measures when planning a trip with your kids. In order for your vacation not to turn into a nightmare, here are some safety tips that will help your travels go without a hitch and that both you and the children return happy and without so much as a bruise.
How to manage your children
Being on the road is stressful enough without your kids complaining from the backseat, so you really need to address any issues they might have for the duration of the trip. First of all, the children need to be well-rested before they step on the plane or sit in a car because tiredness is of the contributing factors to their nervousness that they will be unable to control. A good night’s sleep or an afternoon nap for the toddler are a pre-journey must.
Secondly, the children should not experience hunger while sitting in the backseat as that might cause them to misbehave. Once they start asking for food, pull up to the nearest gas station or a supermarket and buy them a snack. Even better, have a bag of crisps or jellybeans inside the car so you can pacify them immediately. If they are still rowdy, it’s probably because they are bored and who can really blame them. Like adults, a good inflight movie is all their need, so download shows, cartoons, and video games onto their tablet to keep them busy for hours on end. If you are not a fan of computers, then storytelling is the oldest holiday activity in the book, pun intended.
Interaction with other kids
One of the main reasons behind keeping your kids entertained, full, and well-rested is to prevent them from distracting you while you are behind the wheel of a vehicle or have other important tasks if you are traveling by airplane or sailing on a cruiser. One good thing about the latter means of transport is that there are likely to be parents with similar issues, so you could team up with them and create an ad hoc kindergarten on the train, plane or a ship. Yes, your kids could interact with their peers and parents can take turns looking after them, while other parents can chat or get some rest.
Planning is key to a holiday free of stress
Planning the family holiday does not exclusively include book the best and the cheapest hotel or buying plane tickets months in advance. In most cases, you have to plan for security reasons in order to avoid any potentially dangerous scenarios and more importantly, be ready when they occur. For instance, if you get involved in a car accident, even if it’s something as benign as a fender bender, you need to know whom to call first and how to properly respond to this eventuality. Considering the long mileage you plan to cover en route to your holiday destination, car accident injuries are a real possibility so you need to be ready to react instantly. In other words, if you failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail, and failure is not an option when the safety of your children is at stake!
Avoiding long hauls
Speaking of the total distance you need to travel to reach your destination, once the children factor gets involved, the possibility of a long trip decreases. The thing is that all the method we have listed so far are only effective for a period of several hours, as children cannot be expected to have the same level of tolerance to being in a confined space as adults. At a certain point in time, they are going to become too edgy to control so you might be forced to stop the trip altogether.
In order for this not to occur, always seek for the faster route when planning your holidays or weekend getaways. If there exists a fly-in option, then take advantage of it to decrease the number of hours you spend on the road (or in the air). You might be accustomed to long overlays at airports but you’re children aren’t, so you simply have to act in accordance with their mental and physical needs. When it comes to traveling by car, then you must be ready to make frequent potty breaks, which you normally wouldn’t if you traveled alone with your spouse.
Make children a part of the adventure
The worst possible approach to planning a trip with your kids is to consider them as leverage. If you assume such a stance, then the wagon is bound downhill (hopefully, not your station wagon and not literally). However, if you choose a different approach in which the children are seen as a bonus while on the road, then you are all in for an adventure of a lifetime. This is what traveling with your family is all about, an opportunity to bond. On the plus side, wouldn’t it be nice to have a wallet of your own? Joking set aside, you can have your children browse Trip Advisor for inexpensive restaurants to dine out in the place where you are staying or they can find an amusing part nearby for you to take them there. Proving them with an active role in travel planning will keep them busy and get them off your back (literally, if you’re driving).
Staying safe on the road with children involves a lot of planning and taking a proactive stance. By keeping the children busy with toys, tablets, or new friends, you ensure that everything will go smooth as you remain the one in control of the journey.
About the author:
Alexander Hunkin is an Australian based startup advisor with in-depth experience in growing business. His meaningful and strategic advices have helped in setting and growing many startup companies in Brisbane and Perth. Alexander is also a content creator for different niches. The top ones are business, career, finance and marketing. He aspires to share his experiences and is always on the lookout for the next opportunity to enhance his skills. When he isn’t busy working, you can find him cooking exotic meals, scuba diving and cycling.