Holidays should be a fun and relaxing time, but travelling with children can turn into a stressful experience that is not enjoyable for anyone! Below are some tips to help you on have a relaxing and stress-free family holiday.
1. Get children involved
Get them to write a list of things they think they will need – clothes, activities, games and toys (young children can draw, photograph or cut pictures out of old catalogues if they can’t write their list).
You can check it, add to it and help the children to pack their suitcase. Giving them this responsibility is a great way to engage children and help them develop organisation, planning and personal management skills.
2. Take a pair of binoculars with you!
Get outdoors and see what you can find – great for young explorers!
3. Take sweets and activities for the plane
Taking the sweets on-board the plane will allow the children to suck the sweets and reduce the pressure in their ears.
Also, any compact toys without little pieces will allow your child to be occupied and have something to play with on the plane – cards games like Top Trumps are great!
4. Make the trip educational but fun
This is a great opportunity to delve into the educational element of your trip by encouraging your child to learn some of the native language of the country you will be travelling to or even learning about what to expect and fully experiencing the culture on arrival.
5. Embrace the food
You never know, you may like it! Lead by example – if you try a local delicacy, then your children are more likely to copy you. Bon Appetit!
6.Take an activity bag
Essentials include pens, pencils, rubbers, stickers and activity sheets. Your children can help decide what goes in this as part of the packing (see number 1 above).
7. Write a journal/diary/scrapbook
This can be done by collecting different items and encouraging your child to write about their feelings, what food they liked/disliked, what sounds/sights they liked/disliked, etc. It will be a great memento to look back on one day.
8. Explore your surroundings
Naturally, travelling abroad or even in your home country will allow you to take in the local sights and embrace the culture.
9. Explain family rules and expectations
The normal routine goes out of the window when you’re on holiday, so children need to know what is expected of them, be sure to explain these to your children before you go and then repeat these when you arrive. They still need to be well behaved and rules will keep them safe in an unknown environment.
10. Have a countdown until you leave
Put it where everyone can see it, so that children can get excited about the holiday but won’t keep pestering you and asking how long until we go!