Organising a great family vacation requires a lot of planning, patience and effort. It is essential to know how to entertain kids on the road if you don’t want to be bothered every second. You should stay more focused on what’s important — and less on what’s not. Here are tips for having a great time while traveling with children.
1. Leave as early as possible: if you’re going on a long driving trip, it’s always better to leave in the morning. That way you’ll avoid the holiday traffic, and the kids will be so tired they’ll fall asleep in the back seat.
2. Games: I Spy and the good old Etch-a-Sketch are highly underrated. For young children, you can also buy colouring in books with a water pen. They ‘paint’ water onto the page and the colours appear then magically disappear. Hours of entertainment!
3. Be careful with Portable DVD players: they are are worth every last cent. There is one hitch though. New research shows that they can cause serious head injuries in the event of a car accident. Make sure you buy the proper straps to attach them to the front seat headrests.
4. Don’t forget some food: pack lots of healthy food into small Tupperware containers. Handing over low G.I. snacks on a regular basis can break up the journey, and moderate their mood as well.
5. Plan your break: try to identifie clean and safe toilets along your route. That way you can avoid unnecessary waste of time.
6. Consider travelling by train: it is much more relaxing than flying, and what kid doesn’t enjoy trains?
7. Distract kids: for a long plane trip, wrap up lots of tiny ‘presents’. The kids are allowed to open one present per hour if they’ve been good. It also gives them plenty of different toys to play with.
8. Let them pack their own bag/backpack with their favourite toys and books: then, if they’re missing something, you don’t get the blame!
9. Don’t over-pack: Put the amount of clothes you think they’ll need into a suitcase – then take out a third.
10. Don’t let you be overwhelmed ! It’s easy to get caught up in constantly doing what the kids want. Take the time to do things that make the adults happy as well!
Don’t leave home without it
— Healthy snacks and plenty of water
— Extra notepads, pens and pencils for doodlers
— A flashlight to find the lost crayons and toys when it’s dark
— Physician-approved, anti-motion sickness medication. Typically, these must be administered about one hour before you tackle the switch-back mountain road.
— An emergency medical kit containing band-aids, thermometer, aspirin or aspirin substitute, allergy medicine and any other medicine you may need.