19 May 2012

15 Tips for travelling with kids

Travelling with your children can be a tonne of fun, but also hard at times. So to help you be as prepared as possible for your next family getaway, here are a 15 tips to make the trip much easier for you and more entertaining for them!

  1. When you are choosing accommodation, consider staying in self-contained apartments or villas. This allows you to cook meals rather than pay for expensive takeaway, wash clothes and close bedrooms doors during nap times. It will feel like a home away from home.

  1. Be prepared for the possibility your children may suffer from motion sickness. Frequent rest stops, watching the road meet the horizon and lots of air circulation in the car will help reduce the risk.

  1. Pack small play equipment items like a frisbee, skipping rope or football to play on the grass with during a rest stop to keep the kids entertained.

  1. Be prepared for accidents or illness and pack a medical kit containing basic items such as pain killers, bandaids, oral rehydration preparation, antiseptic and anti-itching lotion.

  1. Keep a change of clothes for each child for the trip. Depending on the season, you might also want to take hats or something warm to put on. 

  1. On the plane, try feeding your children during take off and landing. The swallowing and chewing helps to reduce any pressure build-up that causes discomfort in your child’s ears.

  1. Reduce the mischief in the backseat with a game of ‘ABC’. The first child starts off with “I went to the market and bought an apple”, the second then has to name a product from the market beginning with the letter B, and so forth. Whoever says the last word wins!

  1. Portable DVD players or iPads are also a great entertainment option – just remember to charge the battery before you leave home!

  1. ‘Draw it’ is a great way to pass the time away during your travels. One person is the ‘drawer’ and has to think of something and draw it within 30 seconds. Then, the others have to guess what it is. The first one to guess correctly wins and gets to be the drawer next round.

  1.  Children today are very technologically savvy. So why not let them use a disposable camera or your camera if it’s not too valuable, to take photos of the trip through their eyes. It can be like their personal holiday diary.

  1.  Have fun with a game of ‘Monsters’. Fold the paper into six sections. The first begins the drawing the monster’s head then folds the paper over so you can’t see what has been drawn. The second person draws the monsters shoulders, the third the chest/arms and so on. The fun part is seeing how the monster looks when the paper is unfolded!

  1.  Play the guessing game, for example, ‘I'm thinking of an animal that’s thin, slimy and slithers’. 

  1. The kids will be excited about the holiday, so to avoid any extra hyperactivity steer the kids away from soft drinks and give them water instead.

  1.  ‘Spot it’ is a simple and fun game to keep the kids out of mischief. Have a couple of boards in the car and have a competition of who can mark off the most items on the board first e.g. a kangaroo, a stop sign.

  1.  Handy items to bring with you in the car include: fruit to snack on, water, re-freshening wipes, a rug and pillow for each child, plastics bags for rubbish or dirty clothes and sun protection for the window to allow for restful sleep. 

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