When you go away with your family, you’ll want to have as much fun as possible. While the destination may significantly contribute towards this, the journey can also bring excitement and new experiences. Who doesn’t fondly remember the road trips from their childhood? And if you’re flying by plane, most children won’t be able to get enough of seeing clouds pass by the window.
However, travelling may not always be fun and can lead to tears and complaints, especially on long journeys. Many children aren’t used to being in uncomfortable environments for hours on end. They may also feel nervous or displaced from their usual routine.
Depending on the age of your child, you may want to think about the ways that you can improve that experience. Therefore, planning ahead may make things better for not only your children but yourselves as well. Read on to find out more.
Toys and Games for School-Aged Children
Going on vacation can really be a treat, but children can become easily bored. Buying an age-appropriate game to take with you could be the answer to this. When picking out the perfect gift for a 5 year old girl for your travels, you may want to think about a number of factors. This can include the things she currently loves, your budget, and even how feasible it is to take that toy with you.
There may be more leeway for toys you take on a road trip than when you travel by air due to restrictions and regulations. Looking these up ahead of time may help you to avoid disappointment.
One of the best ways to entertain 5 year olds is by buying a game you can play together. This might mean getting a magnetic board game or even some colourful cards that you can use to play snap (remember to let them win!). Alternatively, you could bring along a cuddly toy for comfort, or even an engaging picture book to take their mind off what’s happening.
Travelling with Infants
While toys may be a great idea for toddlers or school-aged children, they may not be of as much use to a young baby. While babies can fly on planes, some of the journey may be incredibly unpleasant for them. Strange noises, including others, talking, and even a difference in temperature could prove to be problematic.
At the same time, the change in cabin pressure during take-off and landing may also cause them to become upset, especially if it hurts their ears. Allowing your baby to breastfeed, or have their bottle or pacifier, during these moments could make it significantly easier on them.
Try to bring along some familiar items and clothing from home, or wrap them in a blanket that they are used to. You may also want to bring soft toys or rattles that they can hold in their hands. If your little one is teething, bringing something they can use to soothe their gums could also be a good idea.
Travelling with Teens
On the other end of the scale, teenagers may not be interested in taking children’s toys on vacation with them. They may be looking forward to the trip, but have made their feelings clear regarding the time spent travelling.
To allow your teen to unwind, and take some of the stress away, you may want to consider allowing them to bring their electronics with them, at least for the journey. This way, your teen could use their cell phone and some headphones to listen to music to while away the time.
They might also want to bring a handheld games console. You could make it clear that, while they may bring them, they aren’t to be used when you arrive at your destination, and keeping them charged and looked after is their responsibility.
Alternatively, you may want to encourage your teen to bring along a paperback novel, or in-depth magazine. Some teens are reluctant to read at home, but will happily get sucked in by an engaging book when they have nothing else to do.
If your teen likes arts and crafts, consider buying them a travel sketchbook that they can doodle in during the journey. Once you arrive at your destination, they may want to sketch scenes from your holiday too.
You and the Other Adults
Travelling with kids isn’t just stressful for the little ones – it can be a trying time for all the adults involved too. To make the journey more pleasant, you should bring along something to keep yourself entertained or things that can help you relax.
For example, if you know you’re going to feel travel sick or get a headache from your baby’s crying, bring along some medication. You could also bring some soothing music, a podcast that you love or an audiobook that you can plug in when your children are occupying themselves. This could be the perfect way to unwind and prepare yourself for more difficult parts of the journey.
Related: 4 Comfort Tips for Long Haul Flights
Don’t forget, you’ll also need to bring travel documents and flight tickets with you as well. Staying organised can help to reduce your stress levels significantly, so doing some preparation in advance could do you a whole world of good. Consider buying a plastic wallet or storage box that you can use to keep all your family’s essentials in one place and to avoid digging around in your bag at passport control.
Going away with your children can allow you to spend some important quality time together. Regardless of the ages of your children, you may want to consider how you can make the travelling aspect easier and more enjoyable for them, especially on the way home when spirits are starting to run low.
This may help to take some of the pressure off of you when driving or attempting to deal with other means of transport. However, don’t forget about your own needs and do your best to make sure everyone has the time of their lives, including yourself.