Travelling with kids can be challenging. Unfamiliar places, routines and people can make a family holiday seem like a battle. But it doesn’t have to be!
Taking the kids along can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. How do you do it sanely? Here are some tips and tricks to make your trip a smooth one.
Navigating the Airport
Perhaps the most stressful place for any traveller (adult or child) is the airport. It’s a place where people tend to be in a big hurry and are anxious to get out of. This doesn’t make for the most tranquil of experiences. But if you come prepared, the airport doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking place when you have kids in tow!
- Use Online Check-In
Many airlines allow customers to check in online on their website or smartphone app up to 24 hours ahead of the scheduled flight. This can help save time in long lines and gives you peace of mind that seats have been chosen, bags paid for and boarding passes have been printed.
- Give Your Family Extra Time
It is generally expected that passengers arrive at the airport well before their flight boards. When travelling with kids, extend this period and give yourself extra time! It is better to sit in a terminal and play games than try to get children through security and onto a plane in a rushed manner. Your stress levels will thank you!
- Prepare Your Kids For Security Screening
Going through security at the airport is a foreign experience to children. Before the day of the trip, be sure to sit down with them and explain what will happen. Reassure them that it isn’t scary; instead, make it sound fun! On the day of the flight, dress them comfortably and make sure they wear slip-on shoes for easy removal.
- Use a Child Locator/GPS at the Airport
With today’s technology, it is easier than ever to keep track of your little ones. Many companies make children locators, or GPS’s, for your child to wear. Some come with two-way calling and many are linked directly to your smartphone. Check out options online; there are many available in various budget ranges.
- Fly as Early in the Day as Possible
By the middle or end of the day, airlines often have been dealing with delays and cancellations. If you book your flights for the morning, there is less chance of having to hang out all day at the airport due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Bring Each Child a “Surprise”
Airplane rides can be a stressful venture with children. They often feel bored and cramped. To help curb these feelings, pack a “surprise” toy or activity that the child hasn’t seen yet and let them open it up like a present on the plane.
Picking Kid-Friendly Destinations
When it comes to finding a good destination for family fun, be sure to follow some simple ideas:
- Choose Hotels/Resorts With Children’s Activities
Hotels and resorts which attract families are going to be your best bet for a great place to stay. Look for children’s activities listed on the website or call the concierge before booking. Many resorts do an outstanding job at offering fun and creative ways to involve children.
- Look For Areas with Kid-Friendly Attractions
Destinations which are close to children’s attractions are a perfect choice. Search the area for museums, water parks, playgrounds, beaches, and aquariums before deciding on a holiday spot.
- Make Sure Kid-Friendly Restaurants Are Close By
Kids are generally picky eaters. Give them a little comfort in an unfamiliar environment by ensuring that they have foods they are used to eating. Scan the area for eateries that might include kid’s menus and treats like ice cream, fro-yo, or even a cupcake bakery!
Keeping Children Entertained
It is important to keep your child busy with things to do that they like. If they become bored or disinterested, they will be more likely to act out.
- Download Kid-Friendly Apps
From toddlers to teens, there are some great apps available for tablets, smartphones, and computers. Before hitting the road or the air, find the ones that you trust and will benefit your child and download them to a mobile device.
- Involve Your Kids
Give your children a notebook and pen to keep track of the trip. Many kids enjoy keeping a “travel journal”. If your child doesn’t write yet, consider giving them an instant film camera, such as a Polaroid or Fujifilm, so they can take pictures of what they see from their vantage point during the holiday.
- Good Ol’ Colouring Books
Colouring books, sticker and activity books, whiteboards with dry erase markers, and small puzzle toys are always a good idea when travelling. Be sure to pack one or two crayons instead of a whole box, as they are easily lost and can be messy!
- Avoiding Meltdowns
Taking your children on a trip means that they are not going to be in their normal daily routine. This often disrupts children’s attitudes and causes meltdowns. Try these suggestions to curb tantrums:
- Avoid Sugar
While travelling, keep your child’s sugar intake to a minimum. A sugar rush and crash is often the cause of many a meltdown. Instead, bring foods they are familiar with or go to an eatery with their favourite nutritious offerings.
- Have Time Not to Rush
Rushing children can often make them upset. (It often makes adults upset!) So be conscious about giving you and your family plenty of time to make it from one place to another and from one activity to another.
- Know It Won’t Be Perfect
Give yourself and your family a little room to make mistakes. Things won’t go perfectly smooth when travelling with children. Instead of letting these things upset you, use them as opportunities for family memories. If you relax and stop trying to make the trip “perfect” it usually ends up being so!
Here at Go Insurance, we can help put your mind at ease with travel insurance for both you and your children. Be sure to check out our options and contact us with any questions. We’d love to make your trip a fun, safe, and memorable one!
Categories: Travel Advice