Going on holiday with the family is something that everyone looks forward to for it is a time to recharge and bond. However, taking children on a trip for the first time might become a daunting challenge. It need not be. Whether you have babies or toddlers, it helps to put the extra mile to prepare for a trip that will make everyone happy and comfortable, including you.
One of the first things to do is to make an itinerary. This is particularly useful if going on a longer trip, renting cars or taking planes. From ensuring passports and vaccination cards are up to date to confirming that you have the permission to take a child abroad, writing down everything and making a short schedule can help turn your kids’ first time holiday into a resounding success. In addition, book hotels in advance and ensure that you have a bed for the night especially if arriving late. Rental cars should be ready and equipped with child seats for the little ones. For each site that you visit, explore things that kids can do whether there is a park nearby or a suitable child-attraction that they might enjoy.
Clothing, shoes and other accessories that kids will need are important. Depending on the place where you are going or the time of the year, it pays to check what the local weather is like. Layering is a good idea so make sure to have shirts, cardigans and jackets that they can easily put on and take off. If children are comfortable in their clothes and shoes, they are not likely to make a fuss.
Have Enough Entertainment
One of the most challenging things that parents face is to keep children occupied and entertained. Toddlers 1-3 years old can focus on activities presented to them for as long as 2 minutes. Imagine how many types of distraction you would need on a 3-hour flight! Hence, it is vital to have a repertoire of creative activities that you can give to kids that are of interest to them. Remember, that they are likely to stay at something if it is a fun and interesting activity. Board games, memory games and activity books are highly recommended as they improve motor skills and enhance creativity.
Do Not Forget Provisions
Hungry kids are unhappy and they will likely throw a tantrum if they are thirsty or lack nourishment. Whether travelling to Cornwall in a car or on a plane to the Caribbean, avoid the sweets as you do not want hyperactive children. When packing provisions, go for snacks that are highly nutritious such as dried/fresh fruit or whole wheat biscuits. Water is still the best drink for kids to keep them hydrated. In addition, prepare your own emergency kit that includes medication, sanitary wipes, plasters, disinfectants and bags for vomit or trash. Also, you might want to consider bringing a travel potty that your kids can use in case of dire emergencies.
If you have the basics covered, there is a high chance that your trip is fuss-free. It also helps to condition yourself that anything can go wrong. And when that happens, accept that it is not always possible to anticipate everything when travelling with kids for the first time.
Jane Sandwood – Freelance Writer