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Travelling with Children

23rd March 2016

Include Kids in the planning of the trip

Show them the website of where you intend to stay and let them help google activities and things to do in the area. Print out a map of the route you will be taking and discuss how long you expect it to take and mark the places you intend to stop. Give it to the kids to refer to in the car; older kids can also mark off towns as they pass and eradicate the need for them to ask that question…

Snacks, Snacks & More Snacks

I am forever trying to teach my kids the different between hungry and bored. Unfortunately after being in the card for a while it can be a bit hard for even yourself to differentiate the two. Be prepared and pack ahead. Avoid too many sugary treats where possible to avoid glucose induced mania. Dried fruit snacks, rice crackers and sandwiches work well for me as they can be handed out in small amounts at regular intervals- but you know your kids better than I do, I’m sure you know what will work for them.

Plan Regular Pit Stops

If you think a child’s attention span is small, then you obviously have never considered the size of their bladder. Stopping regularly can help with both of these things, especially the latter. Teaching a four-year-old girl to do wee on the side of a highway is not my finest parenting moment and I will forever curse that time I should have stopped but didn’t because she had already been to the toilet half an hour ago.

Play Your Own Music

Save your sanity. For me the only thing worse than listening to children whinging in the back seat is the constant sound of Playschool Volume 6,791,  over and over and over again. Whenever we get in the car my music comes on and after a while there’s a good chance the kids know more of the lyrics than I do. Honestly, who doesn’t love a good session of car trip karaoke?

Mix It Up

While an iPad loaded with movies is a great idea to keep the kids happy and quiet for a while, it may not be so great when it comes to travel sickness. Suggest a range of activities that will encourage the kid to look out the window for longer periods of time . I-spy is an oldie but a goody, as is Spotto, you can make up your own before you go or download from the web. And talk to each other. It really doesn’t matter what you talk about, but you might be surprised at how much you all enjoy each other’s company. In saying that, we all know that that electronic entertainment devices are an inevitable part of your travels, so my parting piece of wisdom is this…

Do Not Forget The Chargers and Headphones!