Are you looking at planning a trip with your family but don’t know where to start? The key is in the small details when it comes to travelling with children of any age. Babies and toddlers can be ideal travel companions if you plan things correctly.
Getting to not only explore your destination but also see it through your children’s eyes can really add a different dimension to your trip.
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There are so many benefits for the whole family, including young children when it comes to travelling. Creating memories, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people are just some of the ways you can enrich yourself and your children. Learning as you go can really help your children pick up skills and knowledge they may not in your day to day surroundings.
To really make the most of your trip or even trips with children it pays to be as prepared and organised as possible in the run-up to departure day so you can be prepared for many different scenarios, you know, just in case! After all, kids can be unpredictable at the best of times!
Make sure you get the correct travel documents and visas as soon as possible. If you are visiting more than one country, then make sure you are able to travel freely and legally between countries. If you are planning to visit Canada during your trip them make sure you arrange your ETA Canada in plenty of time. The Electronic Travel Authorisation will be applied to your passport so you can be sure you have the correct documentation when you arrive in the country.
Make sure you all have enough time left on your passport as some countries require 6 months plus from the date you travel back home on your passport.
Having appropriate travel insurance is also essential for the whole family. Healthcare in countries other than your own can be expensive and you won’t be covered the same way as you would be at home. Check the small print to make sure you are aware of any restrictions or extra costs that could be applied in the event of anyone needing medical care during the trip.
Leave Plenty of Time.
No one likes to be rushing from one destination to the next and worrying about missing flights or connections. Especially in a new town or country. Even more so with young children in tow. So for anything you have planned, leave plenty of time to make your way there and account for any delays.
If you are taking a road trip, factor in time to stop to get out of the car and stretch your legs or take toilet breaks.
If you are planning on visiting specific places during your trip or taking excursions it may make sense to book before you arrive. This will give you all something to look forward to and experience together. This includes seating on planes or other modes of transport or transfers.
Book restaurants for meals out or day trips. When travelling with children, gone are the days of arriving at your destination and exploring at will. You will need to make sure you have a planned itinerary to help your trip run smoothly and keep everyone happy.
Pack Well and Pack Light.
Packing light and children aren’t usually two things you put together. We all know children, more so young babies need a lot of things when you are travelling away from home.
Choose things that are well made and will travel well. Even double up to be used for more than one thing if you can. Restrict the number of changes of clothes you take and make sure you know where the nearest laundrette is or if your destination has somewhere you can clean your clothes. This will give you less to carry with you on your trip. You will be thankful you took extra care over what you packed when it comes to negotiating your luggage and tired children after a long day travelling!
Discuss The Trip with Your Children.
Let them in on the excitement. After all, this holiday is as much for them as it is for you. Let them know what you will be doing and what they can expect when you set off. Showing them pictures of where you will be staying or visiting when you arrive at your destination.
If your child is nervous, anxious or unsure of what is happening this could reflect in their behaviour. Ease your fears by involving them and discussing everything they will need to know to help prepare them for you are about to experience. Keep any small home comforts to hand to help alleviate any worries to help you travel easier and make the trip more relaxed and enjoyable for the whole family.
Kids need snacks. It’s a fact of life that at some point a snack will be needed or they will require a drink of some sorts. Plan ahead for this inevitability by keeping snacks to hand, and drinks too as much as possible. Take your child’s favourite foods if you can so they have something familiar with them during their time away from home.
You may find that children can be reluctant to try new foods or dislike new cuisine they are trying. this is totally normal and having a snack they enjoy with you can help take away hunger and reduce any problems that can arise at mealtimes. It’s the little things that can help calm situations so being prepared at mealtimes could be a lifesaver in more ways than one!
Accept There Will Be Problems.
Things don’t always run smoothly or go to plan. Even without children around. But sometimes no matter how hard you try, things just won’t go the way you expected them to. Accepting this before you travel or arrive at your destination will help you keep calm and enjoy your trip a lot more. You can’t control everything and sometimes, it is easier to go with the flow than to try and force something that is causing issues. After all, you want to have a good time on your holiday!