Keeping your calm, sanity and enjoying yourself while travelling with kids is pretty elusive for most of us parents. Children will always find a way of getting on your nerves when you need it least and you might find yourself wishing you never went onto the trip in the first place.
So to save yourself the stress you could consider a few of the following tips.
1. Plan ahead
You knew this day was coming, so plan way ahead. You do not want to start panicking on the departure day after you find that you have forgotten essential items. Planning ahead gives you time to think and anticipate any issues travelling might bring up.
2. Leave home early
On the departure date, ensure that you leave home early. Take into consideration factors beyond your control. For instance, traffic jams, and parking issues not to mention possible problems with bookings which could all impact your time.
3. Fly at night
Try to find night flights. This is good because your kids can sleep during the flight, leaving you some space to breathe. Day flights are a menace and kids cannot sleep well because of all that excitement but sticking as much to their routine as possible can be really helpful.
4. Pack your stuff well
Get a good bag and keep the essential items and paperwork in an easily accessible area. Why not also ensure that anything that you need to take out at security if flying is in one area of the bag so you can just take it out easily!
5. Pack enough foods and snacks
Most airlines do not offer good kid-friendly foods. Pack yours. You might be asked to sample the food at the airport by security but this is a small inconvenience compared to your children playing up during the flight because they are hungry. I find that most airports in the UK have great offerings of picnic type foods that you can even pick up once through security if you are flying and forget to pack anything.
6. Pack enough liquids
Ensure that you have enough liquids for your kids and allow them to drink whenever they want. This will keep them hydrated and at a lower risk of getting cranky. Don’t forget to that liquids can’t be taken through security easily so if possible buy those on the other side too but don’t forget a special backer or cup if needed.
7. Be flexible and adaptable to changes
You can only control one aspect of your life; Your family and the preparations you make. However, unexpected things do happen that could derail the sweet plans you had for the journey. Keep your calm and be flexible.
8. Children know when you are panicking and angry
Try to be in a good mood and talk in soothing tones to the kids. They have a way of detecting when we are angry or panicking when things are not going our way. This will only induce panic in them and cause them to react and trust me, that is not something you would want to deal with at that time.
9. Double check your paperwork
Make sure you have your passports ready and make copies in the event that something happens. This will save you tons of headache and ease your booking processes.
10. Have apps and games to keep the kids entertained
Download apps appropriate for the kids and carry some toys with you. This will keep them occupied for hours and give some peace although it may not be for the whole flight.
In the end, you know your children better than anyone else. Find out what works for them and work around that. This will help you have a great trip and arrive at your destination with your sanity intact…. Or as much as you can with children in tow.
If you are looking for tips on travelling long haul with children why not check out my post on Surviving A Long Flight With A Toddler.