Six tips for stress-free travel with children

Whether it’s the annual family road trip, a pilgrimage to reconnect with family or a long-awaited school holiday jaunt, Easter travel can be as daunting as it is exciting.

Travelling with children can demand meticulous planning, patience and the ability to adapt to unexpected situations. But if done right a family holiday can reward us with lifelong memories.

Here are six simple tips that can help you to minimise the stress while maximising the fun.

  1. Plan ahead: Planning ahead is essential when travelling with children. It’s a good idea to research your destination and have a clear understanding of the activities that you and your family will be undertaking. Make sure to book your accommodation in advance, as well as any activities or tours that you wish to participate in.
  2. Pack smart: When packing for a family trip away, be sure to make a list of the essentials that you will all need for your trip. Just as importantly, make sure to pack them in a way that is easy to access. If possible, pack each child’s belongings in a separate, clearly-marked bag or suitcase. Don’t forget any necessary medications and consider packing a small first-aid kit.
  3. Keep the kids entertained: Children can become restless during long flights or car rides. To head off the inevitable boredom and restlessness, pack plenty of snacks, books, games, and toys. Maybe download movies, games, or educational apps to your phone or tablet. You can even encourage your children to take part in “traditional” travel activities such as drawing or reading.
  4. Stay flexible: Travel with children can often be unpredictable, so be prepared for the unexpected. This could include delays, cancellations, or changes in plans. If you encounter an unexpected situation, stay calm. Your children will look to you for guidance and reassurance, so try to remain positive.
  5. Get the children involved: Don’t be scared to invite your children into the planning process. Ask their input on potential activities and destinations, and let them have a say in the decision-making process. By including your children in the decisions, they will hopefully feel more involved and invested in the trip. It could also help avoid tantrums.
  6. Take breaks: Family travel can be exhausting, so don’t forget to take breaks. Make sure you schedule breaks in your itinerary that give the kids time to rest and recharge. A break could involve going for a walk, taking a nap of even taking time out for a snack. Remember that thirsty and hungry children, and adults, are more prone to stress and anxiety.
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