Travelling With Children

Travelling with children can be a nightmare. The tantrums, fevers and constant threat of boredom can make taking them on long journeys difficult. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Taking your kids around the country with you or when you go abroad can be a great way for your family to bond and to give your children memories they’ll cherish. The trick is to find a way to travel that takes the hassle out of childcare, while ensuring everyone has a good time. Here are a few parenting tips for those eager to explore which should help you on your way.

First of all, make sure to do a lot of research before you book anything, and even more before you set off. Have a look at a range of travel websites and hone in on those that specialise in catering for little ones. Look at reviews from parents with children a similar age to your own and seek out parenting forums where you can get advice from others in a similar position. A lot of great websites and articles with parenting tips, such as this one, are now available online.

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Once you’ve decided on a destination, try to ensure your travel plans there and back are as simple as possible. We all know the hazards of taking infants on a long train, bus or air journey – they get tired and agitated with the long, monotonous hours. Tiredness can be mitigated by avoiding too many changes and making sure all your children have enough space to stretch out during the journey.

Try to keep them in their normal routine as much as possible so they can sleep away those hours too. Also, be doubly sure to check the weather forecasts for your vacation times. Monsoons or heatwaves can scare or harm children, so try to avoid extremes wherever possible.

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This highlights another important issue about travelling as a family: safety. While most holidays can be enjoyed with no problems at all, being in an unfamiliar place with new hazards can bring many risks. Mitigate these by thinking ahead and remaining constantly vigilant. Does the swimming pool or beach have a lifeguard? Are your children’s vaccinations up to date?

Keep some basic medications with you for stomach bugs and the motion sickness that can be so common when travelling. Some health professionals recommend ginger for nausea caused by travelling. Ready-made sachets of sugar and salt are also handy as a remedy for diarrhoea, which is common and can turn nasty quite quickly if left untreated.

Finally, do your best to keep children occupied at all times. Prepare lots of smaller activities rather than one larger game, so you can keep their interest with a bit of variety. Pick one toy that makes them feel secure and allow them to bring it along. Healthy snacks and lots of fluids can also be handy ways to keep kids happy.

That’s what you want when you’re travelling together: a happy, excited brood. With a few quick parenting tips, it’s not too hard to get right!

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Becky, Steve or the other two useless ones (shhh they won't read this) form part of the Openstories team, a collaborative travel blog that we use to dump our ideas, plans and experiences onto the worldwide web. We're honored that you're hear reading this, and we'd love to hear from you. Thanks for dropping by!