It’s all about the journey, not the destination…
That saying is a luxury reserved for twenty-something backpackers travelling without screaming children in tow. For parents, the never-ending, high-pitched refrain of “are we there yet?”, the tantrums, the toilet breaks, the general chaos, conspire to make ‘getting there’ a highly fraught experience. And that’s all before you have to deal with sunburn, fussy eating, holiday bugs and sibling squabbles at the destination.
If the very thought is provoking PTSD from last year’s summer holiday, don’t worry. There are steps you can take to ensure things run a little more smoothly. Just keep thinking of that margarita on the beach… Here are our top tips, good luck!
- Pack plenty of healthy snacks for travelling
Once you replace the ordered routine of home with the frenzy of a long car journey or the arduous waiting in an airport terminal, meals become increasingly difficult to organise. To prevent your child turning their nose up at in-flight food or getting hyperactive from an overdose of sugar, make sure to pack healthy, mess-free snacks. The kind that you can whip out at the first sign of a kiddie mutiny. Apple slices, raisins and popcorn are always a good bet.
- And games too…
Keep tantrums at bay by packing plenty of entertainment for little ones. You may enforce screen-time restrictions at home, but it’s worth relaxing your policy while on the road. Having an iPad packed full of TV programmes and films should keep your children amused for a few hours at least. Bring some sticker books and other journey-ready games in case the iPad suffers any technical glitches or the battery dies.
- Try to keep your own bags to a minimum
At some point during the excursion, you’ll be required to carry your child’s coat/bag/teddy. Or you’ll need to carry your child. So, don’t over-burden yourself with your own packing, because you’re going to have your hands full at some point in the excursion – whether you like it or not.
- Give yourself extra time. Lots of it
You may have been a very efficient traveller before your kids came along. The kind of person who had airport arrival times nailed. Just enough time to check in and get through security without all the hours and hours of hanging around. Well, things are different with children. Very different. Children have no concept of rushing. They dilly, they dally. They sit down on the floor for no reason. They require constant toilet breaks, amusement and encouragement. Rather than stressing out, why not just factor in these (very predictable) delays into your schedule. This will help to keep you calm.
- Take every possible health precaution
If you’re going somewhere far-flung, make sure your child receives any necessary vaccinations. And get advice from your GP on what medication you should take with you. This applies to shorter breaks too. There is nothing more panic-inducing than trying to find your child’s particular brand of cough syrup in a foreign pharmacy.
- Ensure your final destination is kid-friendly
You’ve made it! Phew. Well done you. Hopefully you’ve done your research and your chosen destination is somewhere with a kid’s club, babysitters (for a well-deserved night off) and plenty of child-friendly activities and menus.
To help keep your beach days stress-free look to Frezyderm for a wide range of Sun screens for adults and children alike.