With any holiday, preparing and planning before your trip is the best way you can make the most of your time together. From packing tips to keeping your kids engaged and entertained; here are some of the key things to consider to help you survive a getaway with the kids.
Pack for the weather
As spring approaches so does the sunshine, but the UK’s weather is famously unpredictable and so it’s a good idea to plan for all scenarios. Remember to bring hats to protect delicate faces from the sun and a few pairs of shoes in case a pair gets wet, muddy or ruined. Even if conditions look stable, you may want to pack the children’s coats, in case of a downpour.
Give them (a little) packing responsibility
Packing can cause challenges in any family. Especially, if you have children who are at that age where they’re craving independence. The beginning of a holiday should be exciting and not shadowed with stress. To stop squabbles, take on the main packing duties but give your kids a small bag to pack for themselves. Ask them to fill it with any toys, games, books or entertainment they want to bring with them. They’ll love the extra freedom and responsibility but if their bag ends up bursting with teddy bears, it’s not too much of an issue.
Plan a route
No one likes getting lost, but with a packed car where tiny voices are already asking ‘are we there yet?’ getting lost can be even more stressful. Whether you’re travelling a few hours in the car or getting on a plane, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Use a satnav to navigate and make sure you choose a route with plenty of rest spots as you’ll need plenty of options when it comes to surprise toilet breaks. Even if you know where you’re going it’s still wise to check the local traffic before you leave for your journey.
If your spring getaway is filled with exciting outdoor adventures or if it’s all about relaxing on a beach, there’s still the matter of getting to your destination. Long journeys and kids aren’t usually words that go together positively. To help battle tantrums, boredom and hunger, pack some in-car entertainment. Lots of snacks are a must to keep your little ones happy but you may want to go easy on the water or juice to avoid multiple toilet stops. Portable DVD players or tablets are great distractions. If you have more than one child, you can set up two devices with different cartoons or films. Audiobooks are a great way to entertain everyone in the car, you just need to make sure the story is age appropriate.
Engage your children
Children can become disengaged in their surroundings which can result in tantrums. Even if you’re at Disneyland, we all know that outbursts can happen from time to time. To help reduce the risk, boost their interest by engaging the children in an exciting project. Whether it be with a small video camera, a disposable film camera, a journal or art book, invite your children to document their holiday experience. They’ll love exploring and finding new things to snap or note down. It’s also something you can all enjoy for years to come.
With these preparation tips, you’ll have more time on your holiday to enjoy making memories together.