SURVIVING TRAVEL WITH KIDS
While we look forward to that relaxing vacation, travelling to our holiday destination can leave us stressed and ready to cancel the trip before we arrive.
Long journeys by car, with kids that are bored and often fighting in the back seat, can quickly remove our anticipated excitement.
The trick is to have a hassle free car journey with your kids. The way we do this is to prepare. When we organise ourselves, and the children, our journey can be relaxed and enjoyable.
My top tips to ensure your holiday journey is successful and the kids are happy and entertained.
Make sure you take plenty of age appropriate activities for the long journey. This does not mean just electronic games; it means a variety of activities that the kids can play and enjoy, something out of the ordinary for them.
Colouring books, small puzzles, crosswords, card games can all keep them entertained. Electronic games can be used but only for a limited time otherwise they can develop carsickness from looking down for so long.
DOLLS AND TEDDIES
Dolls and teddies can also make great travel companions for children as they share their experiences and journey with them.
TALK WITH YOUR CHILDREN
Ensure you talk to the children on the trip. Talk about that past semester and the events that occurred like the success at school or in sport, the funny things that happened, anything special and positive.
Then speak about the holiday and everything you are going to do and enjoy, create anticipation and excitement.
You can also speak about the semester ahead, what they may learn at school, their sports activities, or new activities they are about to commence.
Play games such as eye spy and counting how many specific coloured cars they can see. Each child can choose a colour and then count how many cars they can spot of that colour over 5 minutes.
You can do the same with number plate letters. It is also fun to use the number plates of cars to form sentences such as a plate being ELF 66S may translate to ‘Everybody Loves Food’. Kids imagination is amazing and this can be a hilarious game and great for younger children learning letters.
TRAVEL DESTINATION AND TIME
Be sure to let the children know where they are travelling and how long it may take to get there. Using an electronic device so the children can follow their journey is really good for them as well.
Tell them; age appropriately, how long the trip will take. For younger children it may be ‘as long as you go to school all day’ for older children it can he number of hours.
STOP AND REVIVE
Make sure you regularly stop for a break, every 2 hours at least. This not only refreshes the driver but also can enable the children to burn off some stored energy.
Take a ball to throw or kick around at a roadside park area. Take a skipping rope and even chalk so they can draw with. Have them play chasing games to wear them out.
REWARD GOOD BEHAVIOUR
I suggest rewards for the well-behaved child. This can be choosing the bed they want to sleep in once they arrive at their destination or getting a special meal along the way.
Travelling as a family should be incredible fun. The memories etched into the minds of the children and us, will last a lifetime. The greatest memory we can help them create is a happy one of their journey and their holiday.
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