Julia from KidsTravel2 runs a website that specialises in travel gear for children and has gleaned valuable travel tips by talking over the years to other parents and carers of children. Read on to benefit from some of her most useful tips to smooth your journey with your own kids....
Hello I'm Julia from KidsTravel2, children's suitcase
and travel gear specialist, and we’re delighted to be here on Away with The Kids to share our tips on keeping the children entertained whilst travelling to your holiday destination. As a mum of 2 young children I recognise that travelling with kids
can be fun, exciting, rewarding and at times downright challenging. We spend lots of time talking to other parents and carers of children and here are some of the most useful tips to smooth the journey that we have gleaned over the years.
1. Plan to relax
Picture this. You've packed the cases, dropped the cat at the cattery & given the plants a final water. A final tug of the front door and you flop exhaustedly into your car seat to 'relax' on the way to your holiday destination. Only problem is the children are so whipped up into a frenzy of excitement they declare they are bored 5 minutes into the journey and you're too frazzled to play I Spy for hours on end. Sound familiar? It may sound obvious but a bit of forward planning can really help avoid this and will mean a much more chilled journey for you.
2. Mix it up
One of our best tips is to break your travel activities up into 5 key types
and introduce a new activity from a different group every 15/20 minutes. Some will actively involve you, some won't so you should be able to get some down time too. You’ll be amazed at the results. The 5 recommended activity types are listening activities
(think music, audio books or CD led games), word games
(stacks of fun word games to play on our blog
), screen activities
(though rein back on these for any car sick prone travellers), craft activities
like stickers & etch a sketch, and, finally, self entertainment
(fill up a car tidy with games to play on the move or encourage a snooze). Adopting this strategy can make time pass much more quickly in the car.
3. Lucky dip travel bag
These are really easy to do and kids love them. In the few weeks before you go away just start collecting a few bits and pieces and put them aside. I'm talking small, inexpensive Christmas cracker type toys, charity shop finds, freebies with cereal boxes, stickers, crafting pipe cleaners or a new activity pad like dot to dot etc. Wrap them up in tissue paper if you have time for added fun factor. On your journey you can use these to break the journey up or give out as little 'prizes' for any of the games you have been playing.
4. Embrace the time you have
You often hear wholesome types talking about 'living in the moment' and 'embracing the time' you have but putting a different spin on things really can work. Instead of viewing the journey as a period of time to be endured before your holiday starts try thinking of it as part of your holiday, an opportunity of spending some quality family time together. Talk to each other. Use word games to get things moving if it helps you.
5. Take a break
Sometimes there's only one thing for it. You just have to take a break from your journey to keep your sanity in tact! Be realistic and don't try and over estimate what you can achieve. If you can work fun breaks into the journey such as a stop off at a park then don't be a martyr to the clocking up the miles cause and give yourself and the children a much needed break.
Happy travelling wherever you're next off to!
Visit www.kidstravel2.com for unusual children's luggage, kids travel games and family travel accessories. There are stacks more free travel games, I Spy print outs and travel tips on their blog at http://blog.kidstravel2.com