Travelling can be stressful at the best of times, but throw in a couple of children, a hectic festive schedule and the Christmas traffic and it soon becomes a complete nightmare – but it doesn’t have to be. So, round up the kids, pack up the car and follow these top tips for travelling with your kids this Christmas:
No one likes to think the worst, but as the old saying goes: “if something can go wrong, it probably will” – so always prepare for the worst case scenario. If you’re driving cross-country, make sure you pack some blankets, spare clothes, bottled water, non-perishable food, a fully-charged phone and a torch. In case there are any accidents along the way, it’s also a good idea to take a child-friendly first aid kit, such as those available from Steroplast Healthcare.
Take it easy
It’s all too easy to get swept along in the Christmas rush and try to pack as many things as possible into each trip – but you’ll get far more out of your travels if you plan ahead. Try to take things at a slower pace and be realistic about how much ground you can cover.
The less you feel you have to cram in, the less stressful and more enjoyable the trip will be.
Know your place
If you are travelling with another family, make sure each adult has a their own task or responsibility, such as minding the kids, making sure certain things are packed or taking turns at the wheel. Sharing the load will make the trip far more enjoyable for everyone.
And, if you’re traveling by bus or rail, work out who’s getting on first, who’s getting on last, where everyone is sitting and who is storing the luggage to make sure no-one gets left behind.
Eyes in the back of your head
If you’re traveling with kids alone, it may be worthwhile investing in an extra rear-view mirror pointed towards the back seats so you can keep an eye on the kids without having to turn around.
If possible, you may also want to think about bringing along a selection of books, toys or portable game consoles to keep your youngsters entertained while you concentrate on the drive.
Take a break
You will also need to plan regular stop-offs along the way. Children always need plenty of toilet breaks and it’s important to take time to rest and eat, especially if you’re tackling a long journey.
Do the packing for them
Although you might think it’s a nice idea to let the kids pack their own rucksack, particularly if they’re getting a bit older, you should always do the packing for them. Unless you want bags full of teddies, comics and trading cards, you will need to ensure that all the kid’s essentials are ready and waiting for you when you reach your destination.