Family travel tips

Family travel tips

TRAVEL WITH CHILDREN PEACEFULLY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

As anyone would know, travelling over the busy holiday season can be stressful - travel with children, well, that’s a whole new kind of stress! There’s the packing of the bag, nappy bag, toiletry bag, toy bag, medicine bag, handbag, and travel documents bag. With all of that, plus kids who are bored/curious/overwhelmed; you have your hands full – literally.

Never fear, we have some tips that will help you prepare for the long haul, and hopefully add some peace to your travels.

Packing the bags

Create a packing list a week before your trip, and keep it handy so that you can add to it as you think of things. It’s tempting to overpack with extra outfits as you envision the spills and marks but good measure is one outfit to wear, plus 1 extra.

Keep toiletries to a minimum – all-in-one products are a must. Tape them up or put them in zip-lock bags in case of spills. And don’t forget an empty shopping bag to use for dirty clothes because we know just how dirty ‘dirty’ can be!

A good idea when packing is to know what you’ll need when. Your suitcase should be for non-immediate items, like clothes, toiletries – even bulky toys. A nappy bag keeps everything else at hand, including the blankie and a mobile device loaded with your child’s favourite apps.

Keep bugs away

Maybe it’s Murphy, but kids seem to get sick while on holiday. You can take precautionary measures by using disinfectant wipes on mouths, hands and toys. Should your little one catch something despite your efforts, keep over-the-counter medicine with you to ease the aches and pains and then head to the doctor.

And on the topic of bugs… The flying, crawling and creeping variety aren’t only annoying but they can be dangerous. Check if you’re travelling to a malaria area or if there are other insect-transmitted diseases to prepare for. Don’t forget your Peaceful Sleep Family Care range – the 8-hour protective force field comes in a lotion, spray and stick. The lotion is great for babies and toddlers; the stick is a great handbag must!

Safety First

When we’re stuck in crowds, we tend to get a little panicked. It’s the same for your kids. They’re shorter so they don’t have view of where they’re going and will instantly freeze at the thought of being lost. Hold hands as you walk and when moving as a family unit, a parent leading and a parent or older child rounding up the back is a good tactic.

Should your child wander, a child locator is quite a nifty gadget to have. There are a few products on the market that give you real-time tracking, 2-way calling and a panic button. Otherwise, you could simply write your cellphone number on your child’s arm in permanent marker for someone to call you should they find your child unattended.

And if you’re driving to your destination – and driving in general – a chair or booster seat is not only a legal necessity; it could save your child’s life. Always buckle up!

Know the flow

You’ll be less stressed when you know how/where/when you’re travelling. Know the flow by writing a schedule of times and destinations, including addresses and telephone numbers. This will help you plan ahead and take your time where needed. Book ahead for hotels, restaurants, and taxis; print out maps of the area and highlight points of interest, like the airport, the hotel you’re staying in, and sightsees.

Most importantly, have all your travel documents ready. Are your passports up to date? Do you need your child’s birth certificate? Is a letter required from a legal guardian that is not travelling with you? These are all questions your travel agent can help you with. Make copies of your documents and keep them separate from your originals – this will save you a lot of stress should your passports get stolen or lost.

Lastly, be prepared but note that if you’re stressed, your child is most likely to follow suit. Try and remind yourself along the way that the journey is an exciting adventure and part of the holiday fun. Here’s wishing you a peaceful holiday season – safe travels!