"And it's a wonderful thing about a family trip: it gives you experiences that will forever remain locked in the scar tissue of your mind." ~ Dave Barry
Yes, the idea of traveling the world as a family is a terribly romantic term; one that is not really as much fun in reality as it is in imagination. I traveled with two little boys halfway around the world, swore I would never do it again, and then repeated it a year later …. go figure! The point is, if you like to travel, whether you want to travel, whether you have children or not. Here are some things I found that changed my world.
Traveling by car
If possible, plan your trip while the kids usually sleep. If this is not possible, rest assured that they will be able to run around and get rid of some energy before the trip, and even during the journey, when taking breaks for the body.
Avoid giving them sugary drinks and eating – sounds obvious right? Carrot sticks, water biscuits, dried fruits, marmite sandwiches cut into bite-sized pieces.
Make sure you have a variety of books and things you can have fun with … try not to give them to kids at once. Maximize playing time with each new toy manufactured. Put each toy in a box, pencil bag, wrapping paper, etc. to increase their fascination with the subject and increase the playing time – We need to be smart!
If you have noisy games such as a children's laptop, DVD player, MP3 player, etc., make sure you pack extra batteries and headphones to provide a more peaceful experience for adults.
Older children will enjoy following the route on the road map. It always helped me when I was younger to judge how long we were sitting in the car and I eliminated the question "Are we still here?"
Regardless of the age of the children, it will probably be worthwhile to put a picnic basket or something in between to exchange space for each child!
Of course the children will not be happy to just sit in the car having fun throughout the trip. You will no doubt be asked to play the proverbial "Eye-Spy". If you don't know how to play, find out on my website. It may be worth it while you have a few extra games up your sleeve when "Eye Spy" is no longer fun. You can learn some other fun games like "cricket" and "uses for".
A damp cloth is a must in a picnic basket. And sunbathing for children's side windows.
A small bottle of ginger ale or ginger biscuits is great for motion sickness, and of course the traveler feels much better when they are not reading and prefer to concentrate on the path ahead.
One idea I turned out to be a disaster ….. we traveled pretty late into the night but the boys were still awake. I thought I'd entertain them briefly, and after dinner, they would fall asleep. I bought them torches so they could read their books in the dark. It sounded perfect. The reality was that they constantly shone the torches in Dad's rearview mirror, which annoyed him as he concentrated on the trip – their torches were seized early in the trip, and they did not want to sleep regularly. bedtime !! Sometimes our best laid plans fail … so moms, torches are NO-NO! J
If you have some time on your hands, I had fun making felt sheets filled with zippers and buttons, presses and lace images that will entertain my children by twisting, tying, attaching and creating. If you like some ideas on what to add, let me know and I'll make a list of what I've done …
This is fun … all the queues where toddlers don't understand the concept, have to go through metal detectors themselves, it seems an absolute age that you have to wait at the departure gate and then board the family. the first being that you have to keep your children in a cramped space longer than any other passenger! A word of warning, snap at the last possible moment and store their bottles as long as possible – otherwise everything went well before the plane even took off. When you need to even out their eardrums, you have no more bottles and their diaper needs to be changed already!
Probably the best contraception I've ever used at the airport is one of those little kids' guides that connects a parent to a child. Although I got strange looks from some passengers, my son was able to stretch his legs at the airport without worrying about him escaping or skipping ahead in line. They also allowed me both hands to find passports and fill out paperwork. The stroller was another useful handle. When my son got tired of walking, he could sit or sleep comfortably, and while walking, I had somewhere to put my luggage!
As with car travel, pack small sugar-sized treats and plenty of small toys for rest and fun. Keep in mind that you are also tired while traveling, so the more prepared you are, the easier it will be for everyone. I do not condone the use of medicines to relax or force children to sleep, however, if you do decide to do so, be sure to try it before you begin your journey. I had the opportunity to travel alone as I so decided to take a sleeping pill to help me sleep through the long flight, luckily I tried it at home first, as it knocked me out from 7pm and again I was only at 12 in the afternoon! It was a very scary experience. I would also advise that your child become accustomed to guidance before traveling, although it is less restrictive than holding it in your hand, it is very restrictive for young children when they are used to running freely.
PS: Feel free to share your experiences with me. If you have games and ideas for improving the quality of travel of other parents, especially based on your own experiences, please share them with me.