Travelling with children can be challenging - what with unpredictable schedules, long packing lists and dealing with tantrums on the go. But what to do?
Explore strategies that will help the children to have a good time during the travel. These strategies will depend on their age. Ensure that you have done some pre-trip research on child-friendly activities that will keep them busy.
According to family travel data, children at baby age and two years are the easiest to travel with as they are “portable”. You can travel with them anyway, using any mode of travel in as long as you keep them comfortable and happy, and not to forget, keeping them on their routine.
Schedules for infants, travel experts say, are important for infants. This means that if the infant is on a feeding and sleeping schedule, this must be adhered to.
In addition, be sure to bring along the infant's toys, books, and feeding bottles while on a family outing adventure. It is important to not keep the toddler strapped on a baby carrier or stroller all day long.
Allow the baby an opportunity to walk and get some exercise and play around. If the infant is not walking yet, spread a mat for them to stretch and roll around – infants love this.
Children from age four who are just “discovering and enjoying their movements” can be a challenge to travel with – they want to be left free to explore just everything in their surroundings.
They want to go to the plane’s or train’s washroom every other moment, not because they want to relieve themselves, but to find out what happens.
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The trick is, to keep them involved in the planning, even if in a small way. The more they are empowered, and the more the explanations on the dos and don’ts, while travelling the more they are easy to deal with.
Let them choose the activities that they can indulge in without causing trouble. This planning also goes for activities or experiences during the vacation. You can involve them in choosing the activities.
And the best way to keep teenagers engaged during a family travel and vacation is to keep them engaged and allow them to take control and ownership in the planning part of the family trips.
You may want to consider giving the older children the option to spend some time exploring the destination or experiencing some activities on their own or under a guide. This will sit in with the teen, as long as you and the teen both feel safe.
From a teenager’s perspective, this is a sound decision and it proves to them that they can be trusted to act responsively. They will definitely feel super excited to have some time alone.