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Put fun into travelling with children

By Njoki Chege | December 20th 2012

By Njoki Chege

Travelling with children is exciting both for the young ones and parents.Children will get understandably excited at the thought of travelling to a new destination and parents savour the opportunity to spend time with their them and relish sweet memories that emanate from a family holiday.

This is why you must get it right in travelling and holidaying with your children by observing the few tips listed below.

Plan: Children love surprises, but you can create anticipation by throwing in a picture of the holiday destination and a few clues about the holiday. Create excitement by letting them pack their little suitcases, cameras, toys and snacks.

Most importantly, if you are going abroad, update the entire family’s immunisations with extra keenness on the children. Of course, double-check your hotel and transport reservations to avoid disappointment.

Be keen on time: Give yourself and your family extra time to check-in and also between connecting flights. Even if you are going by road, start your journey early; you don’t want to be stuck at night with children in the backseat.

Get help: If you can afford an extra set of hands during your holiday, the better for you. Rope in a family member or a friendly nanny to help with the toddler and relieve you unnecessary stress during the holiday.

Comfort is the word: Bring a child seat that meets the flight safety standards to ensure your child is comfortable and safe. When flying with small children, the first row in economy class is always best as there’s a lot of legroom.

If the front row seats are not available, place children away from the aisle, preferably between responsible adults.If you are going by road, throw in pillows and blankets and of course, snacks and portable games. Stop frequently for bathroom breaks and encourage the children to talk, laugh and crack jokes as you travel.

Must haves: Bring bottled water for the children, sunscreen lotion to rehydrate during the drive or flight, gum, pacifiers and bottles to reduce air pressure on the children’s ears, and a variety of toys in carry-on bags to keep the child’s interest from waning.

Be safe: Accidents are bound to happen during holidays, this is why you must be vigilant. Possible lurking dangers include; drowning (in the pool/ocean), chocking, food poisoning and a hoard of other accidents and incidents.

While some accidents are out of your control, you can keep your children safe by being extra careful and watchful of them, never let your children venture out alone (even if the hotel insists it is safe). Always carry a first air kit, just in case.

Have a schedule: Much as it seems crazy, did you know that you might actually get bored on a holiday? To prevent this, ensure you pick out a holiday destination with fun filled activities for children.

Schedule your holiday such that children are either not too tired or too bored at the end of the day. In the spirit of a family holiday, ask the children to give you ideas of what they’d like to do while on holiday. Carry balls, ropes, video games, indoor games and anything that will guarantee fun.

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