The greatest military campaigns in history required far less organisation and certainly less equipment than your typical family holiday. Here are some tips on how to minimise the madness on your next family holiday.
Wipes glorious wipes
For our money, wet wipes are under priced by supermarkets. How can you even put a price on the ability to remove sticky orange juice from the clothes you so optimistically washed and ironed for the flight? Just in case someone spills more than just their juice, it’s also a good idea to pack some spare clothes for the whole family…you know anything is possible with little ones.
A good way to minimise drama (sorry you can’t stop it all together) is to do just what you would do at home – keep them well fed and keep them occupied. This means packing snacks and entertainment.
We don’t know about you, but we are yet to board a bus, plane or train that has ever left on time or not been delayed somewhere along the way. Also, if you’re in a different time zone, their little bellies won’t know where they are, so have snacks at the ready.
Whether you like your kids watching devices or not, you are going to be mighty glad that you packed them. Devices have the magical ability to stop tears, tantrums and the occasional fight. You can pre load programs on there that you don’t mind them watching. Can we suggest also uploading a little something for yourself that doesn’t involve SpongeBob, for when the kids nod off. If you’re not a fan of too much screen time for the little ones, take picture books and colouring activities.
Apply the break
A device can only do so much though. We very much doubt any child has ever sat still for more than two hours. Anytime. Anywhere. So if you’re traveling by car, take as many breaks as you can – better they burn off the energy outside the car than in the back seat.
Rewards have rewards
There’s a pretty good chance you have already worked out that a reward system is rewarding not just for the kids, but also for you. You might need them to sit still, or you might need them to help keep an eye out for a place to eat. If they make the journey a little smoother, a piece of chocolate or a sticker is a small price to pay.
So before you leave home, make sure you grab the following:
- Wipes. As many as you can humanly carry.
- Devices. Preloaded with things for everyone to watch
- Headphones. You don’t want to listen to Frozen one more time.
- Creative stuff. Crayons and paper to keep them busy…and out of trouble.
- Comforter. Be it bunny or lamb or blanket, they will miss it. Maybe bring two just in case.
- Snacks. Whatever you think they’ll eat, times it by two. Same goes for the grown ups.
- Water. No explanation necessary.
- Nappies. One per hour of travel is about right.
And just try and enjoy every minute of the wonderful madness that is a family holiday.