Monday, July 6, 2015

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN

 Photo used with permission from TIM COULSON
By Jo Lenton

Last school holidays Jo gave us her top 10 tips for travelling with kids. We thought since we're in the throws of school holidays (and you are probably juggling the little ones AND the big kids) - it's worth re-visiting...

Photo used with permission from TIM COULSON

Just about everything you do in this parenting gig seems to work better with a little preparation and planning. If you set out the clothes and pack lunches for the next day- the morning runs smoothly. If you menu plan for the week- you avoid the evening panic with starving screaming children. If you fill the car with petrol when the light comes on and the kids are at preschool… And so on.
Holidays are the same.
Let’s be honest, holidaying with kids is not the same as the days when you threw your swimmers in a bag and set off with no particular destination in mind. Say goodbye to glorious spontaneity and start making lists, reading destination reviews and packing a week ahead! We have holidayed with our little children and have had some amazing experiences and some some complete shockers. Here’s a few things that I’ve learned along the way.

1- Holidays are like entering a new world. You can’t count on your well oiled home routines so allow for some flexibility. Scenic drives (car naps), sleepovers (all kids in bed with you), plenty of potatoes (hot chips) and even a bit more TV than usual might just be what it takes to get you through the loopy moments.

2- Don’t push it. While there has to be some flexibility, taking your kids out to a nice restaurant when it’s already half an hour past their usual bedtime probably won’t end well.

3- Choose ‘family friendly’ accommodation. In the past, we have stayed at places where 95% of everything was breakable, electric or able to be used as a weapon. While these places looked amazing on the website they really didn't lend themselves to a relaxing holiday. Also, having to say ’SHHHHHH’ the whole time because it turns out you’ve actually booked a room in a shared BNB just isn’t fun. We love the facilities at holiday parks but also can’t get past the secluded farm-stay - it’s really up to you and what most suitable for your family.

4- Learn to relax! Cocktails by the pool may not be an option anymore so its time to learn new ways to relax. Bush or beach walks, picnics in wide open spaces, midday movies with popcorn. Why not buy a couple of cameras for your kids or get them to take pictures on your phone. It’s nice to have a record of your holiday from their different point of view.

5- Eat healthy. I know I mentioned hot chips but for the most part it’s probably better to try and stay healthy. Kids are already pumped with excitement while on holidays so adding extra sugar may cause them to go into over-drive! Healthy eating promotes better sleep, friendlier play and regular bowel movements...

6- Do activities that everyone will enjoy. Dragging kids around on a shopping spree in the city just isn’t going to cut it, but a museum visit might.

7- Don’t forget to pack essentials like paracetamol, baby wipes and comfort items. My kids always liked particular drink bottles, soft toys and music for sleeping time and these would be on the top of my packing list.

8- Go to bed early. I hate it when people suggest I go to bed early… It’s like they are stealing my precious ‘me’ time. But you never know what the night will bring when you are away from home and it’s worth getting off to a good start- at least for the first night. Let’s say you go to bed at 8pm and get up at 6am, then it won’t matter so much that you have been up 6 thousand times that night settling toddlers who don’t know where they are.

9- Don’t move around too often. We did a trip around the South Island of New Zealand that was really spectacular. But we never stopped anywhere long enough to calm the kids down and get in some good rest. While I remember the trip fondly, I also look back and think ‘what the heck were we thinking!’. Might be better to have stayed 5 days here and 5 days there.

10- Get outside. Before the kids get old enough to think everything is boring, get outside and breath the fresh air! Animal spotting bush walks, endless swims, sand castle building competitions, bike rides, anything that will wear them out but at the same time make some beautiful memories.

So tell me, have you had travel success with your children? or failure? I'd love to hear some stories!

Jo xx

Jo is a lifestyle and travel enthusiast. As the mother of three young boys she is fearless when it comes to road trips, tents, cabins, cafe's and international adventure. From packing the essentials to planning the perfect kid friendly itinerary, Jo runs a tight ship and is on board to share her knowledge and experience with us here at The Beetle Shack.

15 comments:

  1. We drove from the Bay of Plenty to Christchurch and back in 5 days, our kids were 6,4, and 15months, it was quite stressful and it would have been awesome to spend longer in places, but overall the kids did so well travelling in the car, hardly any meltdowns and they played well (portable DVD player helped). I think that sometimes kids will exceed your expectations, and if you go with the flow, being prepared to stop if you need to you can have a lot of fun. My mantra when travelling is with kids its about the journey not necessarily the destination.

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    1. Wow! That is a long drive! Our kids were really good in the car too (only one vomit from our 18 month old! Those NZ roads are windy!). I just felt overall they were not well rested and neither were we. There is just so much to see in NZ- we could have spent weeks in every place we stayed!

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    2. THE MIGHTY SPELL CASTER THAT HELPED ME SOLVED MY URGENT CRITICAL RELATIONSHIP PROBLEM.
      I dont know how to really thank Dr. Keke Odin for what he did for me. My Name is Anita Kelly from Los Angeles, i was dating this man who i loved very much for over four years now without any problem in our relationship. so at a point he changed so suddenly after returning from the office and started behaving so strangely. it even got to the extent that he told me it was over and i should never call him again. This was a person that loved me with everything that he had. When i told my friend jenny what happened, she introduced me to a great spell caster called DR KEKE ODIN, the chief priest of all spell caster. At first sight this man told me all my problems that it was his secretary that used a charm on him. Dr KEKE ODIN told me not to worry that he will help me solve the problem. The following day, i was in the house in a sober mood when i first received a message from my boyfriend that he was very sorry and before i dropped the phone, he called me again to say he is on his way home and that he was truly sorry for everything. To my greatest surprise, one week later he engaged me and we got married. All Thanks to KEKE ODIN. You can contact him through the following means

      Email: greatkekespelltemple@gmail.com

      Mobile Number: +1 386-336-9876

      website: http://greatkekespelltemple01.webs.com



      THE MIGHTY SPELL CASTER THAT HELPED ME SOLVED MY URGENT CRITICAL RELATIONSHIP PROBLEM.
      I dont know how to really thank Dr. Keke Odin for what he did for me. My Name is Anita Kelly from Los Angeles, i was dating this man who i loved very much for over four years now without any problem in our relationship. so at a point he changed so suddenly after returning from the office and started behaving so strangely. it even got to the extent that he told me it was over and i should never call him again. This was a person that loved me with everything that he had. When i told my friend jenny what happened, she introduced me to a great spell caster called DR KEKE ODIN, the chief priest of all spell caster. At first sight this man told me all my problems that it was his secretary that used a charm on him. Dr KEKE ODIN told me not to worry that he will help me solve the problem. The following day, i was in the house in a sober mood when i first received a message from my boyfriend that he was very sorry and before i dropped the phone, he called me again to say he is on his way home and that he was truly sorry for everything. To my greatest surprise, one week later he engaged me and we got married. All Thanks to KEKE ODIN. You can contact him through the following means

      Email: greatkekespelltemple@gmail.com

      Mobile Number: +1 386-336-9876

      website: http://greatkekespelltemple01.webs.com

      Delete
  2. We travelled with our two and four year old boys to the UK to see family. A night's stopover in Dubai broke up the 13hr followed by 8hr flights. An iPad, plenty of new games, books, mini toy animals, matchbox cars and little tubs of Playdough worked wonders. So too did keeping expectations low. We went expecting the worst and most of the time they surprised us with their patience, excitement and resilience! Keeping a mixture of familiar with new experiences and plenty of time for free play when visiting new places also helped. When it all gets too much, downtime with a favourite book or dvd can be of great comfort to your littles and letting them have a rough idea of how you're going to spend the day, how long it takes to get there (eg it takes 4 episodes of Play School, or a day of Octonauts episodes in our case!!) when you're going to eat and expectations of how to behave also helped all boys when travelling. While spontaneity of travelling as a couple is lost, there's nothing like seeing a place through your childrens' eyes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Keeping a mixture of familiar with new experiences and plenty of time for free play when visiting new places also helped.'
      I love this! So true:)
      And your so right about seeing things through your children's eyes. I feel like you can relive all the best parts of your own childhood with them!

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  3. I travel with my kids (2 and 3) all the time and have done since number one was three months old. Overseas, in Australia, planes, cars, ships, trams - all sorts of things, and they've been fantastic. I'm waiting for the meltdown to hit when I least expect it, I'm so due! My good luck has got to run out sometime, haha

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like they are made to travel! Hope the luck continues:)

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  4. Loved this practical article and looking forward to reading more of your writing Jo. Thanks!

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  5. LOL at the "what were we thinking" comment. My Grandmother passed away when my youngest was three weeks old. As my husband had just returned to work, my brother said if I drove to his house (approx 400km away) he would drive us to the funeral and back to his house. I debated it, but went for it, it had been years since I had seen most relatives (close to 7) and my mother hadn't seem my eldest two in over two years and not met her new grandbaby. Myself and my three children, four and under did approx 4000km in 4 and 1/2 days in a car. 50 km from home in a park, I had some of my less than finest parenting moments. An hippish travelling male saw me BF my baby and laughed recounting how he and his wife, travelling with there four under four, including two week old twins to Korea and back. He said it took forever to travel, and he said "before we left we though we can do this, piece of cake at the time, it was whatever we had to to get through, now we look back and laugh and say WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING!!!!!" I laughed so true, What was I thinking

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 4000km with a 3 week old baby! That is truly amazing. I've had some of my less than finest parenting moments on long car trips... Good on you for going for it. I'm sure your family really appreciated you and the kids being there:)

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  6. شركة نقل عفش
    اهم شركات مكافحة حشرات بالخبر كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذلك شركة رش حشرات بالدمام ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة الجوهرة من افضل شركات تنظيف الخزانات بجدة حيث ان تنظيف خزانات بجدة يحتاج الى مهارة فى كيفية غسيل وتنظيف الخزانات الكبيرة والصغيرة بجدة على ايدى متخصصين فى تنظيف الخزانات بجدة
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش واثاث

    ReplyDelete
  7. شركة نقل عفش واثاث بالدمام ابيات الشرقيه لخدمات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    نقل عفش بالخبر
    شركة نقل اثاث الدمام
    نقل عفش الدمام
    نقل عفش بالدمام
    ان اردت نقل عفش منزلك بالدمام ابيات الشرقية من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والقطيف والاحساء

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em