Image credit: iStock
While going on a holiday seems like a getaway to stress-free moments, travelling with children can prove to be quite the opposite. Here are three tips you can use when planning a family vacation to ensure it stays hassle-free.
Get the children involved
According to a survey carried out by theAsianparent Insights, only 22 per cent of families involved their children in the decision-making process for holidays.
Instead of being the sole decision maker, allow your kids to be involved with the planning of your trip. Because of their personal involvement, chances are they will look forward to it and enjoy the trip more. Alternatively, pick places that would be of interest to your children.
When Lalitha Ravi, mother of a six-year-old daughter and a newborn son planned a trip to Macau with her husband and daughter, they made it a point to include Hong Kong Disneyland in the itinerary. Her daughter was quite excited before the trip, and even more so when they returned, constantly referring to the great time they had there. She says, “Ultimately, all of us had a wonderful time.”
Pack a survival kit
According to Paul Currie, a professor of psychology at Reed College and an expert on appetite behaviour, hunger can make a person emotional, and might result in stress and anxiety.
Therefore, prepare snacks for the journey to satiate your children’s hunger so that they won’t get cranky. If they don’t like the meals in the country you are visiting or if it’s hard to get food at unearthly hours, these snacks will come in handy.
Get travel-sized games or toys to keep them entertained so they won’t complain of boredom. Also, bring things that remind them of home, such as a favourite soft toy – this will help them be at ease and fall asleep easily.
Ensure that medication for common ailments, such as motion sickness or diarrhoea, is kept handy. And remember to bring an extra change of clothes in case junior soils the ones he is wearing.
Let it go
It’s great to have rules to ensure your child’s well-being. However, who likes to be grounded during holidays? Your child wants to have a soft drink or an extra candy bar? Let him or her have it.
Amran Zulhairi, father of a six-month-old daughter and two sons aged seven and 11, tries to avoid enforcing rules on his children while on holiday as he believes this helps prevent further stress. “When on a holiday, I do not impose many restrictions on my sons. I allow them to sleep later than their usual bed time, as well as watch the television or play with their PlayStation Portable while on the road or when back in the hotel room.”