Discuss the Trip with Your Little Ones
If there’s one thing kids hate the most, it is being taken off guard, you can’t wait till the night before the trip to tell them about it, as they will more than likely be overwhelmed.
Prepare your kids mentally at least 3 days before the big day, tell them all about the places you will be sightseeing and the destinations you will be discovering together and let them get involved. They can do this by googling to research or drawing the things that they may like to do whilst you are there.
Always Book Early if possible.
My backpacking head is screaming, yes but you get the better deals if you wait!!
Whilst this may sometimes be true with kids planning is key. Take your time searching for the perfect hotel, read reviews and look at pictures of the sights every hotel offers. Avoid switching hotels a lot of times, Children need to stay in a place that is comfortable and safe, and they dislike changing a place after getting used to it.
Buy a GPS Tracker
Kids love to wander around, one minute they are near you, the next they seem to have magically disappeared and the heart palpitations and extreme panic ensues. At home I am all for freedom, but in the middle of Barcelona the GPS tracker my daughter wore on her wrist beeped if she ever left my eye sight and gave me a great deal of peace knowing I would be able to find her in such a busy city especially where the native language is not English.
You can buy several devices that go on laces, in pockets, on wrists or in bags. Do your research, read reviews and chose one suitable for you.
Bring Snacks and Toys
Whilst travelling there are three main situations that children can get irritated or upset, being either hungry, tired or bored. Always keep extra snacks and toys in your bag for your little ones, you can also bring electronics if they are not into toys. Consider giving them either reading, colouring or puzzle books too, it is a great way to keep them busy during a long flight or in awful traffic, and also a tool to enhance their knowledge and imagination.
Take It Easy, Have fun!
As a parent, you may get too caught up in being a responsible adult that you forget that you’re on this trip to enjoy the time yourself. I know that things can get messy and stressful with kids around, so ensure you look after yourself, set clear boundaries and give yourself space and time to breathe and relax. Doing this will ensure when there are little snags like the kids arguing over pencils, you have enough room in your brain to respond to them in a calm and controlled way.
Maybe set a bedtime, it’s great to keep them all in a routine which is always a good thing and gives you the space you need to have some adult time.
The Bottom Line
To all the families out there who are worried about their trip not going as they presumed, stop overthinking, and start packing now! If I can do it and return unscathed believe me, you are able to make it happen too.