Vacationing with children — tips and tricks

Vacationing with children — tips and tricks

Some people pack at the last minute, others pack far in advance according to a carefully prepared list. However, those who travel with children have one thing in common: they are thinking about how to make things run as smoothly as possible.

Preparation works wonders.

Kids love surprises, but too much of anything is bad for them. Let them be involved in the preparations. That way, they will feel like rightful members of the family team, and at the same time they’ll know what’s coming. After all, everyone likes to be in-the-know. Show them photos of where you’re going. Tell them about the sights, the local cuisine, and ask them what they think of it all. With younger children, you can thumb through picture-books about travel or read a story that introduces them to the concept of travelling.

Don’t forget to bring their favourite toy.

Does your child have a plush toy or blanket or something else that they are quite attached to? Definitely don’t forget to pack it! That’s the kind of anchor that will make them feel safe even if they are slightly anxious in places and situations they don’t recognise.

Pack plenty of fun stuff for the journey. 

Bring along some favourite toys or activity books for long journeys or waiting times in transit. It might be sticker books or puzzles and riddles, or colouring books, or paint-with-water books that can be used over and over again. And both older and younger children are entertained by comics or books of jokes. Kids like listening to fairy tales they already know intimately, as it gives them a sense of security, and new stories are always welcome. Especially funny ones.

Try to observe the most important daily rituals.

Children love rituals. Rituals reassure them that everything is as it should be. And while adults are quite happy for the opportunity to break out of their everyday routine, kids usually prefer to have a bit of it. One enjoyable ritual is the bedtime story. It allows the child to tune into sleep, to wind down after a busy day full of new experiences.

Enjoy your holiday.

Try not to rush while you’re away, unless of course you need to catch a boat or train or plane. Give your kids plenty of time to explore the different surroundings — a creek, pebbles; a museum, artworks; or anything at all they find fascinating. There is no rush, you are on holiday. Take the opportunity to slow down and simply join in their enthusiasm, maximising the benefit of your time together.

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