The kids are back to school now for the third term of their academic sessions. After that is the long holiday where most people travel. Travelling with kids isn’t elementary because they are easily excited and unpredictable. Parents are required to plan long in advance for any travel trip with kids. So ensuring your next travel vacation has fewer hassles, here are a few mistakes you should avoid:
1. Taking Your Eyes Off Your Kids
Accidents happen in the blink of an eye. When you are not in a transport vehicle, hold their hands and if they must run free, don’t take your eyes off them. For instance, you stop over at a new airport midway of your journey or in a town like Ore on your way from Benin City to Lagos; no matter how familiar the place is, keep your kids close to you. The potential for something bad to happen in a new environment is usually high. Even if you leave them with a fellow passenger from your bus or aeroplane, don’t stay away for too long a time. No one can do a better job of watching your kids than you. Teach your kids not to take treats from strangers without your permission, so they don’t ingest something that could become a cause for a medical emergency later on.
2. Disrupting Their Sleep Cycle
No one wants whinny, crying or loud children stuck with them on a long journey. To prevent them from becoming bored and irritable on the journey (because no kid loves to be cooped up for long), book your trip – especially flights – around their bedtime. This will enable them to sleep for most of the journey. If you plan to travel very early, you can let them stay up a little past their bedtime the night before so they can be a bit tired after breakfast in the morning and sleep off once the vehicle starts moving. Also, when you arrive at your destination, the excitement might alter their sleep cycle. It is up to you to ensure they are involved in activities throughout the day that will tire them out in time to keep up with their usual bedtime. Activities such as a visit to the museum like the Heritage Museum in Badagry, an art gallery like Nike Art Gallery at Ikate, a Nature park like Lufasi Nature Park at Lakowe or go swimming at Atican Beach resort after playing at the beach. You can let them choose the activity that way they are satisfactorily worn out.
3. Disregarding Their Daily Routine
Children are creatures of habit; once you establish a routine, they stick to it. Travelling often disturbs that routine because you are not in familiar territory. On a travel trip, you tend to not have control over your time unless you decide on hotel accommodation with your own transport arrangements as opposed to staying with friends and family. It is important that kids stick to their routine of potty breaks, meal times, play times, snack times, and screen time. This way when they get back home, it is easy to adjust to what it once was. If you are on the road or in the air, carry water, food and snacks to help them eat at their usual time in case there is a delay in meal time by your host or unpredictable circumstance like traffic congestion on the highway. Load your devices or theirs with lots of kid-friendly entertainment to keep them engaged on the journey.
4. Cutting Cost On Seating Arrangements
It might seem cost effective to you to lap a child on a trip but in the long run, your comfort and theirs is compromised. If your child is above two years old or 15kg in weight, pay for an extra seat. That way, no one gets off which body pains or tales of physical discomfort. Some seats take only one person so sharing it with a child by trying to put them in between seats might be uncomfortable and inconvenience other passengers sitting on your row. Some transport lines make paying for children’s seat easy with discounts e.g. most airlines charge only 50% of their usual airfare for children below a certain age. Find out if the one you use has such and take advantage.
Have you ever travelled with kids? What’s the one thing you wished you didn’t do during your trip with them?
Featured image source: blackkidsdotravel.com