Experiencing new places is always wonderful and it’s great to expose your children to different cultures and environments. Travelling as a family can be challenging but with a bit of preparation and forethought you can reduce the stress for everyone to ensure a special holiday is enjoyed by all.
A simple tip is not to try and pack too much into a single day. Perhaps plan something for the morning and then ‘play’ for the afternoon. A swimming pool, play area or beach near where you are staying is always good, as is an icecream stop. If its a busy holiday, factor in frequent specific rest days so that small children don’t get increasingly tired.
Pack carefully and limit your luggage, to make movement through airports and into buses, cars and taxis as smooth as possible. Remember that with small children you may also end up carrying them, as well as their cute backpack filled with toys. Carry paracetamol and zofran (the latter is good for nausea) in your carry on luggage – so it’s readily accessible mid-flight or on arrival.
Consider going on holiday with another family or pick family friendly accommodation so there are other children to play with. We have travelled to many places with our children but the most successful and enjoyable were skiing in Japan, doing a safari in Botswana and surfing/snorkelling in the Maldives, all with other families.
You can also find lots of websites (Smart traveller has some great tips) and blogs dedicated to travelling with children.
Dr Jenny-Ann McLellan