Trying to keep everyone happy while on holiday is no easy feat. Add children to the mix, and you have a puzzle that’s more difficult than a Rubik’s Cube covered in butter.
While kids are notoriously difficult to control when travelling long distances, or exploring an attraction they have no interest in, it’s not impossible. If you take on board the following fivetips, you have a fighting chance of an enjoyable family holiday.
1. Don’t Rush and Plan Ahead
When you’re stressed, this is only going to filter down to the rest of your travel group. So, it’s important that, before you even begin focusing on the children, you need to have everything in order. This means plenty of planning in advance. Ensure you have packed everything you will need, including travel documents, identification, and medicine.
You should also leave plenty of time before you head to the airport or whatever transport hub you’re using. Rushing around would create a poor initial atmosphere and, worse yet, you could miss your scheduled flight/train/cruise.
2. Cater to their Desires
You want to have an enjoyable time on your holiday. That’s a given. However, it’s important to put children first. This doesn’t mean visiting Disneyland and riding on rollercoasters for a week — although that’s perfectly fine. It means that, wherever you visit, always keep them in mind when planning activities. If you know they have no interest in museums, don’t drag them around exhibits in the hope that they suddenly develop a liking for Ancient Egypt.
Cruises are a great way to cater to everyone. If you browse the best family friendly cruises, you will come across holidays which deliver the best of all worlds. There are many activities on board, plenty of food choices for picky eaters, and you’re never in one destination long enough for boredom to kick in.
3. Keep Them Entertained
No, you don’t have to don clown makeup and start performing tricks — although interacting with kids by playing a board game or a simple game of ‘I Spy’ will help to keep them engaged.
In this day and age, however, electronic devices are king. If you stick a tablet computer in a child’s face, they will likely waste away a few hours without even remembering you exist. The same goes for mobile phones and video game systems. While some forms of transport have personal entertainment systems built in, don’t bank on this and always bring tech with you.
4. Turn the Holiday into a Creative Experience
Holidays are an adventure. They’re packed with sights, attractions and cultural differences you don’t normally see at home. In normal cases, all of this will be captured with a camera. Well, how about buying a camera for the children in your travel group, giving them the chance to snap away at their surroundings? It will provide them with a sense of responsibility and inspiration.
Alongside a camera, give them a travel journal to document their adventures. Not only will it serve as a great creative output and make them further engrossed in the holiday, but the journal will also come to be treasured in years to come.