Last time I posted on Travelling With Kids, it was my Top 10 (here), I asked for your top tips, and I love that of all the fantastic responses, there were a few that were at a totally different tangent to my own –
A Totally Different Approach to Travelling With Kids:
1) Leave teddy at home, or whatever the favourite toy might be! Favourite toys are not venturing out into the big wide world at all – they’re staying home, where they’re not going to get lost! They’re sat upright in the windows, guarding the house and looking out for when you come home.
2) All super cute little kiddo hand luggage bags and accessories are staying put – either at home, or on the shop shelf! When you have kids (one or many) to herd through airport security, onto planes and off them again, the last thing you need are more bags and humans than the number of adult hands! Even if they’re really really excited about their little luggage …and maybe you’re very glad to be able to utilise some extra kilos/lbs… There is no way they’re going to be carrying them for the whole trip!
3) All colouring pens, pencils, crayons, paints and glitter glue are staying put right where you usually keep them. There isn’t a kid alive who isn’t going to at some point during a flight drop all of the above; and who is going to be bent over double trying to retrieve them from between fellow passengers feet – yours truly! If you’re going on a relatively long flight, the kids are going to get this stuff on the plane, and then – when they start rolling around between the isle… No problem… Oh well, you’ve got one less than before!
4) Pack LIGHT! If you don’t absolutely need it in your hand luggage, don’t put it there! This may sound like crazy madness (and it’s absolutely not the approach I put out there in my previous post –here) – but there’s sense in the madness! When one child falls asleep and needs carrying, and another’s just had their nappy changed, the last thing you need is to be emptying out the entire contents of your hand luggage just to relocate your passport!
5) And pack LIGHT again! This time all the rest of the luggage. Even if you have bags and cases with wheels and everything you think you would need to make moving your 60+kg (130+lb) a breeze… You just don’t want to be manoeuvring this, and a stroller, and rushing for the last train, and oh you didn’t have the right change for the trolleys! You get the drift…
6) …And HOW are you going to pack light? Well when it comes to clothes (especially for kids, even if you don’t feel that you can take the plunge yourself!) don’t think ‘outfits’ singular, think outfits plural – tops that go with every bottom; bottoms that go with all tops; one pair of shoes that match it all; one coat/ warmer top! …Happy too in the knowledge that if there’s an item of clothing you find your kid really really needs, they probably sell clothes where you’re going too 😉
7) The ‘activity’ list… You don’t need one! It’s ok for kids to get bored!! It’s ok for them to get so bored that they actually need to figure out themselves how to amuse themselves… A few minutes of boredom results in more creativity than a mountain of pre-prepared crafts (…Ok, I just coined that phrase… But it must be true, don’t you think?).
8) You’re back to wondering about those toys again… Surely you’re going to need a few when you’re away for a whole week! You know your child! Yes, you probably will… But the solution here is still not to bring one with you, instead make a date out of it with your kids once you arrive. Go out and let them choose a new toy; and when you see how great it works, make a new tradition out of it!
9) Pack a few huge sweets – that take forever to dissolve, so when you need a few moments of quite, you can get exactly that!
10) Finally, the attitude, the approach, how you’re expecting the travelling to go… Think happy thoughts! Relax! There’s no point getting onto a plane, or into an airport or a car for that matter, already decided that this is probably going to be the worst x number of hours in your life! Honestly, that’s not going to make it any easier! A far better approach would be hoping and expecting that you have a great journey, and if and when anything happens taking it from the upbeat angle, rather than solid evidence that this really is going to be awful 🙂