In the anticipation of a fabulous break away from it all, it is easy to forget the time it can take to reach a holiday destination. Often, our minds are already soaking up the sun and looking forward to taking in new sights, overlooking the tedious aspect of actually travelling there, so it should come as no surprise that many parents find themselves struggling to entertain the children during holiday journeys.
From a long-haul flight to a stop-start car journey to Cornwall, the tedium of being ‘in transit’ and not quite ‘there’ yet can add up to a stressful start to what should be a relaxing time. Bored children are unhappy children – and unhappy children can be very trying, particularly if you are in a confined space. So it pays to plan ahead and think of ways to keep the children happy and entertained on journeys. Not only will it make the journey less stressful, it will be safer and even enjoyable.
Because holidays are supposed to be a break from routine – and because of airline restrictions – you may want to consider leaving electronic devices locked in suitcases or left at home. Forget portable DVD players, iPads and smart phones and instead encourage your children to try something different to start their holiday. It doesn’t have to be “boring old I Spy”.
Whether you are taking a plane, travelling by boat, letting a train take the strain or driving; try these ideas to inject a bit of fun into your holiday journey and keep the kids entertained:
- Start on a high note. Buy each child a new toy or game, wrap it and give it as a holiday present. A new toy should engage them for longer.
- Top Trumps are a great activity and small so easy to pack.
- Most traditional games come in travel sizes and can also be used for entertainment in the evenings at your holiday destination.
- Quizzes, books and puzzles can keep children occupied for hours, along with writing and colouring projects.
- Look out for activity books about your destination and encourage the children to start thinking about where they are going and what they can do when they get there.
- If you are on a car journey spend some time beforehand as a family creating a music playlist that everyone is happy with or let each child choose one or two CD’s each. Planning music choices in advance could save some arguments. Audio books are also great for car journeys.
If your children are very young and unlikely to stay occupied for long, you may wish to consider travelling at night. This is a particularly good idea if the journey involves a protracted car ride. It is a simple, yet effective, answer to what can be a potentially fractious few hours.
Nobody wants to get their holiday off to a stressful start and, by planning ahead, you can minimise the number of times you hear “Are we there yet?” and avoid tantrums. A stress-free start to a holiday will put you in the right frame of mind to properly relax and spend some quality time with the kids. They will be happy – and so will you!
With all the hustle and bustle of getting out the door and loading the kids and cases into the taxi or car don’t forget to check that you have locked all your doors and windows. At Network Britannia your home security while on holiday – and back – is top of our list when manufacturing our safe and secure doors and windows.
Being a parent, or grandparent, isn’t always easy and sometimes the tried and tested methods are the best. The Mumsnet website is a great resource for anyone caring for children