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Travelling with your kids – some tips to make the journey more pleasant!

travelling-with-kids-color

If you’ve travelled with kids, you know that the experience can be quite exhausting if not planned well. Whether it’s a crying baby, or a toddler asking “are we there yet” or a teenager bugging you because he is bored…. we all know how difficult travelling with children can be. But the good news is with some planning and creativity you can make the journey more pleasurable for all involved.

I was recently approached by Huisgenoot to provide some tips on how to make travelling easier when travelling with teens or tweens.

Here’s some ideas on how you can make the journey more enjoyable for you and your kids:

  • Tweens are very focused on their friendships and the main developmental focus during this stage is learning to build good friendships and learning interpersonal skills, so why not foster this and invite a friend to accompany your child on holiday
  • Be adventurous and make the journey part of your trip. If you’re driving, do your research about adventurous activities that you could consider on your way to your destination and make the road trip part of the excitement. Examples include river rafting in Parys, horse riding on a farm in the free state, stopping for a milkshake in a culture rich old town etcetera.
  • Let your teen or tween put together the music playlist for the car
  • Teens are very focused on their independence and developing this independence is a healthy developmental stage for any teenager. So when planning a trip, why not give them the opportunity to plan the route and one or two fun things that you could do on your road trip. Ask them to do research about where to stop and the interesting sights along the way.
  • Foster your child’s curiosity and knowledge base by asking them to do research about the place you’re travelling to. This works especially well when travelling to foreign countries. Ask them to research the language, the culture, anything interesting about the country that you’re visiting and hold a pop quiz as a family while you’re travelling. Make sure to end the game off with an attractive prize for the winner (e.g. the one who wins doesn’t have to help unpack).
  • Teach your teen how to drive when you’re driving on quiet back roads
  • Prepare a treasure hunt with different surprises at each stop. Provide your kids with clues and ask them to figure out where the next stop is or even which road you need to travel. Yes, I know this will make the trip much longer, but see the trip as PART of your holiday and think about the fun that you’ll have as a family.
  •  Ask each family member to put together a wish list of things they’d like to do while on holiday. Discuss each of these options as a family and choose one wish from each member which will go onto your family wish list for the holiday.
  • Remember to pack in yummy healthy snacks to keep the blood sugar up. a Hungry child is never a pleasant one!

Happy travelling!

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