Any parent who has tried travelling with children will agree that it is not easy. Being on the road can easily stress the little ones and even the tiniest discomfort can blow up to a huge tantrum that every parent dreads.
The good news is, tantrums can be minimised or prevented. If you’re planning to take your child on your next trip, here’s a guide that you’ll surely find useful:
- Be extra detailed with your planning.
You think you have travel planning down pat? Think again. When travelling with your child, you’ll need to be extra detailed with your preparations to avoid even tiny glitches that could push your child’s buttons. If you’re flying, book airfare extra early not only for the deals but so you can still choose your seats. If you’re going on a road trip, book a spacious motorhome hire instead of a regular car for more comfort. The trick here is to never sacrifice comfort for price because your child wouldn’t tolerate discomfort as much as you are willing to.
- Set expectations.
Whether you’re going on a road trip or flying halfway across the world, you need to set expectations with your child before the trip. Talk to him the day before you head out and explain to him where you’re going, what you’ll be doing and how you’ll get to your destination. Tell him that he’ll be on an aeroplane and that he’ll need to stay in his seat for a few minutes or hours. Also, explain to your child that you’ll have companions in the plane, which makes it important to be quiet. You can use photos to get your point across better and repeat your expectations often so he will remember them.
- Pack everything you need.
If you’re used to packing light, save it for another trip because you’ll need a lot of things during this holiday, especially if you’ll be in transit for a few hours. Keep in mind that three things usually cause a child to have a tantrum: hunger, tiredness and boredom. Make sure that you have enough milk and food to last the entire journey. Also, plan your travel time properly so that it doesn’t fall during your child’s nap times. You don’t want a screaming toddler in the airport, after all. You can also bring his favourite stuffed toy or blanket so he can sleep while you’re on the road. Of course, you’ll have to pull out some tricks to keep your child entertained during the entire trip. Bring some books, toys and maybe a few treats for him to play with.
Of course, you need to be prepared at all times because there will be situations that are out of your control and would cause your child to erupt into crying and screaming. If you’re taking a flight, for instance, apologise beforehand for any noise that your son or daughter might cause. Learn how to handle tantrums if they do come and don’t forget to keep calm no matter what happens.