Today we’re welcoming Lynette Carroll Bolton to the Greenwood blog. Lynette is sharing her tips on how to travel with little ones. Might come in handy for wherever this long weekend takes you!
Mention the word ‘holidays’ to a parent and almost immediately you see a wistful look cross their face as they picture themselves lying by a pool, reading a book, enjoying a cocktail and a nice long lunch followed closely by a well deserved siesta or afternoon at the day spa.
However add the world ‘school’ in front, and the whole concept changes dramatically!
Yes my fellow mums and dads – school holidays are upon us again. And whilst the plan to lie quietly by the pool reading a book will probably never eventuate, a lot of us still love jumping on a plane or getting into the car and spending some quality time as a family away from home. So whether you are heading to the airport or hitting the highway these holidays, here are some of my top tips for making sure your time away is as easy as possible!
- Pack the night before
This is one I always say I will do and have never achieved to date. Despite my good intentions every time our family goes away, I am very guilty of throwing bits and pieces in until the very last minute and jumping on the suitcase trying to get it shut as the cab beeps it’s horn or the kids yell from the car. It is completely unnecessary stress (especially if the suitcase splits when you are already running twenty minutes late which is what happened to us yesterday!) Having your bags packed and ready to go the night before allows you to have a calm start to your travel morning.
- You can never be over prepared
You can never have too much food, too many games or too many toys when travelling with kids and you can certainly never have too many nappies, bottles or dummies! Kids attentions spans are extremely limited but by having lots of different activities for them to do you will help them (and you!) survive the travel time. A hot tip from our fight yesterday – don’t assume that the in flight entertainment will always work either (argh!!) Make sure you always bring some back up options.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination
Our kids love travelling, but being two and four they either do it at a million miles an hour or at a snail’s pace. If they aren’t feeling like moving too quickly then rushing them only ends in tears and tantrums. We have found it much easier on everyone to leave that little bit earlier for each leg. Taking the time to get settled at each of the stops rather than doing everything like a family of chooks with our heads chopped off helps to kick start the trip in a calm, relaxed way.
- Plan your travel around sleep times
There is nothing quite like a tired child to truly throw a spanner into your holiday plans. When our girls were little we always travelled during their sleep times and they slept in our arms or in their carseats. Now they are older all travelling is worked around making sure they have a proper rest at some point throughout the day. If you are driving and can travel very early or late in the evening then you can buy yourself a few hours of guaranteed quiet time in the back seat!
- Remember that you are travelling with kids
It’s hard for adults to sit still for a long period of time and its SUPER hard for kids. Be sure to have lots of stops if you are driving and let the kids stretch their legs. And if you are flying, even just doing a few laps up and down the plane aisle can be enough to stop a serious toddler (and potential subsequent parent!) breakdown.
- Get the car checked before leaving
Take the time to get a mechanic to give the car a once over before you leave. I can’t think of anything less ‘easy’ than being stranded on the side of the road waiting for roadside assistance.
- Remember to Smile and Breathe!
Even if nothing goes to plan you will no doubt look back in a couple of days (maybe months… surely in a few years?!) with fondness and laugh. And remember it could be worse – you could be at work!?
And if all of that is still not working for you, feel free to download one of my free adult or kids meditations – I promise they will help!
Lynette Carroll Bolton is a television and radio presenter, wedding and events planner, wellness entrepreneur, blogger and most importantly mumma to beautiful Siarra and Piper!
Photography by Lynette Carroll Bolton.