The dos and don’ts of travelling with kids
Foolproof your family trip with these no-nonsense tips.
Travelling with children can either be fun or hell depending on how you handle them. As much as we love them and care for them, looking out for the welfare of our kids while on the go can at times be overwhelming and incredibly exhausting. But the strong parent-child bond that can be created through travelling together is priceless and super rewarding. Planning a family trip soon and find yourself feeling anxious and worried about how it’s going to pan out? Our team at Fayyaz Travels have gathered solid tips for you to foolproof your vacation and keep everyone — including you — happy. Keep calm and read on!
DO: Remember to make a headcount
In the classic movie Home Alone 2, the McAllister family only found out that their son Kevin is missing, the moment they landed in Paris. How come? Because one of his sisters tallied up a wrong headcount. This movie reference may seem exaggerated, but headcounts are often an overlooked procedure. It is always easy to assume that your kids are ready and next to you before you board the plane, or that your partner is always keeping an eye on them despite the rush. The best thing to ensure everyone is on board, literally, is to do a headcount before and after reaching a location on your itinerary. And this duty should not be delegated to just one person; everyone in the family has a duty to make sure that their family members are present.
DON’T: Leave packing unsupervised
Kids tend to get so excited by the prospect of going off to faraway places that they often forget that even travel entails pre-journey chores and errands. Packing is one of those duties. Getting your kids to pack is one thing; to get them to pack smartly is another. Chances are, your kids are going to pack things that aren’t necessary, like multiple toys or books, due to their excitement. These things add more weight to your luggage and can cost you a fortune when checking in at the airport. Not only that, they can be a hassle to lug around during the trip. So make sure you supervise your kids as they pack up! A good tip: The younger they are, the lesser things they actually need.
DO: Keep essential items with you at all times
Kids can get messy on vacation, particularly when they are not feeling too well or have had too much to eat during mealtimes. Packing an extra pair of pants or t-shirt for each of your little ones in the family knapsack comes in handy. How? This action saves you and the others the pain of looking and feeling messy, especially when you are visiting destinations that are not near to your hotel.
DON’T: Expect the weather to always be in your favour
Ever experienced packing for a sunny day at the beach or a favourable destination only to have it rain the entire time you are there? Or wearing sweaters in anticipation only to experience sunshine so bright that you could only heave sighs of regret? Buying new sets of clothes to overcome a packing error is an unnecessary expense, so it’s best to pack for both extreme ends of the weather spectrum. Make sure that you look up the weather forecast before heading off to a destination, and employ the 70-30 (percent) ratio when packing your clothes and items. If the place you’re going is mostly warm, then 70 percent of your clothes should be suited for summer, and the other 30 percent, comprised of layering items for cold weather. When supervising your children’s packing, ensure that they pack according to the system you have laid out.
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DO: Take a chaperone if possible
It pays to have a babysitter even if both you and your partner surround your kids at all times during your family trip. It can truly save you the hassles of dealing with unexpected breakdowns and the resulting emotional frictions that could occur between you both (never underestimate how fatigue can ruin a vacation). An appointed chaperone, whether a hired help or an assigned relative, helps to safeguard your kids and keep up with the constant responsibilities that you may forget to do when you are trying to make the most of the trip’s itinerary. Plus, you and your partner can also slice in some private time here and there when your kids are taken care off.
DON’T: Pay for the odds
One thing you should note when planning for a family trip is that travelling during peak seasons would definitely cost more. You should, therefore, take note of the times in a year where the optimum climate of a destination is about to kick in yet crowds of tourists have yet to roll in (such as spring or autumn). Unless it is a nature-based trip that is season-sensitive, try to schedule your family trip when the location isn’t too crowded.
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DO: Buy travel insurance for your family ahead of time
Travel insurance may be an extra expense, but it can be a necessity in the face of unforeseen and unwanted accidents. Like the classic proverb goes, better to be safe than sorry! The truth is, travelling can have its perils. As safe as a place is, you can never predict when an accident or medical breakdown can happen. There is also the risk of cancellations and delays which could cost a fortune if you don’t already have insurance on standby. So, anticipate and get covered up!
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