It’s holiday season again, and many of us will be travelling across the country to spend some well-needed resting time, or to visit loved ones!
For us, travelling has turned into a whole new game, because we have four little humans to consider. So, I thought I should share some of the things that have been helpful for us when travelling with little ones.
But these tips mostly apply to road travelling because, with a family of 6, return flight tickets to anywhere in the country equal to a deposit for a car! Lol! So, we mostly travel by car to any holiday destination, except maybe Durbs sometimes.
I mean, we’ve even done the dreaded 1,400km to Cape Town, then 1,000km via the Garden Route to King Williams Town, then 900km from King back to Joburg, all with three kids aged 5 and under. However, we would recommend for you to only attempt this with caution haha! (post for another day).
Anyway, back to the tips…
One thing we’ve found really helpful when travelling with little ones is to time our departure time to coincide with sleepy time. We typically leave in the early hours of the morning so that we get to start the journey and drive for a few hours while they’re still sleeping. This equals less drama, more quiet time for Mama and Baba, and we also get more of the day for exploring and stopping on the day
When travelling with adults, you can do with just buying whatever food and refreshments as you go along your journey. However, with kids, it helps to pre-pack snacks and refreshments. Less drama, more happiness for everyone.
Just a few more helpful pointers:
- Try to stick to normal foods, and avoid new/untried things that might possibly spark allergic reactions, etc. Although half the fun of going to new places is trying out new things….proceed with caution….the last thing you’d want is dealing with sick kids on holiday :/
- Holiday time typically equals lots of junk, but try to balance the sugar treats with some healthy alternatives as well if you don’t want bouncing balls in your backseat on a long journey
- I know it’s hot, but try as much as possible to avoid having lots of liquids. We all know lots of liquids = lots of bathroom breaks or potential accidents, depending on age.
The photo below was one of our emergency stops! As you can see, the deed happened far far away, because it was a #2 haha!
The one way to avoid frustration on long journeys for everyone is simply to plan for extra stops. When my husband and I do a long drive, we can drive straight through and only stop for food; but that’s asking for it when travelling with little ones.
We’ve realised that to make the journey pleasant for everyone, it’s important to plan for more frequent stops along the way. It’s important to change the mindset about the trip: Whereas, for us, the holiday typically starts at the destination, we’re learning to make the journey to the destination a part of the holiday (there’s an entire sermon in there lol!). So, in future, we’re also planning on doing more research in terms of what’s available on the route to the destination.
And of course, get ready to have your playlist taken over by the little people 🙂 Make sure to take along some of their favourite music, but also be prepared to listen to songs over and over again, all for the sake of peace :/
Depending on the ages of kids and personalities, gadgets could also be a good idea. We just don’t let them take the iPad with because: 1) we only have one iPad and to avoid wars, it’s just better left at home; 2) we prefer for everyone to be present or interacting with the rest of the family on a trip, rather than just be stuck doing their own thing.
Our car now has a backseat DVD player, and that was a game changer for us! And we’re enjoying the benefits while all of them still enjoy pretty much the same range of movies.
Other options are taking turns to tell stories, playing spotting/finding games, etc. Another thing we have done at times is also bring along activity books; bookstores like Exclusive Books or Readers Warehouse usually have a great variety.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST:
If you are leaving the country with your little ones, do not make the mistake of forgetting to take all the required documents. Otherwise, your trip will turn into a trip to the border of South Africa haha!
The doccies you need for each child are:
- An unabridged birth certificate
- A passport
Remember to also check the country’s covid regulations.
And then, of course, have loads and loads of fun! These are memories that you all with all hold dear for the rest of your lives……so forget about making it perfect and insta-friendly, and just enjoy being with your people <3
What are some of the things you’ve found helpful when travelling with kids?
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