Even a normal day with your kids can be a rollercoaster of emotions and moods, so travelling with kids is a sure catalyst to making the rollercoaster crazier. The reasons are clear; enclosed space with limited distractions, unfamiliar environments and changes in weather, are surely a recipe for disaster. Either way, travelling with your children can sometimes feel like trying to round up a herd of wild goats.This is why you will need to take some pointers into considerations. The tips below can help.
- Plan, Plan, Plan
Whether you intend to travel by road, train or air, you need to plan way ahead. Conduct your research weeks or even months ahead, depending on the distance and familiarity with the destination. While trips around Tanzania to familiar locations like visiting relatives may not require much research, you still need to plan ahead. When travelling outside Tanzania, ensure all the documentation that will be required is ready. Countercheck your kids’ travel documents and be aware of the travel regulations with regards to children, for different countries. A good travel agent can come in handy to provide the suitable travel package for you.
- Get Your Children Involved
Try as much as possible to involve your children in the planning and execution. Assign duties to those who are old enough and create a rewarding system if you must, to keep the motivation high.They are more likely to be cooperative during the journey if they were part of its planning since they feel partly responsible for the outcome. Build anticipation by using words like ‘adventure’ and ‘fun road trip’.
- Pack Everything You Might Need
When it comes to kids, familiarity is key, especially in foreign spaces and if a child is travelling for the first time. If they have a special blankie, carry it. If they only drink from a certain cup, by all means carry it. If they are afraid of darkness, do not leave behind a handy rechargeable headlamp. Do not assume that everything you need will be provided for in your destination, especially baby products.
- Always Have Munchies At The Ready
Hunger pangs in children can hit at the weirdest of times and places. High metabolic rates in children make them hungry on a regular basis. You do not want hungry, irritable kids in the middle of nowhere. Pack snacks like sandwiches for the children to nibble on along the way. Ensure also that they stay hydrated and as much as possible.
- Have Sufficient Distractions Ready
Technology is such a saviour. While it is important to pack most of what your child needs to be comfortable, technology provides all the positive distractions your kids may need to keep them in check while travelling in the car, train or plane. You can download a couple of new games that they would like to try out just before embarking on the journey. Let the children know that they will only play the games in the car or plane. This acts as the perfect bribe for them to behave, and it will keep them occupied for a while, giving you time to relax.
For older children, you can all listen to audiobooks or podcasts in the car or play word games. This will be fun for the whole family to help kill the time and distance.
- Safety First
Kids are mostly very accident prone. A well-stocked first aid kit always comes in handy in such situations. Do not forget to pack general painkillers, antibiotics, mosquito repellants, insect bite ointments and wipes. You need to be ready for any eventuality, more so when travelling to the countryside for family gatherings and events. While the clean fresh countryside air will be a breath of fresh air in its literal sense, be vigilant and aware of the underlying risks.
- Consider Travel Insurance
Speaking of safety, you should take it a little further and get your family covered against any eventuality, especially when travelling outside Tanzania. Most travel insurance packages cover risks such as illness or accidents. Knowing your family is covered against any eventuality will guarantee peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your trip.
Have Fun With Your Kids
Travelling with your kids in and out of Tanzania doesn’t have to be a headache. You only need to plan ahead and put the pointers above into consideration. You will soon stop worrying and start creating wonderful memories with every trip.