The summer holiday season is nearly upon us and with it will surely come fun, ice-cream, tears, and perhaps the odd game of non-stop cricket. But there are challenges ahead. No matter how fabulous your family, it’s only natural that, away from home and on the move, people get a little edgy once in a while.
So, what are the secrets to making your family summer holiday a success, and, considering that the family holiday is a wonderful yet complex beast, how can we minimise the chances of any tantrums along the way? See our top 5 trip tips to find out:
1. Keep car time down
It’s not really fair of us parents to expect our children to handle long journeys in the same way as us grownups. So, if it is a long car ride, have regular stops planned – especially on hot days. Ideally, a stop every 2 hours or so will help keep everyone in a decent mood. Have plenty of cool drinks available and a few snacks, too.
2. Bring a few favourites from home
Toys, clothes, bites to eat. Whatever it is, a few home comforts could save the day and keep all the team on the same side. Where you see some belongings potentially causing some kind of dispute over ownership, simply don’t bring them with. Alternatively, neatly placed school name labels – maybe on a goodie bag for each person? – can be the objective decider of what belongs to who. In summary, anticipate any issues and deal with them with some careful forethought in terms of packing, name labels, favourite personal items and foods and drinks.
3. Be charged
Handheld entertainment can prove highly useful at all sorts of times – en route, whenever waiting around, to keep an active mind occupied – so don’t travel without a backup portable charger. Not only might it save your bacon should there be an emergency need for GPS and directions, it will ensure that when the time comes, you’ll have music, games, TV shows and movies available to diffuse a tense moment.
4. Have games up your sleeve
A good old classic visual game here or there can make an excursion more fun, distract a tired mind, and help get the family chatting and having fun together. On the road, you can count the cars in your favourite colour, or, for older kids, try to invent phrases for the letters of the licence plate on the car in front. Another all-time classic is I Spy, which is great for countryside walks. Other games you can play when travelling about are the Yes-No game, Name 10 – in which you pick a category (say, sci-fi films, superheroes or red fruits), and Fact or Fiction, where you state something about yourself and everyone has to guess whether it is true or false.
You’re holidaying together, enjoying meals together, travelling together. So why not plan together, too? Get the kids involved during the planning phase will engage them more in the trip, as well as give you the chance to hear their take on what kinds of activities would be most fun – and having fun is what it’s all about, so be sure to have plenty of it!
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