Tuesday 26 November 2013

Planning a fun trip for all the family!

I know I am not alone in thinking of a long car journey... The thought actually makes my heart sink. We have personally experienced a long haul car journey to Europe with Leo, who at the time was just shy of one year old. At times it felt like the trip would never ever end. Lets face it... Kids get bored, they have episodes of car sickness or just become easily irritated... or for that matter irritating! All of these things combined transform into the recipe for a family holiday from hell.

I like to think that with the right amount of planning, all children can enjoy a long road trip anywhere while the parents can sit back and enjoy the view! It’s time to stop seeing the travel as a means between A and B, and start seeing it as part of the holiday!

It'a important to be prepared
We have traveled abroad a handful of times with Leo, within the first 5 months of his life we took a holiday to Tenerife, and despite working myself up to the possibility of it all going pear shaped, it was actually a hell of a lot easier than flying with a 2 year old! This summer we jetted off to Cyprus, a 4.5 hour flight. Flying with a toddler was so much more stressful than flying with a baby in arms... But I had anticipated this and packed a Trunki full of absolutely everything that I knew he would love. Things that I knew would keep him entertained... I may have even invested in a portable DVD player. I do like to opt for a peaceful life.

I packed enough food to feed a Severn nation army, replacement batteries and chargers for gadgets and I think it is even worth thinking ahead to all of the possible medications that you may need to ensure smooth sailing on your journey.

Saving tips and tricks
I speak from experience when I say that sometimes it feels as though you need to spend a small fortune in order to have a really great time. When you are away it is very easy to get lead down the primrose path to greener pastures and part with money when you don't really need to. Realistically this only serves to make you stressed and worried in the long run. 

There are a few things you can do to ensure that you don’t spend over the odds on holiday:

- Making a realistic budget before setting off including food and gas will ensure that you don’t find yourself surprised by the bill at the end. Don’t forget to have enough to cover these essentials as you could find yourself short.

- Eating ‘in’ for two meals a day mean that you can prepare food and ensure that those meals have already been covered. With the money you’ll save, you can then indulge in a fun and delicious meal in a local diner that all the family can enjoy.

Keeping the kids entertained
While some children might be happy with a good book to keep them quiet for the entire trip, most children need more entertainment than this for several hours at a time. Playing games such as ‘I Spy…’ will not only keep them happy, it will also make them feel like part of the trip. Leo is still a litltle young to completely grasp this concept but he loved pointing out the things that he could see when we asked him. This useful entertaining print and play games booklet makes sure the kids have fun on a road trip

Our Trunki full of goodies served us incredibly well on our last trip, and although it didn't put a complete end to the tantrums that follow terrible two year old's around, it certainly mellowed the experience and kept me from pulling my hair out. In fact Leo was even complimented by a number of passengers for being exceptionally well behaved.

In hind sight I think they were just thankful not to have a screaming toddler within their hearing proximity...

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