There’s no denying that travelling as a family can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be an extremely stressful one too. Whilst you might look back on it with rose-tinted glasses, you will also have moments where you simply want to sit in a darkened room alone for a few minutes. This is simply the way the land lies, and is totally normal, however there are a few tips at hand to help you not only survive your family travel without a major bust-up, but also enjoy it.
If you can fake calmness then you’re onto a winner. Whether you’re travelling with children, or you’re heading away as a family group and you have a range of ages in tow, you need to exude a sense of calm, whether you truly feel it or not, to stop it filtering down to the rest of the party. Take a deep breath, meditate if you have to, or take a stress ball in your pocket, but remain calm at all times, especially if you’re the one doing the travel organising.
Compromising is key
You need to plan activities and places to visit that suit everyone, and that may mean compromising to a certain extent. Provided everyone gets a choice of one place they want to visit throughout the break, then there is no room for resentment and hard feelings. Compromising is the one thing which will get you through such a holiday.
Age differences could mean you need to plan a little more
Again, whether you’re travelling as a large family, or you’re travelling with children, you could be looking at a vast range of ages, which means one activity is not going to suit all. You need to plan regarding where you’re staying too, to avoid problems with mobility if you have older people in your party, as well as avoiding large hills for the same reason. Run through the break in your head at the time of booking and tick boxes as you go.
Distraction is key when travelling with children
Kids are easily bored, and if you are travelling long-haul for example, then you need to have a few distraction techniques up your sleeve. Make sure your iPad is fully charged and loaded with games, books, films, and apps, and consider buying a back-up battery to avoid red-light flashing moments. Forward planning is key here.
Try and include older children in the planning stages, to help make them feel involved
Travel is meant to be an enriching experience, so make sure you involve older children in the planning stages, maybe help them learn a few words of the local language, or a few customs they can remember when they’re there. Asking what they would like to see will also help them feel involved and less likely to throw a tantrum when they’re away and not getting to see the things they hoped.
Family travel can be stressful, but when planned in the right way, with a large pinch of patience throw in for good measure, the experience can be a very positive one indeed.