If you are taking your little ones on a long haul break, it’s likely that you are currently considering tearing your hair out. After all, kids are notoriously unpredictable and don’t like to spend hours on end in confined spaces such as planes, where they can’t move about much. Then there is all the stress when you get to your destination to deal with including it being too hot or cold, and not finding any grub the kids will actually like. Happily, most long-haul brake problems are surmountable with a little creativity. In fact, you can get some useful advice on just that topic, in my post below.
Prepare them as much as possible.
Unless they are long haul regulars, flying, and staying overseas is likely to be something of a novel experience for your little ones. Luckily, with some smart preparation, you can turn this from a potentially scary situation to one that can be looked forward to.
In particular, doing some research with the kids about the basics of the location you are planning of visiting can help a lot. You can do this with books, videos, podcasts, and websites, and it can be useful to cover such things as how hot or cold it will be, what the food is like, where you will be staying and the fun activity you will be doing as well.
It can even help to go over things like what languages people there, and if the kids are old enough teach them some basic words or phrases like please, thank you, I’m sorry, and, can I have? This will then allow them to know what to expect and provide your kids with more of a sense of control over the situation. Something that, in turn, can make it a less stressful and more enjoyable experience for both them and you.
Keep them comfy on the plane.
Next, remember that plane rides aren’t always that comfortable, especially when you are a child that is used to running around most of the day.
To that end, it can be a useful idea to pack special equipment like flight beds for babies, and flight hammocks and cushion of the kids. Then hopefully they will be able to snuggle down and sleep at least some report of the journey away.
Be kind to others on the plane.
Remember too, that if you have a tiny child or baby that may cry for an extended period of time, this can negatively affect others around you on the plane.
Now, I know that there isn’t much you can so if they do wail their lungs out, so to head any problem off at the pass handing out little gift bags with earplugs and treats and an apology note can help a great deal. After all, you don’t want to create more stress for yourself because other passengers are shooting you death stares, because your kid won’t stop crying.
Plan your trip around the climate.
Of course, achieving a successful long-haul break with little ones isn’t just about get the plane portion of the journey right. In fact, you have to think way beyond this point as well. In particularly planning your trip around what the climate is doing can work well.
What this means is that you check the temperatures of the place you are travelling to before you book, something that will allow you to avoid areas that would be unpleasantly cold or hot for babies and toddlers and that might cause them to become unsettled.
Although, do remember that if your children are a little older, planning a holiday in the hat or the cold can be fantastic fun. All you have to do is make sure you get involved in plenty of activities that are suitable for the weather.
For example, in hot, sunny climates, planning in a trip to the beach, and to water parks where they can ride the slides, and cool off can help your kids survive the heat and enjoy themselves as well. While in cold and snowy areas taking them sledging, on sleigh rides, and even to build a snowman can work brilliantly.
Think carefully about your accommodation choices.
Next, to ensure that your long-haul trip with the kid is as successful as possible you really will want a home away from home. What this means is that you need to think very carefully about the accommodation you pick, especially if you plan on staying there longer than you would on a traditional holiday.
Happily, there is a way that you can do this, in even the most far-flung and exotic locations and its by renting an entire property instead of staying in a hotel room. In fact, even in supremely expensive and popular cities like Singapore, you can find things like HDB flat for rent at a reasonable price. Something that will provide you and your kids with enough space and the flexibility of eating what and when you chose, and so can make your stay much more relaxed and enjoyable.
Don’t forget their favourite foods.
Talking of food, this is the last factor that you need to address when it comes to having a successful long-haul trip with the kids. The fundamental problem being that their favourite foods might not be readily available in a country that is halfway across the world.
One way to deal with this is to check the regulations, and then pack food they love in your main luggage for consumption when you arrive.
Finding basic food items that the kid are used to can save you a lot of hassle.
Alternatively, working on a self-catering basis as mentioned above can relieve the pressure here, as can finding a UK supermarket in the area and sticking up with their favourite food at the beginning of your trip. Then you will be safe in the knowledge that no matter what your little ones will be getting enough to eat. Something that can help them stay happy and stress-free, and so assist your survival on a long haul trip with the kids.
**This is a contributed post**