There will always be those for whom the idea of travelling with kids really is about as wonderfully idyllic as it gets. Back on planet Earth however, the vast majority realise that what seems to be a simple logistical process often turns out to be the nightmare to end all nightmares. Kids and travelling can be the best of friends or the worst of enemies – it all comes down to a fair few combining elements.
Of course, kids tend to love planes and aren’t usually averse to trains, but stick them on a coach or in the back of a cab for more than 20 minutes and you know you’re walking on thin ice.
But here’s the thing – there’s still no instant quick-fix cure to make all kids Heavenly to travel with, but all parents of all kids have the power to make a pretty big difference.
It may not be foolproof and results will indeed vary, but there are so many ways and means by which you can ensure your wee bundles of joy don’t turn your journey into a nightmare before it’s even half-way through
Here’s a brief look at some top tips offered by cab and coach driving veterans on the rather delicate subject of keeping kids under control on longer journeys:
The Right Fuel
Right off the bat, it’s funny how many time parents scream and shout about their kids’ behaviour on a journey, only to then reveal they filled them full of sweets and sugary drinks prior to setting off.
Admittedly, it can be very tempting to give the kids what they like best in order to buy a little silence, but you have to remember that more sugar means more energy which makes for a more explosive situations en-route.
As such, one of the best tips of all to remember is that of putting the right fuel into the kids long before setting off, which means keeping sugar out of the equation and ideally anything else that tends to send them a little hyper.
This also counts for the journey itself too as anything that’s rich, heavy, fizzy or overly sweet is a recipe for upset stomachs and generally uncooperative kids!
The Right Driver
Something else to bear in mind is the way in which the driver…or more specifically the company you travel with…can make or break the journey in a big way. Opt for a reputable taxi company with a solid track record (e.g. Camberley Taxi) and you’ll have yourself a clean, quiet and comfortable car that’s driven sensibly and makes as many stops as need-be for the convenience of the passengers.
By contrast, book a less reputable option and you could end up with a dangerous rust—bucket that’s an outright hygiene hazard, piloted by a driver who thinks he’s on a Grand Prix circuit. Needless to say, noprizes for guessing which of the two makes for happier kids in the back.
The Right Distractions
You of course need bring a few of their favourite things along to keep them distracted, but choose wisely. You are after all trying to buy their silence to a certain extent, which means that while you may not agree with them sitting and staring at screens for hours on end, movies and TV shows are just brilliant – even on a small smartphone screen.
By contrast, try and get them to read anything while the car’s moving and you stand a pretty good chance of seeing them redecorate the cab with their breakfast – reading and travelling in cars do not go well together for most!
The Right Surprises
Along with the staple bits of entertainment you bring along, also pack something of a tiny surprise you can pull out just in time when it seems like a tantrum is inevitable.
Usually the fact that it’s new and unexpected is enough to have them completely forget about what was making them grumpy in the first place. And if they behave so well all the way that you don’t have to give it to them, make it a reward for being so delightful!
The Right Attitude
Last but not least, perhaps the most important tip of all when travelling anywhere with kids is to make sure you’ve got the right attitude. If you’re 100% convinced things will be disastrous, chances are you’ll make them so.
If you will only accept a 100% uneventful journey with angelic kids, you’ll be disappointed. As such, the best thing to do is expect the unexpected, plan for all eventualities and consider any tantrum-free arrival a successful arrival!