12 top tips for travelling with kids
We have been on the road for two months now and we have put together a list of helpful tips when travelling with kids. Our tips are a little different from the rest…….
Don’t spend all your time and energy finding something they will eat. They don’t like it? Don’t eat it. They will eventually learn to eat whatever is available. Too harsh? We arrived at our place in Chiang Mai in the late afternoon and decided to go for a walk to get some dinner. 20 min later the only place that was open served congee with pork and salted eggs. The kids hated it and with Markus allergies all he ate was plain congee. Beggars can’t be choosers sometimes but we all had the runs the next day. Maybe it’s a cultural thing but for us even if you don’t like it, you eat it, smile and say thank you.
If you have two boys like ours, try to avoid spacie parlors(kiwi term) and toy sections. It saves time, money and tears.
Tell them its 9 pm and 2 hours past their bed. Even though its 7 pm and you’re just tired as hell from a long day of exploring.
Going on a long trip? Entertain them as much as you can without technology, than wait patiently. Once they start to get restless BAM shove that glowing god send screen in front of them. In all seriousness we don’t stress over technology. If the battery dies, it dies. Yeah there might be 8 hours left of the trip but their kids. Kids manage to figure something out.
Don’t stress over a few stains on their clothes. Re-use to save on washing.
Make them walk mid-day in the hot sun. When they ask how long to go? Just say 5 min and engage them in a conversation about dinosaurs, adventures and guns. They won’t know it’s been 20 min.
Tell them there are hidden cameras inside the house and you can see what they are up to. True story.
Don’t carry wipes with you. Just use a pad from the vending machine or convince them its cultural not to use toilet paper so they learn how to use water to wash. We all love the butt gun now and how awesome a squat toilets to get things going!!
Use bribery when things get desperate. We won’t lie. We mainly use this when we walk long distances or they are fighting on a bus cramped with heaps of locals. “I’ll get you guys ice cream if you stop fighting”. Not the best parenting but lucky we aren’t going for the best parent’s award anytime soon.
Always travel with spare clothes. We have been in a few situations. Skid undies and vomit on shirts kind of situations. Coming back from Bali last January Mattaeus threw up all over himself. All we had was a purple Ie lavalala(sarong), poor kid.
Palm your children off to others as much as you can. If some stranger wants to engage in a conversation with your child let them go for gold. Don’t look at everyone like they are going to kidnap your child.
Our boys are 5 and 8 and all their toys and learning books they carry themselves. We have brought a few books and toys for them since being on the road, but they need to carry it. They need to be responsible for something on this trip. The only thing we carry of theirs is their clothes but other than that it’s all in their bag.
We have become so accustomed to make kids feel as comfortable as possible. Where’s the fun in that? Isn’t learning about making mistakes and being uncomfortable? It teaches them to be resilient and to make the most of what’s available to them. Kids are resilient if we allow them to be. Mattaeus would eat the same shit all the time back home but now we are in a place that has chili and veges on everything. He has no choice but to eat it!
Of course it makes life a lot easier if they have all these things that “entertain” them but easy isn’t fun. Kids need to know what they are capable of.
Kids need to know its OK if things don’t go to plan or they fall apart. For us this is where most of their lessons have been learnt. If you follow the above 13 tips it may ruin your child, so just stick to what you are doing.