{Organising} Travel with pre-school kids – my 3 top tips

We haven’t travelled internationally with our five-year-old twins yet, but we have travelled with them a lot locally.

We’ve driven to destinations by car and we’ve also flown… and I’ve found that these tips will work for both methods of transport.

Kids are unpredictable so yes, you have to be flexible but there’s a lot of things you can do to make sure they’re comfortable and that can make our lives easier and so I thought I should share things that work for us:

Travel with kids | www.organisingqueen.com

1. Food

We try and keep them eating the things they normally eat at home so that I know they will eat, and also, so that there are no new things to get used to.

We do have a couple of different options but I’ve found these are mostly for us, rather than for them. I once said to Connor, “but isn’t it boring to eat peanut butter every day?” and he said, “it’s not boring for me, Mummy”. Okay then, that’s very clear!

I like to involve the kids and give them choice but I do it in a sneaky way – I have my set meals but I’ll say should we have this or that for lunch, or what do you guys want for supper – this or that? They feel empowered but the meals were on the menu anyway, maybe just not for that specific day.

Super tip – whenever you’re out and about, have a snack for you and for them. This could be fruit and water on the beach, or some cheese and crackers if you head to the shops. Again, this might just be my kids but they’re always better behaved when they’re not hungry.

Travel with kids | www.organisingqueen.com

2. Clothes

For our last 4 holidays, I’ve booked a self-catering place with a washing machine (and I take a scoop of laundry detergent with us) so we can do laundry half way through our holiday.

This means we take half the clothes we actually want with us.

I pack sets of clothes for the kids in individual ziploc bags so that when they wake in the mornings, they can choose a bag of clothes and get themselves dressed. I also try to choose clothes that all generally match (I believe this could be called unconscious capsuling :)) for easier mix-and-matching.

We generally pack just two pairs of shoes.

Super tip – don’t pack a lot of toys. I pack less and less every time. For our last holiday I packed one notebook each, a set with a very thin activity pad, colouring book and stickers, and some pencil crayons and crayons. That’s it. And they still didn’t use all the items.

 

Travel with kids | www.organisingqueen.com

3. Routines

I find that kids like to know what will be happening next, or at least mine do, so we tell them what to expect.

Generally our “beach holiday” routine is wake, dress in swimsuits, breakfast, beach, back for showers and clean clothes, lunch, naps/ quiet time, another long walk on the beach (also known as Marcia’s photo time), relaxing in the flat, supper and bed.

If the weather’s not good, we do something else but we explain to our kids so they know what to expect.

Super tip – keep your expectations very low. I consider it a good day if there’s no tantrum or sulking, and if I get to have an hour of relaxation (photo walk, reading, beach time). Some days you might just get all the sun tan lotion on and get down on the beach when you have to go right back so your kids can use the loo. Low expectations will ensure you don’t freak out and still enjoy your holiday. If you expected to have 4 hours of beach time a day and your kids are in a miserable mood, you just won’t enjoy yourself. Don’t do that to yourself.

If you keep the big picture in mind which is to spend time together as a family at another destination (as my friend Kirsten says, “same circus, different tent”), you’ll enjoy your time together a lot more.

Are you going away during the December holidays?

What are your favourite tips for travelling with kids?

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