As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drag on, people are still hesitant to go on a holiday. However, scientific studies shows us that even planning to travel can do wonders for your mental health — even if you’re sure where the adventure will be just yet.
According to National Geographic, travelling can improve empathy, attention, energy, focus, and creativity. Moreover, simply planning a future trip can be a source of joy, because humans spend a lot of mental energy thinking about the future.
Travel is especially beneficial for children. Although it may sound daunting to travel with a young child, going on a holiday with them can have a huge impact on their development. Travel expands their world, makes them more empathetic to cultural differences, and equips them with tools to adapt to various situations.
So without further do, here are three tips to help your children make the most out of family vacations once the pandemic ends:
Accept that things will go wrong
When travelling with children, something will most likely go wrong. The sooner you accept this, the less stressful your holiday will be. Maybe your child loses their favourite toy somewhere, or they need to go to the bathroom and you end up missing your bus. It’s best to keep your schedule flexible and loose, allowing yourself plenty of time to make adjustments for any unexpected challenges that get thrown your way.
That said, there are things you can do to prepare your children for potentially stressful situations. It’s good practice to tell them what they will encounter, like jet lag or turbulence if you’re flying to another country. You should also explain social distancing rules. A study called ‘Children’s Perspectives and Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic and UK Public Health Measures’ reveals that British children have deep fears and anxieties concerning the COVID-19 virus — specifically, how it impacts their health and their loved ones. Even if children are highly adaptable, they still need plenty of reassurance when it comes to these unfamiliar experiences.
You can help alleviate your children’s concerns by getting private at home COVID testing in London and other cities before and after you go. This way, you can demonstrate that your family is COVID-free and won’t accidentally pass the virus to others. It can also ensure you meet testing requirements if you’re travelling out of the country.
Ensure your children are comfortable
Children become extra fussy and hard to manage at times if they’re tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. If you’re planning to do some walking when you travel, it’s best to bring a pram along for younger children. The ultra-compact pushchairs from iCandy make it much easier to navigate bumpy terrain or get on public transportation. Multi-functional pushchairs are a great investment for a growing family, as you can use them for a long time especially if you buy one of the more durable models.
Additionally, you should pack some snacks and drinks wherever you go, because the time between meals could be longer than they are used to. You should always carry a Frugi lunch bag with you and fill it with wholesome snacks. The Frugi lunch bag can stay cool and keep your food fresh; it also has tons of space so you can fit a day’s worth of snacks in it. Remember, hungry kids are cranky kids. Most of all, cranky kids will not have the energy or patience to explore new sights with you, so do everything within your power to plan ahead.
Make it a learning experience
You’ might get the chance to visit new places that have significant cultural and historical importance on your travels. When we previously posted on the website about visiting Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire, knowing about its history — from its establishment in 1311 to its place in Romantic poetry — really helped plan for the trip. And children are naturally curious, so adding an educational angle to the trip can be enriching for them – not to mention something they will always remember.
If you have older children, lend them a durable point-and-shoot camera or get them to use their phone to take photos. This allows them to share their memories with friends and family. Another thing you can do is to let your children record their trip in a travel journal. Give them time at night to write down what they did, what they liked, and what they didn’t like, so they can remember their holiday even as they get older.