Travelling with kids: Stress-free family trips

 

Family trips are a wonderful opportunity to bond with your loved ones – a chance to get away from the daily routine and spend quality time together, exploring new places and creating amazing memories. They’re also a way to broaden your children’s minds with experiences that go beyond their usual day-to-day activities.

However, travelling with kids isn’t always easy. It takes thoughtful planning to ensure that your family trip is as stress-free as can be. Here are some tips to make your next family adventure a smooth one.

 

Family travel tips

 

  • Plan as a family
    When you’re planning your trip, keep the interests of every family member in mind. Make sure there’s something for everyone to avoid sad faces and dragging feet. Involve your kids in the planning, so you can choose destinations and activities that everyone will enjoy. This will motivate them and get them looking forward to an exciting, memorable experience.

  • Pack everything you need
    Pack essentials such as clothing, toiletries, and any special items your children may need. Consider the weather at your destination and the activities you have planned, and make sure you have the right clothes and equipment for them.

  • Make checklists
    Draw up a checklist for each child to account for all their unique needs. Include essential items like medications, comfort toys, blankets or special treats. Checklists bring order to the process, making sure you don’t leave anything important at home.

  • Have your vehicle serviced
    If you’re driving to your destination, or planning a multi-stop road trip, make sure that your vehicle is in top-notch condition. Check the tyres for wear and proper pressure, inspect the oil and water levels, and don’t forget the spare tyre. Have the necessary tools on board for minor roadside repairs like tyre changes. Put together a varied car playlist so that everyone can enjoy the music they like on the road.

 

A holiday trip is also a good time to teach your children how to manage their own money

 

  • Prepare your devices
    Charge all your devices as often as you can on holiday and load them with entertainment before you leave. Download games and shows in advance, so that your kids can entertain themselves during long trips or while waiting for flights.

  • Plan rest stops
    Travel can be tiring for kids, so plan regular breaks. Include stops at parks or playgrounds for your little ones to run around, and schedule breaks at rest stops to keep everyone refreshed.

  • Teach safety first
    Make sure your kids know your cellphone numbers by heart and are familiar with your holiday accommodation details. Teach them about ‘stranger danger’ and how important it is not to share personal information. As an extra safety measure, provide them with a whistle to use only in emergencies. Carry a basic first-aid kit and any necessary medications, and find out about the healthcare facilities at your destination.

  • Prepare snack bags
    Happy bellies make for happy travels, but hungry bellies make for crabby kids (and adults). Prepare snack packs with a mix of fruits, juices and a few extra treats. Don’t forget the convenience of sandwiches – they’re easy to eat on the go, and you can create a variety of options to cater for even the fussiest eaters.

  • Make the most of travel benefits
    Family vacations can be expensive, so maximise the value of your card transactions. For instance, with American Express debit and credit cards, you get exclusive benefits like up to 20% off at premium restaurants through the Amex for Foodies programme. Enjoy automatic Platinum status at Tsogo Sun for discounts on movies, dining and accommodation. Your Amex cards also offer full travel insurance, 12 annual domestic lounge visits a year, and Greenbacks membership for additional travel and car rental savings.

  • Explore Kids Digital Banking
    A holiday trip is also a good time to teach your children how to manage their own money. A Nedbank4Me Account for under-16s is a good start when you’re getting them into the habit of saving for what they want. Zero monthly maintenance fees, free SMS notifications, free card swipes and free interaccount transfers and balance enquiries on digital channels make this account ideal for tech-savvy youngsters. The Money app also gives kids access to Penny Power for lessons, blogs and fun activities around money management. If you register them for Kids Digital Banking on the Money app, they’ll have access to their accounts anywhere, anytime.