Well, it is time for our monthly homeward bound trip. It is wonderful to travel and to see places but for a mother, going on ‘holiday’ is more like having to work overtime, well without the benefit of extra pay! Kids are not made for long journeys and by long, I mean anything above an hour. I’m not saying that it’s impossible (because it’s not), but I am saying that for the mother, it is extremely hard work.
My plan for travelling is quiet simple and packing is of course a nightmare but somehow, we get it done. Here are my tips for:
PACKING FOR THE FAMILY – THE 101
Lets say you are going away for two days with your family, my advice is to prepare for four. Try to have your packing done the day before the actual trip otherwise you will lose your marbles trying to pack with highly energetic children.
Any other bathing aids
Baby lotions/oils/nappy creams etc
2 sets of warm sleeping clothes
2 sets of cool sleeping clothes
2 sets of warm day time clothes
2 sets of cool day time clothes
1 pair of shoes for warm weather
1 pair of shoes for cold weather
2 towels & 4 face towels & 4 bibs
4 pairs of socks
2 warm blankets
Undies or Nappies – Try to take brand new packs
A brand new pack of wetwipes
Cereals & feeding time dishes
Any cold, flu & other emergency medication including plastors & disinfectant
Yourself & Your partner
The private necessities
2 pairs of pants each (what if the weather turns out horribly cold??)
2 pairs of other bottoms (skirts/shorts/dresses)
Bathroom accessories (soaps/blades/facewash etc)
4 pairs of socks
One pair of shoes for warm weather
One pair of shoes for cold weather
The day of travelling has arrived. What to pack in your car:
Now, follow the same routine as Shopping 101, except make sure that the kids have not slept at all. Feed them, change them and then let them run around and get tired. Pack your bag of toys & your diaper bag in the front section of the car and NOT the boot. Make sure that the milk and snacks that you have packed are in reach so that you do not have to distract the driver when the kids do cry for milk or a snack.
I generally sit in the backseat of the car and after strapping them in and getting them comfortable, I give them a few toys from their bag and relax.
The reason why I wanted them to be tired is simple, tired children + a car ride = sleeping kids (for at least an hour or so). When they do get up, the milk is made, snacks are ready and there are toys for them to play with. If all of that doesn’t work, then it’s time to get creative with distractions.
My kids love music, so we play the music and they start to dance – distraction #1
My son has a very inquiring mind, so his distraction is simple. All I have to do is point outside the window and name something that I saw in a voice of amazement and he is sold! – distraction #2
My daughter is not so easily pacified, however, she also just really likes her food, so if the food doesn’t work and the music doesn’t either – then I have got to attempt something on the spur of the moment.
Travelling with kids is far from easy and car rides definitely do not finish as fast as you have finished reading this post! You just have to be patient and imaginative. If all else fails, you’re going to have to stop and take a breather.
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Wish me luck as I am travelling my monthly 2 hour journey today.
Simone Gobin is a 24 year old, it graduate, wife to Avi and mother to Yash & Ralee Gobin. She spends her days being a mother and a wife. She has decided to start a blog as a creative outlet as well as connect with other parents. Her belief is that there is a lot to learn from other parents out there and she welcomes all advice possible.