Going on holiday is a wonderful, well-needed break from the craziness that is life, particularly when you can get the whole family together and travel with everyone, although that might be just as stressful if you aren’t prepared. Travelling with your whole family might mean travelling with children or seniors, which can be overwhelming if it’s your first time or if you don’t know what to expect.
Being prepared for any kind of challenges while you’re on a trip can help make everything go smoothly, and knowing what you’re getting yourself into is one of the ways to prepare.
Give yourself plenty of time to get anywhere. Travelling with children or seniors can make everything take longer than you would think, mainly because you’re thinking in terms of your own speed. Going through airports, eating at restaurants, and getting from place to place will all be slower moving than if you were travelling alone or with a partner, so try and leave lots of buffer time. Try to be at the airport or train station a bit earlier than usual, and don’t jam-pack your daily schedule with too many activities in case you’re late for something – your entire day will be thrown off, and it will become stressful.
Pre-book as much as you can. Showing up in a foreign city with no hotel reservation doesn’t work if you have kids or elderly parents with you. Make sure you know where you’re staying before you get there, and if you’re travelling by train or bus anywhere, book those in advance as well, so you have a schedule or plan to stick to. Also, pre-booking the entertainment is a good idea, so there’s one less thing on your brain to worry about while on your trip, especially if you’re going on a trip during a holiday period.
The Kids passports should also feature as you plan for the trip. Without proper documentation, international travel is impossible. British Passport Renewal or having passports issued for your children is a relatively simple process as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. If your passport has expired or is close to expiring, you will need to fill out an application form and submit it along with two photographs and the appropriate fees. You will also need to provide proof of identities, such as a birth certificate or previous passport. Once your application has been processed, you will be issued a new passport that is valid for ten years. While the process of renewing your British passport is relatively straightforward, it is important to allow plenty of time for your application to be processed. In most cases, it will take at least six weeks to receive your new passport, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Always have snacks available. My kids don’t do hangry!!! You don’t want your fun excursion turned into a miserable one because of a cranky, hungry, screaming child. One thing we have done which I can highly recommend is invest in good quality water bottles. My pair drink a lot of waste and aside from the obvious environmental benefits I find it so much more convenient to refill our personalised water bottles when we are travelling. As a family who love to travel I cant stress the importance of investing in good quality bottles, they aren’t equal and adding personalisation means they know their own and tend so far anyway not to get lost!
With elderly parents
Take it slow. While it’s important to note that some seniors will still have the mobility and ability to travel, there are some conditions like dementia, for example, that are more limiting and require specialised care. It’s vital to check with a doctor or caregiver and get the go-ahead to travel before booking any trips with your elderly family members. Trying to see and do everything at your destination might be overwhelming for a senior, and they might not have the energy for it.
Setting them up for an unenjoyable time will just put undue stress on the whole family, so consider their physical limitations when planning activities. Can they walk around for long periods of time? Is there a lot of standing required, and can they handle it? If it’s outdoors, will the weather be comfortable? There are a few aspects to consider, and it might be helpful to discuss this with them prior to booking anything.