For kids an adventure can be born from the smallest of things, the carpet is lava, the shopping trolley is a pirate ship and yes, as mum you are the big scary sea monster!
For us adult’s, adventures can take on an all the more survival element. This is a subject that is currently in the forefront of my mind, we have just booked our first holiday as a family of five and it involves a car and a plane… at least there is no tent (this time!). The reason for my apprehension is that my track record with airports is not the best since having kids, gone are the days of departure lounge lounging and magazine reading. Now, trunkies are vehicles designed by the devil that use your ankles as brakes and the only reading being done starts and ends with ‘That’s not my…’
Not being a seasoned traveller, if I’m honest I am more of a home-bird. I do have a few do’s and don’t’s for travelling with little people;
- try and save money by travelling 3.5 hours to the airport – trust me when I say that getting home post holiday 3.5 hours quicker is worth more than gold.
- pack all the nappies in one bag – when you forget that bag (and potentially create a bomb scare with said unattended baggage), being on a plane with no nappies and with a baby explosion threat highly likely makes for a long flight.
- over pack – you will end up carrying all the bags and kids.
- take healthy snacks – take all the bad things that they love and that are top bribery tools, these will be required exactly 5 minutes after leaving the house.
- put Elsa and Anna through the metal detector… cue mental meltdown containing the words/screams “my Elsa, my Ana Nooooo mummy Noooo, but I have been good”
- underestimate how long it takes to walk to a gate with two kids, four (ok we lost one so three) bags and a pram. And how stressful that walk will be, along with how much adult whispering/arguing you will have done by the time you get on the plane.
- give your husband headphones, you may lose him for the entire flight.
- pick up your hire car at the end of a very long day, they will see you coming and offer your tired, stressed other half an ‘upgrade’. Obviously he is a man and so will do and pay just about anything to get to the actual final destination and end the longest day in the history of the earth and the constant ‘are we nearly there yet’s’ that have been shouted at him for the last 8 hours.
- let anything said between you and your other half in whispers count – a bit like the ‘anything said between the hours of 12 midnight and 5am doesn’t count’ rule
- have fun, make it an adventure – it is an adventure, these are memories you are creating as a family and trips your children will not remember in 5 years! But you will, you will remember how their little faces lit up at their first sight of a proper plane close up. You will remember how you pretended you weren’t scared of flying and how they held your hand when you took off. You will remember how they danced in the waves and got sand in every place possible – sand you will no doubt bring home with you! And you will remember the tired sand covered smiling faces who stayed up past bedtime every night and ate way too much ice cream!
For our next trip I’m going prepared! We have created a downloadable ‘A Mini Waller Spots’ game to keep the little people happy and occupied during the journey, who says the adventure starts when you get there…
Wish me luck #seekadventure