Each holiday in the UK brings the happy thought of holidays in the snow and maybe taking advantage of the best minibus hire Canterbury can offer, along with the rather joyless thought of going on a trip with the young kids. Theoretically, it’s a dream for many parents to be able to venture out with their young children, but more often than not things turn into an unmitigated catastrophe long before the trip has even started.
Long story short – buses and kids have never been the best of friends, which simply means that even if you’re planning a two-hour transfer to the airport, you are still playing a dangerous game. There is good news however, and that is the collective errors and trials of millions of parents have made the writing of a guidebook – a book listing the dos and don’ts when travelling with kids – much easier.
So, if you’d prefer to have a relative success with your trip with the kids, here are a few of the most important tricks and tips:
Always Expect the Unexpected
Firstly, it’s unrealistic to expect the whole journey to go 100% smoothly and hitch-free. There is no need for over-the-top pessimism, but a good dose of realism is crucial. Accept the fact that the kids might be a bit annoying here and there in order to have realistic expectations and keep the mood positive.
Pack Many Distractions
Most travel-related troubles caused by kids are triggered by nothing else than sheer boredom. Every parent in the world can understand how truly unbearable their little sweethearts can be when they have nothing to do, so nobody can really expect them to endure multi-hour coach rides in silence. Packing enough distractions in the form of toys, cartoons or tablet PCs will keep kids distracted and will ensure peace during the trip.
Bring a Surprise
And while we’re at distractions, another hugely useful tactic is to bring along a surprise for the kids, in order to be hidden somewhere and produced just at the moment you think the kid will start the tantrum of all tantrums. From a shiny new toy to a candy bar and anything else you can think of, this could be your salvation when things start getting explosive.
If the kids are old enough to grasp the idea, give them an incentive to behave by offering them something if they do. Promising a reward for good behaviour might seem wrong but it’s not as if having them sit for hours on a bus is something that occurs every day. It can be a real nightmare for a child and so they will feel much better if they have something to look forward to during the trip while you will enjoy your peace and quiet.
Feed Well and Carefully
Coach travel and hungry kids don’t mix well, and neither do kids loaded with caffeine and sugar. Certain dark-coloured beverages need to be avoided at all costs as well as any sweets that contain a myriad of artificial colourings and flavours. Focus on light foods and drinks for a trouble-free trip.
Choose a Professional Bus Company
The choice of a bus company will make a big difference – kids who are comfortable will always behave better and be happier than if they’re stuck on a rock-hard seat in a smelly and generally uncomfortable bus for hours on end. Chances are they will express their feelings very clearly to you… and the rest of your fellow travellers.
Tire Them Out
If there is time and possibility, do your best to tire your kids out before the trip starts. You can keep them a little later than usual, play an energetic game or really anything else that will exhaust their energy levels, so you can stand a good chance that they will take a nap in the bus and enjoy the whole trip in blissful silence.
And in conclusion, you may be aware that the trip will not be over for another three hours, but is there any real need to share this information with your kids? Most likely they won’t be keeping an eye on the time or tracking the vehicle’s progress, so in the best interests of all of you, feel free to tell them “We’re nearly there!”