Imagine a magic potion that once administered to the whole family could easily transport you all to your chosen destinations within a matter of minutes. Something akin to disapparating in Harry Potter – a whish and whoosh and you’d all be checking into your hotel room on the other side of the world! A click of the fingers and you’d be in the next town ready for your dinner reservation. Or you could get one family member to stand in line for an attraction – and then they’d only have to call you back in an instant and you’d be at the front of the queue.
None of that tedious airport drama, or transfer woes; that heart-wrenching realisation you’ve forgotten an all-important item that would mean your child is unable to sleep for a week; nervous apprehension that the long-haul flight is going to be like a scene out of a horror movie – slow mo gasps and screams from other passengers if your child dare to be upset or a little cranky.
You can put paid to all those wasted walks around towns and cities in the scorching heat trying to find a decent cafe which isn’t rammed and will fit a pushchair – and actually has a kids’ menu. Or forego those pesky cobbled streets in ancient towns – they’re a killer to wheel prams on.
Those hours spent tracking back on foot, trying to recognise a landmark on a teeny tiny map; or in the car when the sat nav sends you in the complete opposite direction. All this will be a thing of the past.
If I could invent such a potion – I’d be a multi-billionaire. I’m sure of it.
Magic and potions aside, what is the secret formula to make travelling with kids easier? I’m often asked by readers how I do it. How much they admire my tenacity to keep on exploring – even with a young baby in tow. How no country or destination seems out-of-bounds to us.
Well, I’m going to reveal all…
The secret formula to make travelling with kids easier is…
Wait for it…
Okay… so I’m being facetious – because there isn’t one.
What? I hear you all scream? She’s lead us on a merry dance!
You can’t neatly box and package travel. That’s the whole point. Travel is all about the experience; about getting lost and discovering those hidden gems that haven’t been highlighted in a guidebook. Those tough moments when all seems fraught and stressful, and how they can suddenly dissipate when you set eyes on a view that makes your jaw drop.
The laughs, the hugs, the giggles you share together; and the delicious food you eat which imprints on your senses, those hunger pangs soon a distant memory.
Yes, a magic potion would certainly make travelling a lot easier and it would take away the tedium of getting from A to B, but where’s the fun in that? Where is the sense of achievement in taking the journey into the unknown and coming out the other end?
Travelling with kids is hard – but it also hugely rewarding. And all that is needed is a change in mindset.
If you can get your head around the fact that travelling with your kids will never be the same as BC (before children), then you’re 80 per cent there. Yes, you need more ‘stuff’, you definitely have to be more organised, and you’ll most likely be up by dawn everyday. You also have to consider their needs and wants, especially when they get older and have a say in where they’d like to go.
But as a parent, you have to consider all those matters on a daily basis anyway. Nothing new there.
There may not be a secret formula to travelling with kids – but there doesn’t need to be one. Just make sure you enjoy yourselves and the rest will take care of itself.