Travelling with Kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare
We spoke with seasoned family travellers to get their tips and tricks to make airplanes, accommodation decisions and everything in between a breeze. Less pulling your hair out, running after kids and barely eating any real food (let alone enjoying meals) and more seeing the world through their eyes, slowing down to holiday pace and making life-long family memories.
We asked Becky Murray, mother of 2 and part of the Nimmo Bay family, to tell us why she travels with her young kids and here is what she had to say…
“Travelling with kids is not easy. It feels like we are always searching for the right food, nap, park, and constantly waiting for the next fit, cold or tiny opinion to strike down our day plans. On every trip we have many moments when we wonder why we are doing this to our kids…and ourselves. But I think that the answer is in the moments between the moments when our kids use a language they have yet to learn or explain to us why a volcano erupts. The moments of connection that wouldn’t happen at home because we get stuck in our routine and often just go through the motions of life. The answer is because we are inspired by the smallest moments that open our eyes to another place, culture, landscape and the beauty of life. We travel with our kids to learn and be better at our work but also because kids remind us to be curious and raw.”
Sounds good right? Keep reading for our top 5 tips on how to travel with kids, Nimmo Bay style!
5 tips for travelling with kids
Pack for long travel days
This means lots of snacks at the ready, extra diapers if that applies to your little one (more than you think you need!), and new activities that your kids won’t tire of right away. Jenny Jewczyk, mother of 2 and Nimmo Bay reservations office manager, suggests heading to the dollar store or your favourite kids store to load up on new colouring books and small toys that you can save until you need them on flights or long drives.
pick destinations that are kid-friendly
Not every hotel or destination is equally kid-friendly. Even some cultures are more warm and fuzzy towards kids than others. We recommend keeping that in mind as you choose your travel destination and as you decide what accommodation to book. Make sure you won’t be the only family at the hotel or resort, make sure you will feel welcomed and that the staff will know how to help make your stay easy and enjoyable. Bonus points for resorts with specific kids’ activities and kids’ guides.
No matter where you go, find nature
Some places are all about stimulation–think theme parks or big cities. Kids can only really handle 4-5 hours (depending on their age, of course) of that kind of stimulation before they crash. After a day of intense artificial noise and visual stimulation, kids need a dark, quiet place to recover and often they meltdown before they get to recover. We’ve all seen it or been there: the kid on the ground, absolutely losing it at the end of the day.
It’s different in wild places. There is plenty of stimulation but the pace is so much slower, the curiosity is organic and the way that little brains react puts them at ease, rather than ramping up the adrenaline and cortisol until the inevitable collapse. So, find nature or go to wild places where they can slow down and find wonder in small things, big skies, and the music of Mother Nature.
Un-do your to-do list
Kids don’t have to-do lists and if you watch carefully in natural settings, you’ll see that they follow their curiosity and intuition on magical journeys of discovery. If you want to deepen your own experience, we recommend following your kids’ lead. Let go of your personal expectations and allow your kids dictate the day. Follow them as they are attracted this way and that by the whims of nature. Kids don’t need a lot—they often want to beach comb or wander in the woods all day, maybe build a fort or play in the sand. Think like a kid, explore with wonder and put your mind at rest.
Travel with support
If possible, bring back-up! Grandparents or nannies can save a trip for everyone and if you can travel with more adults than kids (outnumber them!), you will have better odds of everyone having a good time.
If you can’t travel with support then choose destinations where you can hire help at times, whether that means choosing resorts with kids’ guides and activities or child-care services or tapping into on-call nanny directories to bring another set of hands on board, we highly recommend seeking help so that you can have time to relax. This does’t mean you aren’t together as a family, it just means that during tough transitions (like getting out the door in time to catch your flight) or during meal times, you have an extra set of hands and eyes to keep you sane and your kids safe and happy.
Still looking for answers?
Yes, travelling with little ones can seem daunting sometimes. It’s hard enough being home in your comfort zone with kids, let alone pushing your own boundaries and theirs at the same time. Accept that you will have some rough moments but be heartened by the fact that it will be 100% worth it. And if you need more answers, ask the team of experienced family travellers in the Nimmo Bay office. Parents and explorers, all of them, they are here to help you find calm and plan a trip from city to wilderness that ticks all the boxes while keeping everyone happy.
Words: Brianna Sloan
Photos: Jeremy Koreski