If you're reading Gold Coast Kids, chances are you either live in the Gold Coast or you're planning a trip to Queensland sometime soon. I don't think there is any country better for travel than Australia and, whether you're visiting or you're a local, there are so many places to go, things to do and things to see that it'd be a shame not to take advantage!
Flying in or flying out, heading on a long road trip or just making your way between Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach – there are a lot of ways to get around and, if you are travelling with kids, then you're probably hoping that getting from A to B doesn't turn into a nightmare of screaming, crying and tantrums. Travelling with kids can be hard, but I'm going to discuss a few tips that can help make any adventure a little bit easier.
Get Them Excited
First thing is first: you need to get your kids excited about the trip so they don't spend the whole flight, car ride or walk complaining. A positive mind makes for a positive journey!
Whether you're flying into Coolangatta, planning a weekend in Perth or you're driving up to Brisbane, you need to get them excited about the destination. Tell them about all of the things that they'll get to do, let them know that 'yes, Broadbeach does have ice cream' and make sure they're happy about going, not upset they aren't staying.
This tip is especially important if they have never flown before. Talk to them about how incredible the plane is and what a fun journey it will be. You could even pay a visit to the airport ahead of time just to watch the planes take off. If they are interested in the plane and the journey and you can avoid the fear of takeoff, you're less likely to have tears and a tantrum on your hand as you begin your ascent.
Get on the Plane Last
So many times I see families fighting to the front of the queue to get on the plane first. Personally, I think it's a huge mistake.
Once they are in, they're stuck (for the most part) in their seat. The more time you can spend with them up and about instead of in a confined space, the better. Sometimes getting on the plane last means an extra fifteen to twenty minutes of activity – it's not much but it definitely counts.
Distractions Are Your Friend!
For long car rides and plane trips, it's time for rules to go out the window! We all remember what it was like being young and bored. Three hours was like an eternity and, without anything to distract us, the seconds seemed to drag on forever. It's this kind of boredom that creates frustrated children, something that other passengers on planes are dreading the moment they see you walk onboard. You owe it to them, and to your kids, to pull out all the stops that you usually have in place.
If you have them, Nintendos, PSPs and handheld consoles should come out of the bag and into their hands. iPhone games are popular as well, so anticipate running out of battery and bring a charging cable and adaptor onboard or in the car too. Now is the time for all the usual rules you have for entertainment and video games to go out the window.
Tire Them Out
If you can help it, it's a good idea to tire them out before you leave. Flying at night is a great way to make the time fly – they'll usually be exhausted by the time you get on the plane! If you're driving, you could leave early in the morning or, if they're early risers, in the afternoon after a busy day. Planning around their sleeping patterns does help, and, with any luck, you'll soon have quiet in the backseat.
Travelling with the kids shouldn't be something that fills you with dread. Following a few of these tips will make time fly and ensure they don't get bored, antsy and frustrated. Keep a positive atmosphere, play games in the car and remember to enjoy your holiday – you've earned it!
About the Author
Josh Armstrong is a web platform manager at online Australian gift store, Gift It Now. With experience gifts, gift baskets and plenty of great gift ideas, Gift It Now is the best place to find an adventure in any region in Australia.