4 Tips for Traveling with Kids from Different Age Groups
Traveling with children can be fun. Kids say and react to things in some of the most amazing ways, and it really can make for some memorable moments. However, traveling with children is not always a piece of cake, especially when traveling with kids from different age groups. Consider these four tips to make this kind of travel as enjoyable as possible.
1. Don't Get Lost En Route
It is very important not to get lost. Children can sense confusion, stress, and worry. For those that are in charge of getting everyone to the final spot, being certain of how to get there will pay off.
For those that have ever been lost or unsure of their location, they know just how more stressful these situations can become if traveling with kids. And while new technologies have emerged to make GPS systems and smartphone apps better than ever, sometimes these products do stop working or don't work in rural areas. Have a backup map; map pricing varies, and there are foldable maps and book options from which travelers can choose from.
2. Establish A Buddy System
It is always a great idea to establish a buddy system, and this is even more of a great idea when there are kids from different age groups. There is always the younger child that wants to try and tag along with older kids. However, sometimes those older kids are not aware of the younger child trying to keep up with them.
A buddy system will help prevent children from getting lost on breaks during travel. Make sure that kids are grouped in pairs and be certain that each child knows to alert a chaperone, should their buddy not be with them at any time.
3. Take Plenty of Breaks
When traveling with kids of different age groups, or with children in general, it is a good idea to take breaks along the route. Travelers should give themselves ample time to reach their destination, and time for stops along the way should be factored into the time it will take.
Children will need to stop for all kinds of reasons. They will need to go to the restroom, and they will also need to get out to eat meals and snacks. Try to avoid snacking and meals in vehicles, not just to prevent messes, but to give kids more to anticipate along the way. It also is very important for everyone to get out and stretch from time to time. When taking breaks give kids the opportunity to run around and be active, and use these stops for times that children can finally scream and make as much noise as they would like. Making time for stops will make travel with kids a whole lot less stressful.
4. Have Predetermined Rules
Predetermined rules are a must for travel groups that include children of different age groups. Children in the group must be made known of what will not be tolerated during the trip. Failure to do this could backfire and make travel very stressful.
Along with the buddy system and no snacking, eating or drinking in the vehicles, rules about other acceptable behaviors should be set, too. This includes enforcing volume limits for music, movies, and conversations. All the kids will not want to hear the same music or watch the same movies. Headphones should be encouraged. Younger children will also try to speak louder to get older children's attention. In addition to enforcing acceptable conversation levels, a no-bullying rule should also be in effect.
Traveling with Kids from Different Age Groups Can Be Fun
While the idea of traveling with kids from different age groups might at first not seem like a good idea, it can be rewarding. By considering the four aforementioned tips, this kind of travel will indeed be fun. And don’t forget to bring a list of car games your children can play during the trip to make it go by faster for them.