Admit it, you too, have mixed feelings about family travels. Especially when you become the leader of the pack or say a Dad, traveling with your kids can be a very challenging task and if you can’t handle it, you’ll lose the fun. SO in this post, I’m sharing what I’ve learned from holidaying with my kids abroad.

  1. Set the rules

before the trip. I usually do this a few days before the trip and a few minutes before the plane takes off. Reminding them of the rewards for their behavior in the journey keeps everyone on board attuned.

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  1. Prio safety & comfy

or at least the first one. Even when you’re traveling in Economy class, simple things like cushion neck pillows give kids ‘at home’ and relaxed feeling,. They do deserve it; after all they’re just kids. Safety as priority is common sense but making them feel it’s your number one concern makes them feel confident and secured. Plus this makes Tip # 1 more effective.

  1. Reward and punish reasonably.

Reward: a piggy back ride, a chocolate/ice cream treat, a few minutes with the PSP or iPad or TV, a nap on your lap or a chance to choose the next ride to take.

Punishment: standing on a corner, minus minutes for the gadget use, going to bed early, or MUTE minutes.

Many parents like myself do both (R and P) but for others, Rewarding suffices so there is no need to Punish.

Punishment: Standing on a Corner

4. Keep them busy.

Whether at the restaurant or bus or train or museum, there is always something EDUTAINING (educational and entertaining) you could make the kids do.

Restaurant: they can draw or read a comic book or explore the area or play with their gadgets (the last resort).

Public Transport: counting (i.e. the red cars that the bus meets/ the kids on the train), listening to music on their headset or Dr Dre, massaging a family member’s back or hand, taking pictures or the last resort.

Museum: hiring an English-speaking tour guide (and telling your kids to ask lots of questions), playing Treasure Hunt, or taking pictures of 5 most interesting objects (if allowed).

  1. Always check the necessities

and by this I mean: 1. make sure you have wet tissue, hand sanitizer, mosquito repellant, baby powder, sunscreen, moisturizing lotion and extra clothes when outdoor. 2. make sure you take them to the toilet every two hours. I find this specially effective in avoiding Toilet Rush in the middle of a movie or fun ride or traveling.

Finally, always keep an analgesic or an Aspirin in your pocket. Sometime kids can give you migraines or High Blood Pressure.

If you have other tips, feel free to share them below.