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Travelling long distance with your children

By Faeza
12 April 2017

The holidays are over and this means most people are making their way back from their holiday destinations.   We give you tips to make the trip safe and enjoyable for everyone.

COMFORT AND SAFETY FIRST

Karabo Chababa, a life coach based in Pretoria, says of all the things that need to be taken into consideration when travelling long distance with children is to ensure that your car or the mode of transport you are using is safe and you are prepared for any emergency. Sitting in a car for a long period of time can become uncomfortable for young children who

are used to taking a short trip to school or to the shops on weekends, so it’s important to make sure that your little ones are comfortable during your trip. For example, you can take along their favourite blanket and pillow for when they need to take a nap while you are driving. Karabo adds that it’s also important for your children to wear comfortable clothes when travelling long distances. “Make sure that you When travelling children wear clothes that allow freedom and are comfortable like tracksuit pants or shorts with a T-shirt and comfortable shoes.”

GET A GOOD START

According to Karabo, when you travel, make sure you serve your children something light for breakfast, preferably yoghurt and fresh fruit so that they don’t make too many trips to the toilet, especially if you are using public transport. “For lunch, sandwiches are the best option because you can keep them in a container. Serve them a drink on the side and also pack some snacks. The key is to choose food that will not upset their stomachs, so try avoiding processed food that has too much fat,” says Karabo.

KEEP THEM ENTERTAINED

Children can get bored very quickly when they are sitting in a car, so it’s important to ensure that they have something to keep them entertained throughout the journey. This will also help you keep your eyes on the road without having too many distractions. Older children can use electronic devices or read books to keep themselves entertained, while smaller kids can play with some of their favourite toys. “Take your phone, tablet or a portable DVD player with you and make sure that they are fully charged. Download your children’s favourite games and movies for them to watch. That is going to ensure that you have a stress-free journey to your destination,” he says.

MAKE REGULAR STOPS

When you are travelling with children, be prepared to make more stops along the way than you would normally do when you are on your own. “You should make regular stops, especially when you’re using your own vehicle, so that the children can stretch their legs, get some fresh air and go to the toilet before you continue with your journey,” says Karabo.