For many of us, the thought of travelling with young children fills us with dread. Even a simple trip to the shop can stressful, so how are you going to manage a holiday journey without losing the plot?
Well, the truth is, it's never going to be easy travelling with littlies, so don't expect miracles - they are only kids after all. However, it doesn't have to be a complete nightmare if you plan it well and keep things simple.
Get organised and write lists of everything you'll need to take. Work though the list steadily in the days or weeks before you go, and remember to leave yourself some time the day before you go for any last minute shopping or jobs.
When travelling with littlies, if you plan to drive you can fill your car with as much baby paraphernalia as you need. Staying a short driving distance from home also gives you flexibility to go home early if baby is sick or out of sorts.
Older kids can help with the packing, which can be exciting for them too. Ask them to pack their backpack with some toys or games to play with while in transit. Treat them to new textas, stickers and activity books. Now is the time to get the most out of your mini DVD player. I know holidays shouldn’t be about more screen time, but it can definitely ease the transit restlessness. And they will have plenty of opportunities to run around when you get to your destination.
Be realistic about what sort of holiday you'll have. Don't expect to have hours of uninterrupted banana lounge time. Not with kids!
But you will be able to spend some quality time with your kids doing all the fun things you don't usually have time for. Go swimming. Go on a treasure hunt. Chat to your kids about silly stuff. Stop and smell the roses. It is meant to be a holiday after all, so take a deep breath and let the holiday mood take you!