Long Distance Travel with Kids: what’s good, bad and downright impossible

Before having children, the hardest thing about taking a long plane journey or eight hour car journey was deciding which book to read, or how to pass the hours without becoming too bored and restless.  Pop children into the equation and long distance travel becomes a completely different ball game.

Booking a cheap holiday to Turkey or Spain can leave a family with mixed emotions – on one side they will be bursting with excitement to arrive, unpack and swim in the sea, but on the flip side the parents will be filled with trepidation about the journey that lies beforehand!

Kid out in the garden with a bicycle
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

What’s good about long distance travel with the kids?

  • You get to take the family somewhere new and exciting.
  • You and your partner get to delight in holidaying in some beautiful far flung destinations.
  • Once the travel is over, relaxation can begin!

What’s bad about long distance travel with the kids?

  • The entertainment factor: there is no time to relax when aboard an airplane, the kids demand constant interaction, the days of reading are far behind you.
  • On occasion the children may not appreciate where you have taken them, which can be a little soul destroying if you have planned the trip of a lifetime and they would have rather gone camping in the garden.
  • Travel sickness, always a damper on a long haul flight!
  • Not being able to make everyone happy can be hard work when travelling long distances in a communal space. Your troublesome toddler may be happy as can be singing ten green bottles at the top of their voice, but the passengers in front may not appreciate his delightful tones.
  • Delays; you can’t prepare for them, do anything about them, so you have to survive them.  Make sure you have plenty of food, drink and toys!

What’s downright impossible when travelling long distance with the kids?

  • Sleep! Although if you are a parent already you will be used to this.
  • Sticking to the rules: at home you may have a steady rule of no more than an hour of TV a day, when travelling to a faraway destination you need to leave this rule at the airport and let the kids indulge.
  • Relaxation.  Like sleep, relaxing is not something you should expect your flight to be; make sure you are really prepared to entertain, play with, feed and read to your children.  That way, whilst it is impossible to totally relax, it shouldn’t be completely impossible to almost enjoy the flight.
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