What you need to know before travelling with boys
If you could turn back time, what would you do differently? When it comes to taking day trips, road trips, interstate holidays or overseas adventures, we’ve had plenty of experience of the incredibly awesome and the downright disasters that can happen away from home when you’ve got boys.
We are now a fairly resourceful bunch but this wasn’t always the case. Here is what we’ve learnt along the way and what I wish someone had told me before we started out travelling with boys.
1. Boys are 75 percent more likely than girls to end up in hospital due to an accident, so always carry a small first-aid kit and always take out travel insurance when you go overseas. Some things just can’t be fixed with a Band-aid, and they will cost you big time without insurance.
2. Always carry food and water with you. Whether you’re in the car, plane, bus or train, you never know when hunger will strike or you get delayed. Hungry boys are a recipe for disaster!
3. Space is your best friend when it comes to accommodation and sometimes hotels aren’t the best option for families. Consider staying in apartments, resorts, villas, cabins, farmstays, or even tents to give the boys more room to move, and to give you room to get away from the noise and action.
4. Try to find accommodation that has a pool or outdoor area, plus a park or walkway close by so you can use up some of that energy.
5. Something will go wrong. Just like life, expect that your holiday won’t always go to plan. You can’t control the weather, other people or whether your child decides to have a fear of flying as you board your plane. Don’t let it get you down – you will never be the first person to experience it. Move on and try to think of it as a good story to tell when you get home.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. What baby equipment should I take, where should I stay, how do I keep sane stuck in a car for 10 hours with boys? So many questions and so many parents who have been there before you. There are lots of pitfalls when it comes to new experiences in new places that even the most seasoned travellers ask others for advice. Join our boy family travel tribe on Facebook and ask away.
7. Prepare your boys for if they get lost. Come up with a plan and talk to them about it. They need to know what to do, where to go, and who to talk to if they are lost. It’s also a good idea for younger kids to pop a card in their pocket with your name and phone number, or write on the inside of their arm in permanent marker.
8. If you’re heading to the beach invest in some boys anti-chafing board shorts or jammers. Believe me, there will be a lot less tears and pain for everyone. It will also reduce the chance of them getting burnt on the tops of legs.
9. Don’t be afraid to say YES to new things. You never know what incredible thing is waiting to be discovered just outside your comfort zone.
10. Start travelling when your boys are young. You don’t have to go far to see the benefits. Travel can help to bring the family together and can open up a whole world of learning such as navigation skills, money management, different cultures, and environment.
11. You think this parenting thing is going to drag on forever but they are only living with you for such a short part of their lives, so you need to get out there and make some memories.
What is something you wished someone had taught you before you travelled for the first time?