I suppose the title of this post sort of suggests that travelling with the whole family is indeed quite the chore, but if you’ve had to endure a few hours in the car with family members of different generations, interests and patience-levels then you’ll know that that’s exactly what it is – a chore. Now try travelling frequently with the whole family, internationally for that matter, with bums having to be in seats for very long stretches at a time!
It’s really not all bad though and you’ll actually be surprised at just how positively even toddlers can handle themselves en route to your destination if you approach this family-travel thing right. That’s what it’s all about – you have to bring everybody on board and show them that travelling is actually fun, so pull no stops in making sure the entertainment is top-notch once you reach your first few destinations. That’s how easy it is to get everybody on board and while it doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be well behaved throughout the whole trip and every single time for that matter, at least they’ll be on your side when you tell them that things are going to get better once you arrive at your destination.
A single-daddy friend of mine (yes, they do exist, even though in this particular instance it’s a rather sad story of how the wife passed away giving birth) has this thing where he insists his toddler sits in his baby seat at the back and the rule is that the car doesn’t move until he gives in to be secured in his seat. Because of the frequency of the trips they take, the toddler is often right on board and generally has as much restraint as a child his age can have, so that’s a great example of how the destination can entice anyone to behave. On one occasion though they were stuck in some heavy traffic and you could see the tantrum coming from the toddler since he’d been really patient and seemed to have known that something is different this time – he somehow knew that he was having to be more patient than he usually is.
Such eventualities should be planned for and fortunately in this day and age entertainment is as mobile as we are. You get in-flight entertainment in aircrafts that are bigger than the smallest ones which fly over short distances, so the kids can pop on their headsets and take their pick from the range of content to pass time with while the plane covers the miles in the air. For the most part you don’t even need to worry about the content being of an adult nature because airlines usually have this entertainment modified and edited so that it’s suitable for the whole family to watch.
Of course there are very special cases such as how series like Family Guy are exclusively for adults, so it’s just a matter of keeping an eye on what they entertain themselves with.
Bathroom breaks and refreshments are key, otherwise travelling with the whole family is only an adventure to be enjoyed.