With so many amazing sights, attractions and activities, whether you are a foreign visitor or a born and bred kiwi, New Zealand is a great place to spend some time exploring with the family. Being a small country New Zealand is lucky to have relatively short traveling distances and many interesting and well equipped places to stop, refuel and replenish.
However traveling can be stressful at the best of times, add one or more children into the equation and most people tend to feel somewhat daunted by the task ahead. Don’t panic – travelling with children doesn’t have to be a complete disaster, with a bit of planning and effort before departure you can make your trip bearable and maybe even enjoyable!
Here are our top tips when traveling with children in New Zealand.
Plan Ahead But Be Flexible
Whatever your mode of travel, planning ahead and building some flexibility into the trip will make life a lot easier. Accept that it is going to take longer, you will have to stop for numerous toilet and food breaks, along with opportunities to break free from the constraints of the car. Be prepared to abort activities or time frames if things are getting stressful.
Provide A Variety Of Foods
Think healthy foods here, avoid foods high in sugar, feeding children sweets is only going to cause a temporary spike in sugar levels and is not going to sustain them for long. Pack plenty of extras, you never know when you might be delayed and there is nothing worse than arriving at your destination empty handed with starving kids at hand.
Activities Are Essential
Technology comes in very handy when travelling particularly on long trips, good movies, games or music can keep kids occupied for hours. Remember to pack headphones so as to not disturb other passengers and don’t forget to bring extra batteries or the means to recharge the electronic devices. On the other hand colouring pencils or felts and some handy activity sheets can also be a good distraction; Word Finds, Sudoku, Dot-To-Dots and Crosswords are great for older kids.
Always Bring Extra Clothes
Spills and accidents are bound to happen, a change of clothes will make life a lot easier. Paper towels, wipes or a damp cloth are also great ideas to help with clean up. For late night trips dressing you children in their pyjamas can sometimes help them to fall asleep and it also makes it easier to transfer them to their bed upon arrival.
Remember The First Aid Kit
You can almost guarantee one or more of your children will get sick on the trip. Whether its just a simple case of car sickness or something more serious it doesn’t hurt to have medication and supplies on hand to treat a multitude of potential illnesses. Plasters, antihistamines, painkillers, antiseptic wipes and a thermometer are a good start.
Making travel into part of the adventure will alleviate tension and make for a more memorable trip for all. Looking for kid friendly accommodation and more travel resources in New Zealand? Check out the Kids Friendly Travel website.