Heading overseas with the kids? These tips will make that family trip less of a planning headache, so you can focus on fun and family time.
1. Organise treats, games and toys
Going on a road trip? Keep the little ones quiet during the long car ride by hanging a shoe organiser behind the front passenger head rest and filling it with their favourite snacks, says Nicola Lewis, a professional organiser, also known as This Girl Can Organise. The organiser can also be used for small toys, colouring books and games to keep the kids occupied.
Or pack along a Squizzel Box, a thematic learning package packed with fun hands-on activities for children aged three and up. Sign up for monthly subscription packages, or try out the single boxes if you would like to choose from the many fun themes available.
SAFRA members enjoy 5% off single boxes; more info at www.safra.sg/promotions/squizzel-box
2. Buy travel insurance
Enjoy peace of mind while on holiday, knowing that your family’s covered should they lose their luggage, fall sick with Covid-19, experience injuries or require assistance in an emergency. AIG Travel Guard is a great choice for holidaymakers. The plan covers losses arising directly from acts of terrorism during your trip, provides cover for leisure sports, features unlimited emergency medical evacuation, and more.
SAFRA members enjoy 20% off all Single Trip Plans that include 24/7 in-house Global Assistance; more info at www.safra.sg/travelinsurance
3. Create picnic memories
Instead of eating in food courts, cafes and restaurants when you’re overseas, why not have a picnic? Buy a few local specialties like deli meats and cheeses, pick up some artisan bread, fruit and salad at the supermarket, and enjoy a scenic meal with your family in a lush green park or by a picturesque lake.
4. Get help from a packing app
Packing for the whole family can be tricky – you want to make sure everyone has what they need, but you don’t want to overpack and end up having to pay for excess baggage. An app like PackPoint will tell you what to bring, based on the duration of your trip, the weather at your destination and any activities you’ve planned. You can create personalised lists for everyone in your travel party, too.
5. Keep the little ones entertained
Download your children’s favourite online games, TV shows, cartoons, audio books and movies beforehand onto your tablet device. Bring out the device during a long flight or a boring car ride, and your kids will be occupied for hours. Make sure the device is fully charged, too, and keep a portable charger handy for when the battery starts to drain.
If your kids love reading, sign up for a Storytel account and get access to over 250,000 audiobooks and ebooks, which you can download on your device before your flight.
SAFRA members enjoy 30 days’ free trial on Storytel for new subscribers; more info at www.safra.sg/promotions/storytel-sg
6. Don’t forget a first-aid kit
You never know where or when an accident or minor medical issue may arise, so it helps to be prepared with a small first-aid kit. In a pouch or zip-lock bag, stash band-aids, pain killers, tea tree oil (it’s naturally anti-bacterial), anti-nausea medicine, antiseptic wipes, gauze and cotton pads, and keep the kit in your suitcase, or, if you’re on a road trip, the glove compartment of the car. Deal with scraped knees, small cuts and insect bites in a flash. Don’t forget empty plastic bags, too, in case the kids get carsick.
7. Get creative with a travel journal
Encourage your older children to keep a travel journal, in which they can jot down observations about places they’ve visited, sketch landmarks, and store keepsakes like postcards, brochures, menus, instant photos, and so on. Besides giving them something fun and creative to do, it’s an item they can continue to look through over the years when they want to reminisce about their childhood. There are countless travel journals on the market, but blank scrapbooks and notebooks are a more affordable choice.
8. Bring just one carry-on bag
Instead of each family member having his or her own carry-on luggage, place everybody’s items into just one bag. You’ll save time and board the plane more easily this way, plus, you are less likely to overpack and may even save money on excess baggage charges. Keep each family member’s items in separate, oversized zip-lock bags; that way, when somebody needs something, you can access the item quickly.
9. Pack a variety of snacks
Keep the whole family happy with a selection of sweet and savoury snacks that everyone can munch on during the flight or car ride. But don’t bring whole packets of treats because they’ll just end up getting crushed; instead, store the snacks in a sturdy plastic box with multiple compartments, like a tacklebox. Raisins, nuts, crisps, dried cereal, chocolate chips, popcorn, crackers, dried fruit, marshmallows and pretzels are just some snacks you can include.
10. Bag the kids’ outfits
Pack entire outfits – top, bottom, underwear, diaper, socks and hair accessories – in individual see-through plastic bags, to make getting dressed in the mornings quick and stress-free. When it’s time to head out the door, simply pull out a bag and your kids will have everything they need to help them get ready.
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