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Travelling with children can be fun, exciting, interesting and … well, exhausting, straining and stressful. I love travelling with my daughter, but I will not pretend it’s 100% fun all the time. And why should it be? You’re in unfamiliar territory, aren’t sleeping well because of the awful mattress in this “nice little boutique hotel” and haven’t had your go-to-instantly-relaxing-hot-beverage (what ever that may be) in the last five days.

Through experience I found that there are several thing I can do to make it better – or worse:

See the worldArrival, no matter which way, should be well planned: print the address of the hotel, check how to get there from the train station/airport/by car and how long it will take. If you take public transport get an idea of the system before you arrive and take a break before boarding the tram/underground/bus. Give yourself and your children time to arrive and enjoy this part of the trip instead of rushing to the hotel.

On the other hand, keep your sightseeing and activity itinerary as flexible as possible. Children have their own rhythm and pace and you will not enjoy the 5th church that much if you spent most of the day with “hurry up”, “we need to run to catch that bus” and “Let’s go!”. Allow some time to stroll around, stop at a playground and have a hot chocolate or cold ice (for yourself of course 😉 ).

Often my daughter is more sensitive when we are on the road: the unfamiliar environment, changes in sleeping times and climate can irritate her. While phrases like “You’re a big girl now so don’t cry about this” or “You don’t really feel that way” aren’t already helping at home, they don’t do you (or her) any favour while traveling either. Sometimes, while checking out which gate to go to, holding the dropping ice cream and bumping into somebody else, it takes all the patience you never thought you have to stay calm and explain your kid that this bizarre human sized dog in front of the book store is nothing to be afraid of (and just a student earning a few bucks in a more than ridiculous custome). Taking a deep breath before reacting can make a lot of a difference.

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