A weekend away with young children… and how to enjoy it
Going away for the weekend with young children can often be quite an adventure! Read our advice and tips and you won’t miss out on any part of the weekend!
A weekend away with young children! What an adventure! So, to ensure that the joy of being together is not diminished by those little organisational woes, here is some advice on how to prepare for your weekend.
We cannot always choose our mode of transport, but we can choose times that are not too difficult. When travelling by car, driving at night is ideal for driving in peace, if you can leave after dinner. Otherwise, have a picnic in the car. For organisational freaks, here is a link to the ABC du picnic parfait. Alternatively, you can keep it simple and practical and follow the advice of Veronica who spends every Friday evening on her way to the countryside: “Wipes for hands, cherry tomatoes, cooked ham, cheese portions, sliced apples and drinkable yoghurts. I don’t bother with sandwiches that they don’t eat or that go soggy anymore. A little cake to celebrate the trip and off we go!” Simple and no preparation required! You can also download Lulu La Taupe’s activities for the trip (always better than a film) or have a sing-song for 10 minutes/silence for 10 minutes.
If you are travelling by plane, remember a bottle of water or sweets that stimulate the swallowing reflex that unblocks ears.
- The essentials
Try to limit the “kitchen sink effect” by only taking essential objects. Annie, our favourite therapist encourages a change of scenery. “As long as they are with their parents, discovering a new place is the opportunity to gain confidence and independence.” A favourite teddy or the usual soother are a sufficient extension of home. A plug-in nightlight can be useful if your children are afraid of the dark.
Prepare the ground a few days beforehand: “We’re all going to see Windsor Castle together in 2 sleeps. It’s really nice!” There’s no need to do it sooner because the notion of the number of sleeps is enough at a young age. It allows your child to project and not to worry too far in advance. Preparing a small bag and talking about a main activity is a good way of discovering where you are going and what you are going to do together.
- On arrival
Put time aside to rest or take a nap, as well as playtime, despite the temptation to not waste any visiting time. The excitement of the trip is already tiring enough, and retaining some kind of routine means that you can limit damage such as the tantrum caused by overtiredness at the end of the day.
Time for everyone: set time aside for everyone and time as a couple. The most organised among you will anticipate a baby-sitter so you can have dinner together or with your friends if you are visiting. Put your children to bed as usual and make the most of the evening. It’s what you would have done at home and your children will be tired in their new environment. It’s your weekend too!
- The return journey
On the way home, why not dress your children in pyjamas before the drive so that you can put them to bed on arrival. The remainder of the picnic goes straight into the bin, the dirty washing goes straight into the laundry basket and you can go straight to bed!
Discover our advice about going on holidays in a peaceful state of mind and get inspired here!