We all know the scene: you’re on an airplane, it’s slightly delayed and there’s that one family with at least three or four kids right behind you. You give a sympathetic look as the mother wrangles her toddler while handing over an iPad to the older two. Then a thought crosses your mind: Dang! They’re brave to travel with their young children.
While the situation is something we’ve all undoubtedly come across, at least one couple declares it’s actually a fun experience to travel with kids – as long as you’re prepared and have realistic expectations.
Will and Kristin Watson are sharing their tips with those brave, traveling parents. The couple has some years of experience under their belt since they’ve been traveling in a renovated bus since April 2019.
According to Fox News, the Watsons have traveled around the country with their daughter, aptly named Roam, who is barely three years old.
While patience is a good start, there’s actually a lot parents can learn about traveling with children. And the Watsons should know, since they do it full time.
“It’s important to be realistic,” Kristin said about parenting while road tripping. “Sometimes we overshoot. We’ll be like, ‘Let’s go on this six-mile hike’ and expect Roam to be an angel for a six-mile hike… Just know that there are probably going to be meltdowns in the process at some point.”
She went on to add: “If they need to slow down and go at their pace, then you need to be realistic and slow down with them and just be compassionate. Work with them and they’ll work with you. Children are very adaptable. … They want to do the things that you’re doing.”
Preparing for Travels
The parents also said it’s a good idea to over-prepare. That means snacks, entertainment kits and lots of breaks. Children shouldn’t be expected to act like adults. So roll with the punches and learn to be flexible, the parents say.
“We stop multiple times in that four hours to get out and stretch our legs, and eat snacks and run around, and things like that.” Kristin said.
“You’ve just got to go slow, enjoy the journey, and it is what it is with kids. You’re going to be working around them.”
While the thought of traveling with kids – especially more than one child – can still be daunting, it’s important to recognize that no parent or child is exactly perfect. Plans aren’t perfect. It’s difficult to account for certain road blocks (no pun intended) along the way. However, with a positive attitude, ability to learn and a will to see those favorite destination spots, it can still be a really memorable and fun experience.