An active kid is a happy kid, and Jasper’s got no shortage of kid-friendly activities. Create memories that will last a lifetime and rejoice in the fuss-free bedtimes that full days outdoors can bring. Fair warning: once here, your family may never want to leave.
Melody Gaboury is an expert who lives her life at the intersection of Jasper and children. With two lil’s of her own, and a local business that offers both childcare and dog-sitting (though the baby-sitting option is currently paused due to Covid-19 restrictions), she knows a thing or two about travelling with tots. Below, she provides her tried-and-true techniques that you can apply to your own family adventures.
1. Plan the drive/flight/boat around the kids’ nap times.
Travel will go a lot smoother and faster if you're not dodging 'are we there yet's the entire time. Plus it adds a certain teleportation magic for the kids to wake up in a new place!
2. Make up a “busy bag” that they can’t open until you start the trip.
Fill it with little things to keep them busy: stickers, water pens, dominoes, colouring/activity books, travel size games or cards, and snacks!! Ensure that you have enough food and drinks to keep them from getting hangry (hungry + angry). Try to avoid sugary snacks though, as you don’t want them on a sugar-high.
3. Travel as light as you can!
It may feel impossible with all the kid accessories on the market these days, but find your own balance and question whether you really need a particular item with you on the trip.
4. Encourage older children to keep a travel diary.
This will keep them busy and help them to record their memories. I've done this with my kids and loved reading what they wrote. They can collect old tickets, postcards, maps and other travel memorabilia too.
5. Store spare clothes in a plastic Ziplock bag.
This is one of the essential travel hacks!! You never know when you might need an emergency set of clothes – travel sickness can be a disaster if you’re not organized. Within the bag pack a couple of empty bags too for any wet/dirty clothes to go into. It’s also really handy to have a pair of pajamas and a toothbrush packed separately for last minute changes before a late drive or flight somewhere, so they can just be transitioned into bed once you arrive at your destination.
6. Know your (child’s) limits.
Say you’ve been sightseeing all day, maybe you’ve had a long drive to get to your destination, your child has skipped their nap or perhaps had an unsettled sleep travelling from A to B. Now you’re heading out for dinner. In my experience this will always end in tears. Don’t expect too much from your child; they’re unlikely to sit nicely for a meal when their routine and body clock is all out of whack. Consider skipping the restaurant plans and instead opt for a takeaway or something you can prepare back at your hotel and let them have the freedom of a more relaxed meal.
7. Plan at least one thing that you do without kids on your holiday.
Whether you switch off with the other parent or a friend or book a nanny (My Jasper Nanny is a great option for travellers and can even send sitters to campsites) it's important for parents to recharge their batteries too! Maybe it’s that delicious upscale restaurant you’ve been dying to try or you want to go for a kid free hike or a relaxing spa day or have a round of golf, skiing... you name it! You will be a better parent once you fill your own cup!