“Are we there yet?” “Dad, he’s making fun of me!” “Stop looking at me!” “Are we there YET?” “I’m bored!”
Complaints like these make a parent wonder if it was even worth planning a holiday. The car commercial’s ideal of the kids calmly looking out the window while listening to their headphones is far from realistic.
So what are you to do? Instead of calling up your mother to take care of the kids while you go away, plan your holiday so that everyone in the family can make the most out of it.
Turn your Durban holiday with the kids into a stress-free experience by following these simple tips:
- When possible, travel at night and let the kids sleep. Now this doesn’t mean that you should be careful, because it’s easy to get tired. If you find yourself getting sleepy, roll down the windows, play music, or better yet, find a safe place to pull over and take a 20 minute nap.
- Plan your trip during the day with stops about every 90 minutes. The trip to Durban will be full of chid friendly pits. While travelling around the city, make sure to stop at The Old Fort (on the corner of NMR Avenue and Old Fort Road) where you and the kids can look at war memorabilia from the British camp during their 1842 Battle of Congella against the Boers. This way you can do some serious sightseeing while they children get a chance to “get the wiggles out”.
- Bring along some sing-along music. Although your kids may groan at first when you start singing, they’ll soon join in, especially if the songs are well-known. Singing can really help to pass the time and gives them less opportunity to start bickering over the armrest.
- Create a goodie-bag. Good ideas are travel toys and games, bubbles, inexpensive art books and pencils, even the latest in collectible cards or action figures. To avoid fights about sharing, set a time limit for each game before switching.
- If your trip is going to include a lot of sightseeing, pack a backpack with sweaters, hats, swimsuits (if in season), extra socks and even towels, in case anyone gets wet — accidentally or on purpose. Keep the backpack in your trunk, so you can just grab it and go. An ideal place to visit in Durban is uShaka Marine World, where kids can play on the waterslides and watch dolphin shows during the day.
- Include a “kid’s activity” at least once every day. This may be something as simple as going for ice cream after visiting a museum, or going to a water or amusement park. Along Durban’s coastline there are usually lots of shops that kids would enjoy to take a look at.
- Don’t forget about the travel games you probably played as a child. There is “Letter Bingo” where you look at road signs and billboard ads to find the letters of the alphabet, or “License Plate Alphabet” where you go through the alphabet in order. And then there’s always the ever popular “I spy with my little eye”.
- Let your kids help to navigate, narrate and create information about your trip. Let your kids read a tour guide of Durban or surf the internet for things they would like to do on holiday. Getting your children involved will get them excited about the vacation and make it more enjoyable for you. Also get kids to draw pictures or take photos of the sights you see. Consider going to see the Sugar Terminals on Mayden Wharf – these three silos are the largest in the world and watch ships being loaded with 900-1000 tons per hour.
- Above all, give yourself a break. Remember that you need this holiday to relax. Make sure you have proper accommodation so that you and the kids have a nice place to go back to at the end of every busy day.
Book a few days at Casa Playa no 5, with four spacious rooms and walking distance from the beach, to ensure that you have a luxurious and comfortable stay while you and your kids are in Durban!