Whilst millions of parents might feel anxious about travelling with their children during the big summer getaway, new research from DisneyLife suggests it no longer needs to be stressful. Six in ten parents feel that kids today love travelling, more than previous generations, thanks to fun digital entertainment. With entertainment on trips proving so successful, the nationwide research revealed that more than one in ten children have actually complained when a journey finally ended.
With parents mixing traditional and modern tactics – Games like I Spy (66%), singing songs (48%), watching movies and cartoons (35%), and reading books together (23%) – proved some of the most popular routes to keeping kids entertained. Another approach saw one in five parents finding success by telling endearing stories to keep their children entertained, engaged, and on their best behavior whilst travelling. Top stories revealed by the research, included:
- Telling kids to get ready to see a bear, whenever the family’s Sat Nav said ‘bear left’ or ‘bear right’
- Telling children to help by leaning forward when going up steep hills, as otherwise the car wouldn’t make it up
- Encouraging children to smile at the traffic lights to make them change quicker
The biggest cause for kids’ tears and tantrums during travels was revealed as restlessness and boredom (57%) followed by lack of entertainment (41%). To relieve boredom, the most essential items recommended by parents on long journeys included books (45%), music (43%), toys (42%) and tablets (40%). However, with backseat boredom in check, the study revealed that it now takes almost an hour and a half before every parent’s dreaded question ‘are we nearly there yet?’ is asked.
Behavioural Psychologist Jo Hemmings comments: “The key to stress-free travel with young children lies in planning, preparation and not applying the same rules as you would at home. Playing traditional games, singing songs together and letting them watch movies and cartoons are the most successful ways of keeping your little ones from getting bored. Along with having enough food, drink and toys to keep them occupied – and a realistic sense of how long the journey is likely to take – these activities will all help eliminate travel anxiety and get you and your family to your destination with the minimum disruption.”
With journeys now one of the best bits of the holiday, DisneyLife has asked behavioural Psychologist Jo Hemmings to reveal some of the top Travel Hacks for parents to use with their kids this summer.
1. Provide a surprise bag for each child with some small stocking-filler type gifts
This will provide both a welcome distraction and make the journey go quicker, especially if they are allowed to open a small gift every half hour (or every hour on longer trips).
2. Let each child pack a travel bag
Limit them to 5 or 6 small items, or they’ll probably choose to take everything! And if it’s their choice, it will help avoid discussion around forgetting a special plaything.
3. Travel at night
Think about driving, flying or going by train to your destination at night when your little ones are much more likely to sleep for most of the journey.
4. Think streaming apps and portable entertainment devices
In fact anything electronic that will play games, music, e-books, TV and movies. Preferably with headphones for your own sanity! And if you’re travelling abroad, make sure you download any games/films before you set off. The research revealed that 40% of parents view tablets as essential when travelling with their children.
This is a great way to keep the whole family entertained. You could have your own ‘car-aoke’!
6. Reuse your bean-bag trays
Losing bits of toys or dropping food in the back of the car can be a major cause of frustration when travelling with little ones. If you have any of those cushioned bean bag bed trays, they are great for both playing on and catching any stray toys or food before they fall on the floor.
7. Clean away game
You can buy – or make – containers that hang over the back of the front seats. Kids can be encouraged to throw any rubbish away in these, so that you don’t end up with a mass of bags/cartons and food crumbs on the car floor. You can also buy special pocketed net toy bags, which if within easy reach, can be hung over the front seats to make a toy tidy and provide easy access to a new plaything.
Chiara Cipriani, Vice President and General Manager, DisneyLife EMEA, said: “The holidays are such an exciting time for all the family. This research has revealed that travelling to your destination – be it by plane, train or car – simply doesn’t have to be something families merely endure – it can be a holiday highlight, as long as you plan ahead with enough entertainment!”
The nationwide UK study of parents, conducted by DisneyLife to celebrate the launch of its latest TV campaign ‘Are we there yet?’ polled over 1,000 British parents about the behavior of their children when aged 10 and younger.
DisneyLife offers Disney’s biggest collection of entertainment, including movies, books, music and Disney Channel TV box sets, all in one digital membership service. Visitwww.DisneyLife.com, the App Store or Google PlayTM for more information on DisneyLife or to sign up for a free one month trial and continue your membership for £9.99 a month after your free trial ends. There’s no annual contract so members may cancel at any time.