You Take the Ankles and I’ll Take the Wrists
On every journey, there are points at which you’ll be expected to do at least three things at once. Say you’re getting off a tuk tuk in Thailand, for example. You’ll have to pay your driver, unload your luggage, manage the touts and get your bearings all at the same time. This will seem like a bit of a flurry, until you experience travelling with young children.
How much more of a hassle is it to get off a tuk tuk in Thailand with two kids under five? Well, let (x) be the number of things you would have to do if it was just you, travelling alone. Let (n) be the total number of people in your party, and let (k) be the number of people in your party who are too young to be made responsible for any of the items (x). The amount of hassle you now have to deal with (h) can be estimated using the equation:
Even if you’re a total maths freak that is too complicated to be dealing with on your holiday.
My favourite tactic is to designate one adult to manage the children, thus removing them entirely from the equation. The other adult is then free to deal with the relatively uncomplicated amount of stuff he or she would have to deal with if travelling alone (plus a few extra suitcases, but minus a couple of touts, who will be drawn off by the adorable youngsters).
There are other methods, though – you could take a “one adult per child (plus associated baggage)” policy, or assign specific tasks to specific people, swapping around – or not – as you see fit. In reality, we use different techniques on different occasions. The important thing is that you look out for these points of flurry, and designate everyone’s duties clearly in advance.
Points to plan for:
- Going through security
- Boarding transport
- Disembarking from transport
- Buying tickets
- Entering and exiting attractions
- Getting everyone toileted or fed
- Any attempt to actually leave your accommodation as a group