Ideally, the family would get out of the house at least once a fortnight and have a day out together. Money isn’t always abundant however, and the stress that often comes along with bundling the children into the car, puts a dampener on the day. With enough forward planning, you can create fun memories together, without going grey-haired overnight.
Take A Picnic
More often than not, restaurants are an awkward and expensive way to get lunch. If the weather is nice enough, take a special picnic for the day. Not only do you not have to worry about where you’re going to find a suitable café, but you don’t have to queue for nosh either. Besides, a few extra snacks never went amiss.
Child-Proof The Car Journey
Squabbling in the backseat can set even the most Zen parent on edge. Make sure they have enough activities to keep them occupied. If it doesn’t make your little ones feel poorly, give them books to read or drawing to do. Story tapes are always a great way to keep everyone quiet during the journey, whether that be Harry Potter or Pippi Longstocking, choose a novel that doesn’t drive you nuts.
Plan The Day Before
The best way to avoid stress is to plan, plan, plan. Make sure everyone is good-to-go the night before; that means everyone’s backpack is stocked well, clothes are laid out, and phones are full of battery. This means you’ll get ready quickly and avoid a mad morning dash.
Plan every aspect of your journey, from attractions to where you’ll have lunch. Take sunhats, plasters, sun cream, and insect bite cream, just in case. Put a buggy in the boot for little ones who’ll get tired feet. It’s important that you leave with time to spare. Running late will only stress you out.
Always Take Detailed Directions
Don’t just set out on a wing. Print off a map and write down detailed directions to reach your destination. The last thing you want to do is get lost! Also know where you’re going to park in advance. Whether you’re planning a Knowsley Safari Park Experience or a trip to Blackpool, you should know exactly how to get there.
Leave Work At Home
If you’ve taken a day off work to spend time with your family, use it wisely. Relax and have fun too. Ignore all your emails and switch off your business phone. If work is liable to ring you up while you’re away, let them know that you’ll be unavailable. They’ll manage for 24 hours. Focus on your family for once and let your hair down.
When You Get Home
After a busy, but hopefully exciting, day out, the last thing you’ll want to do is cook a meal from scratch. Just chuck something in the oven from frozen, whether that’s leftover chili con carne or a pizza. Have a treat evening where everyone just relaxes in their PJs and watches TV or plays games. Leave the cleaning for tomorrow and throw the house rules out of the window.
Zoe is an experienced journalist and blogger. She has written this post for Knowsley Safari Park - a fun day out in the North West for all the family to enjoy.