Traveling alone involves a carry-on, a good book and a comfy neck pillow for napping. Traveling with little ones, on the other hand, involves a trunk full of baggage, many coloring books and definitely no siestas. No matter how excited kids may be for their cruise on Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, being stuck in a plane or car seat for hours en route is going to wear on their feelings, not to mention the parents’ sanity. But knowing how to prepare can ensure a stress-free trip to the ship so that vacation is nothing but smooth sailing.
Preventing boredom is the first key to keeping outbursts to a minimum. Wired.com contributor Sarah Pinault suggests parents bring new toys and books on trips because they will seize and hold children’s attention more effectively than something they have played with before. Allowing kids to watch TV or play games on a smartphone or tablet, even if technology is mostly off-limits at home, is an exception parents may want to make.
Kids are also bound to get hungry and restless during travel. The cure for hunger? Conde Nast Traveler’s Debbie Dubrow recommends packing plenty of healthy, filling snacks like string cheese and dried fruit as an alternative to unappealing airplane food. To cut down on the squirms, Dubrow also suggests pre-trip exercise. Parents should take their kids to the playground or encourage them to run and jump around before getting in the car or plane.
Part of the travel preparation process, however, is also accepting that there will probably be bumps in the road. As Huffington Post Parents’ Susan Stiffelman writes, parents should pack their sense of humor and perspective alongside other travel essentials.
Once parents have reached Quantum’s port with the kids all in one piece, they can breathe a sigh of relief. The ship offers a variety of accommodation options, including new Family-Connected staterooms, with separate sleeping areas and bathrooms that give children and adults their own spaces.
Families can do as much or as little as they please, with options ranging from bumper cars and roller skating in SeaPlex, a hub for sports and entertainment, to shows and events with some of their most beloved characters like Barbie and Shrek.
Those new toys won’t need to surface until the trip home.