How to prepare for a family-friendly festival (without any arguments)
With the kids’ summer holidays on the horizon, there’s no time like the present to start thinking about how you’re going to spend some quality time together.
One of the best options for a grand day or weekend out is to attend one of the many family-friendly festivals that are popular at this time of the year. From children’s entertainers to face painting and bouncy castles, these events are usually jam packed with things to keep the kids smiling, and many have performances that will keep grownups occupied too.
Like any family outing, there’s always the potential for something to cause an argument. But, with a little bit of preparation you can make sure everything runs smoothly. To help you out, we’ve put together a few tips for planning your festival trip so be sure to read on.
Plan your car journey in advance
Your journey to and from a festival presents some of the biggest risks of a family falling out: not knowing the way to go, refusing to ask for directions, food options, and noisy children all featured in the top ten causes of arguments named in a survey by The AA. To avoid in-car conflict casting a shadow over your day, we suggest that you plan in advance, so everything goes smoothly.
Start by deciding exactly what route you’re going to take before you set off and programme it into a sat-nav if necessary. Then you can look at where you plan on stopping for a break en route, especially if you’re travelling a longer distance. This will mean that there isn’t a reason to argue over directions and you can choose a child-friendly stop to prevent the kids from going stir-crazy.
Think about what essentials you’ll need
Any parent knows that, to plan a conflict-free family outing, you need to be prepared, and this counts double for time spent outdoors, as you need to pack and have access to all your essentials. The best way to do this is the old-fashioned way: write out a list in advance and check each item off as you put them into your bag or load them into the car.
There are a few things that you don’t want leave home without. Firstly, you should always pack waterproof jackets — we do live in rainy Britain, after all. If you don’t have lightweight coats for the whole family, these packaway jackets from Trespass are available for men, women, and children and can easily be stowed away. You should also look to kit out your loved ones with wellies if you’re headed to a family festival in the country or in a grassy setting. Remember to bring enough sun cream for everyone too, as you don’t want any irritable victims of sun burn.
Should you have a smaller vehicle or you’re going away for an extended period of time, you may find that you’re struggling for space when packing your car, especially if you have bikes and the like to load up. Consider investing in a detachable trailer to ease the burden — these ERDE classic trailers are available in a range of sizes to suit your needs and one would make a great purchase if you plan to go to more festivals or take more trips away in the future.
Keep everyone safe without being overbearing
Think back to when you were a kid: was there anything worse than your parents cramping your style when you just wanted to have fun? No! However, when you take your children to a crowded place like a festival, you will need to be extra cautious. Thankfully, it’s possible to do this without being too overbearing, allowing your children some space to play.
Before you set off, be sure to explain to your kids that you’re going somewhere that’s incredibly busy and they always need to stay close. Take care to always hold the hands of smaller children when you’re moving through a crowded area and, if your older kids want to spend some time by themselves, make it clear that they need to stay in contact via their phone. Finally, ensure that everyone has an agreed meeting point if you get split up.
An option for smaller children is to purchase a tracker device or download a tracking app that will allow you to see their location at any time — ideal for a busy festival site. Made for Mums has a round-up of these products to help you find the one most suited to your kids. However, bear in mind that older children may object to some of these devices, such as those equipped with alarms.
Keep our advice in mind when you’re planning your trip to a family friendly festival and you’ll be able to have a well organised and safe time with zero arguments. Enjoy the summer!
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