It’s the kind of thought that would most likely strike fear into the hearts of millions of parents – taking the kids on a long-distance taxi ride. Things would be alright if the journey lasted say 15 or 20 minutes, but how about a 90-minute airport transfer or a full three hours to a ferry terminal? As parents with young kids will know, travelling with kids in taxis is a bit like travelling with a powder keg in one hand and a lit match in the other – a balancing act that’s hard to pull off.
However, the good news to come out of all the doom and gloom is that with a little proactivity and the industry insights of the UK’s leading taxi services, it is in fact perfectly possible to reduce the chances of any untoward incidents to an absolute minimum. It’s simply a case of making the right decisions and taking the right tools for the job along for the ride – all in the name of keeping the whole gang happy from beginning to end!
Choice of Cab Company
For example, if you’re planning to go more than a few metres down the road, it makes more than a little sense to book with a cab service you can trust. It’s one thing to travel in a dirty, smelly and painfully uncomfortable taxi back from the supermarket, but add kids into the mix for a journey lasting hours and chances are you’ll wish you stayed at home.
To choose a stellar taxi service is to assure the whole family of a clean, comfortable and safe car which is thankfully not driven like a Formula 1 racing car. Clean, fresh and wonderfully relaxing for the whole journey, it’s really the only way to go with kids in-tow.
If you think you can get away with it and have kids of a very young age, it’s worth considering a late-night transfer to wherever it is you’re going. It might sound like you’re playing with fire, but in reality it’s a simple case of putting all the pieces in place to try and get the kids to sleep for the whole journey. Feel free to keep them up a little later than normal if it helps ensure sweet dreams all the way to your destination!
Sensible Food and Drink Choices
It never fails to entertain those in the industry when they see a family with two hyper kids driving their parents crazy, only to learn that 20 minutes prior to the cab ride they were both given a can of Coke and a bag of Skittles. Seriously…there are certain food and drinks in this world that do not breed relaxation and calm, therefore should be avoided like the plague prior to any journeys where calm is preferable.
While on the same subject, it’s also a good idea to avoid any foods or drinks that are overly rich, fizzy or heavy as these are pretty effective fuel for motion sickness.
Any taxi driver will tell you that the number-one key to keeping kids quiet and under control for long journeys is keeping them entertained – it really is as simple as that. As such, the best course of action is to bring along enough bits and bibs to keep them happy for at least a dozen taxi rides, in order to make sure you’ve got plenty of backup in case they get bored of any one thing. Tablet PCs and smartphones with movies on can be real Godsends for entertainment on the road, just be sure to charge them fully before setting off!
If things take a turn for the worse, it pays to have something of a surprise on-hand to once again restore a sense of calm and order. A toy, a game, a new movie – anything you know will grab their attention and perhaps avert a tantrum.
Last but not least, if your kids are old enough to understand that a three-hour cab journey means a very long time sitting in the back, there’s no harm in telling a little white lie or two. Greet calls of ‘are we nearly there yet’ with an ‘of course we are’ or something along similar lines – much less likely to cause a tantrum than ‘no, we still have hours and hours to go’. Of course you might not get away with it in the long run so do be ready to face the consequences, but as an immediate stop-gap solution, it can be effective!