The summer holidays are quickly approaching, and perhaps it’s your first time jetting off with your little ones? You’ve got a new addition to the family this year? Or maybe you just need some extra tips to help your holiday run as smoothly as possible.
Whether you’re opting for a staycation or you’re jetting across the world this summer, here are 9 of our essential tips for travelling with children. However long your journey or big your party size, we’ve got you covered!
1. Pack everything you need for your children. When you’re an adult you can have the luxury of buying supplies when you get there. But when it comes to medication, nappies etc for babies and children, always pack what you use in the UK as you can never be sure if the alternatives will be the same or even available for purchase when you get there.
2. Whether you’re flying, catching a train or driving you’re going to want to keep your children occupied, especially if it is a long journey. Bring plenty of books, toys and games that won’t be a nuisance to the passengers, and don’t have little bits that could easily be lost! A great hack for travelling with babies is to tie a different toy to each edge of a muslin cloth for sensory play. It will also help not losing it too!
3. Take your time and plan ahead. When you’ve got a kid or two in tow it’s not a rush. Plan your travelling ahead of time and give yourself plenty of time to accommodate things that could arise so you don’t feel stressed or rushed.
4. Research the location in advance for local customs and things that may not be allowed, i.e is the drinking water okay to drink, breastfeeding and other customs that you need to be mindful of. You want your family trip away to be as smooth as possible with no nasty surprises along the way.
5. Bring ALL the snacks. We don’t just mean for the kids! Some home comforts will battle hunger in the grumpiest of toddlers, and it’s best to prepare in case the in flight meals or food abroad isn’t something to be desired by your children. Little packets of food like raisins are perfect, and if you’re feeling brave pack some Haribo and other little treats too. It is a holiday after all!
6. Bring a tablet or iPad. Whilst putting the TV on at home can feel like a bad parenting choice sometimes, when you need children to behave and settle down, distracting them with their favourite TV programme pre downloaded on your iPad or tablet is a sure fire way to keeping them occupied and most importantly, quiet! Use it as a reserve if all else fails, if you’re on a long haul flight anyway, most people will generally be watching the TV to pass the time. Sometimes as a parent you’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
7. Be prepared for the climate. Admittedly, having a staycation in the UK is probably the hardest holiday to pack for as the weather transitions from winter to summer at the flick of a switch! Wherever you’re heading make sure you pack weather appropriate clothing, whether that’s swimwear and cover ups for a beach holiday or the same plus raincoats and warmer clothes for when the chill sets in back in the UK. There is no such thing as being too prepared.
8. Try and book everything ahead. Being loaded down with kids and baggage at the other end with no way to get to your destination or a hotel for the first night is a spell for disaster. Try and book as much as you can beforehand so you can relax once you get on that plane, train or car. And remember…
9. Enjoy your holiday! It’s a holiday for the grown ups as much as it is for the children and having everything in place well in advance will allow you to relax and make the most of your time away as a family. If it all gets too much just take some time out and refresh, you’ll feel like yourself in no time!