Getting to your destination is always the hardest part to any holiday and when you have little people to worry about, let’s be honest – it’s going to be harder. Planning is key. Before you go away factor the kids in to your trip decisions; destination, style of lodging, activities, restaurant selection — the works. If the little people aren’t happy on the holiday, no one will be. Remember fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
1. Travel lightly- If you’re flying pack everything in one case. Travelling lightly with kids seems hard to do but believe me being responsible for your kids luggage can get messy. Leave the Dora Explorer suitcase at home, even if it’s cute, you’ll most likely end up dragging it around on top of your own luggage, whilst trying to hold on to them!
2. Wear a backpack- Having your hands free in the airport is always “handy” when kids are involved!
3. Your seats- Firstly call ahead and make sure that the seats you’ve booked are definitely beside your child- coaxing some grump out of their seat is never nice and it’s all the more awful when your toddler is having a meltdown. Try to book seats near the galley and lavatory this is a great spot to be if you need to warm bottles or make frequent trips to the bathroom.
4. Direct only- Fly nonstop if possible. Getting off the plane, collecting your luggage, and rushing to make a connection with kids in tow is not good for your mental health.
5. Breath- Yes, for years you’ve hated those parents who couldn’t get their kids to shut up on the plane and now you’re one of them. Don’t let it get to you. When you’re stressing out, they sense it and have a harder time being calmed. Take deep breaths and remember that most of the people on the plane are sympathising with you. Do the best you can to soothe them, breathe deeply and ignore the glares. Relax and your baby will too and if you can – Drive, at then at least you can turn up the radio!
6. Snacks- Essential in any circumstance but in this particular one make sure you bring snacks that last a LONG time. A baguette, a lollipop, even a box of raisins – anything that keeps them quiet and lets you chill.
7. “Are we there yet?”- Children are lovely, inquisitive little things but when you’re confined to a small box with them this incessant question will put your patience to the test. Let them answer their own question. Print off a Google map and encourage them to mark off the places you go through and fill in the route with coloured pencils.
8. Tickle them- Most toddlers make it known when they want out of their seats but whilst travelling this isn’t always possible. Giving them a tickle releases some stress for them and the sound of giggling is far more pleasant than whining.
9. Bring your own crib- Seriously, this works. Babies need to feel comfortable, and comfort comes from familiarity. Invest in their own travel crib. Babies like to travel when they have their own private houses to sleep in! Something like the phil&teds traveller will make life a lot easier.
10. Babysitting service/ kids club- A lot of hotels have babysitting services . If you’re staying at a reputable hotel – do it. In fact book a hotel based on whether they have this service or not! Go out to dinner and have some evenings to yourselves. If you have older kids send them to kids club during the day. They’ll be entertained, they’ll make new friends and hopefully come back to you exhausted! Making sure you take some time out from the kids to relax is crucial, remember if you are relaxed the whole family is relaxed.
Good luck and happy travels! If you have any helpful tips you have discovered along the way we’d LOVE to hear them…