Escaping the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and setting off on a well-needed holiday is a luxury that we all enjoy. A break from work and your usual routine is an excellent chance to relax, unwind and spend some time with your family, but when you have young children, it isn’t always that easy. Jetting off on holiday with little ones brings many complications and additional stresses that you never had to worry about before, and it can make the whole idea of a holiday very overwhelming. Instead of being scared of booking that break away, check out our top tips for travelling with young children.
Plan extra time
One of the easiest ways to make your trip with your little ones a stress-free experience is simply to take your time. Plan more time than you need for all the different aspects of your holiday, whether it is at the airport, out sightseeing, or travelling from one destination to another. Young children enjoy exploring and inevitably need extra time for toilet stops, tantrums and inspecting all the new surroundings.
As soon as you plan this extra time into your holiday, you will take away all the time pressures that come with travelling and can simply enjoy the experience with your children.
Airports are a great example of where extra time is a necessity with young children. Catching a flight can be stressful, and even more so if you are running behind schedule, so planning an extra hour at the airport than you normally would will save you from the pressure of missing your flight.
Children need a lot of stuff, and when you’re taking them away, it can feel like you need to pack your entire house in order to survive. Remember that almost everything can be bought abroad, and it is often easier to buy many of your baby products once you are away, instead of packing everything and lugging it halfway across the world.
Bring a handful of their favourite toys to keep them entertained, but don’t bring too much. When it comes to clothes, find out if your accommodation has washing facilities as this means you can wash the clothes they inevitably get dirty in the first few minutes, instead of trying to pack enough for the entire trip.
Many parents are concerned about buying products like nappies abroad. If you are using an eco and organic brand at home, then you might struggle to find the same overseas. Test out a non-eco brand on your little one before you set off to see if they have any kind of reaction. Remember, you will be able to find most leading brands abroad or at least a very similar equivalent.
Bring a light pushchair
One common worry for parents taking their little ones on holiday is how to get them around easily. Deciding if you need to bring a pram, pushchair or carry sling can be a difficult dilemma, and it depends a lot on where you are heading to.
A light pushchair is a good all-round option that can be useful in almost all situations. You can take them right to the gate at the airport, they are light to carry, breathable in hot climates but can also be combined with blankets and a rain cover if necessary.
A light pushchair is also a great option for letting your child have an afternoon nap while you are out and about on holiday. Giving you the freedom to go where you want at any time of day.
Think about the flight
Keeping young kids entertained on long flights can be a real challenge, and often the best strategy is to try and plan your flights to be around bedtime. Although evening flights are sometimes more pricey, the ease of having a sleepy child for the journey is worth the extra cost. Download some of their favourite shows and films onto a tablet or phone before you set off, that way if they aren’t asleep you can still keep them quiet, still and entertained.
Make sure you bring plenty of snacks and drinks for the flight as well, in-flight meals usually leave a lot to be desired, and the last thing you want is a hungry child.
If you are worried that your little ones will be disruptive on a long flight and bother your fellow passengers, consider writing some notes of apology in advance, or even handing out a token gesture such as a bag of sweets to those sitting around you. Most passengers will appreciate the thought and be more forgiving of your noisy child.