Feeling In Need Of A Holiday
I feel like I am currently being tested by life and failing miserably. There are so many things going on in our lives right now that I am finding it hard to keep track of the day-to-day chores never mind keeping organised.
My brain is overflowing with information, none of which is very positive. I could really do with a holiday right about now to take time to gather my thoughts, recharge my batteries and to get back to being myself. How is it though that in reality a holiday especially with children seems more like hard work than enjoyable?
We have travelled twice this year with the kids and whilst I worked myself into a frenzy worrying about every little thing that could possibly go wrong, I was pleasantly surprised by both trips. The kids were really well-behaved and with some careful planning and consideration the travel was actually fairly easy.
Twenty Top Tips For Travelling With Children
I decided to put together some top tips for any of you that fancy braving a holiday with your little ones, so here goes!
- Be sure to pack the boot of your car with ‘travel sickness’ essentials such as a bucket/ washing up bowl, wet wipes, air freshner spray, water, an old towel, plastic bags and spare clothing for your children and also for yourself should you happen to get smeared with whatever they had for breakfast.
- Create an entertainment pack for the car including:
- Soft toys/ comforters that your children may require to relax and rest
- A range of CDs/ Music which your children enjoy listening to. Work out how to set the balance for your car stereo so that the children can hear it well in the back whilst you adults can chat away in the front without being blasted with ‘Let It Go’ on repeat.
- Colouring pencils and colouring books attached to a clipboard in possible.
- A tablet preloaded with your children’s favourite cartoons or programs. You can download uggins of CBBC & CBeebies programs for free directly from the BBC Iplayer App including a full episode of Wallace and Gromit! Be sure to buy a headrest tablet holder to save yourself from hours of precariously balancing the tablet over the headrest and in turn getting some pretty hellish neck ache. You may also wish to take some headphones to reduce the noise.
- A selection of toys ideally hand-held puzzles, small figures and things which may keep your child entertained for long lengths of time ideally in boxes that they can easily access.
- A range of books and magazines. I found that the Smyths Toy Catalogue kept our children entertained for hours during our drive to London, that and the good old Argos catalogue.
- Discuss where you are going with your children and create a list together of all the things that you can do once you get there. This could be an ‘in-car’ activity to kill some time.
- Get ready for the good old ‘I Spy’ and ‘How many red cars can you see’ games.
- Take regular breaks and if possible carry a potty in the boot of your car should you end up in stationery traffic for one hour and forty minutes like ourselves the other week it may come in handy.
- Carry plenty of drinks, snacks and refreshments for the family to enjoy during travelling.
- Invest in an external battery charger for mobiles and tablets, they are great for topping up the power on your phone after you’ve zapped it by using GPS or your kid has spent hours playing their favourite games on their tablet.
- Be sure to check oil, water, air pressure and all the usual ‘technical’ car stuff before setting off.
- If you are travelling on an aeroplane be sure to create an entertainment pack for your child which can easily be accessed when travelling. We created special aeroplane packs for our children which included colouring books, blank paper, puzzles, colouring pencils and pound shop versions of Tamagotchis to keep them quiet on the flight. Our children always look forward to their ‘aeroplane packs’ as they are kept as a surprise until the event.
- If you are flying then be sure to carry some sweets that your children can suck to alleviate any discomfort during pressure changes in the flight cabin.
- Be sure to prebook parking, check directions and to plan as much of your journey as possible to reduce any waiting time for your children.
- Always allow extra time for delays whether it be a traffic jam, toilet stop, eating your dinner or even a break down. You need to be sure that you have plenty of time to play with.
- For children with special needs be sure to contact the airline and airports to let them know your children’s needs and more than often they are very willing to help by offering services such as fast tracking to make your journey that bit easier.
- Ensure your luggage is labelled clearly with your home address, destination address and of course, your name. We added coloured bands to our suitcases to make spotting them that bit easier in the arrival lounge.
- For those parents carrying buggies/ prams be sure to have a carry case for this to be put into if you are flying. If you are planning to use your buggy/ pram in wet weather be sure to take along the rain cover and a spare blanket or two.
- Be sure to get insurance with a reliable company and to keep these details safe.
- Be sure to google the local supermarkets and shops. This can be a huge money saver and parents may also find it easier to cater for the ‘fussy child’, we sure did!
- Take an empty drinks bottle for each of your children and if possible a cool bag/ lunch box which you can then use should you wish to purchase things from the supermarkets/ shops to eat when out and about.
- Make an essentials list, ensure that you have packed all medications, lotions and potions required. Be sure to pack suitable clothing, nappies, wipes and whatever else you might need. Whilst it’s tempting to pack the kitchen sink, try to remember to pack light and if possible to use hand luggage sized suitcases as luggage costs some serious moolah these days.
- Try not to over think things, relax and enjoy your holiday!
So there we have it, my top tips for travel. I have learnt a lot from our recent trips. I am far more confident travelling with the kids these days and have even managed to squeeze a family of four into just two slightly oversized and overweight suitcases for a week abroad, that is a huge personal achievement.
Family Friendly Holidays
The main aim of the game for us is to enjoy our holidays as a family, we have always tried to book family friendly resorts and will continue to do so in the future. Tots To Travel have some fantastic holiday ideas which you might find useful when booking your own break in the sun, snow or wherever takes your fancy.
I am hoping to go abroad as a family next summer and have already started looking at the offers online. Let’s hope we can save some pennies and jet away with the kids once again next year.
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