Ah, holidays. The time where we can pause the daily grind and focus on the all important task of having fun. If you have kids then you will appreciate that pulling off the perfect family holiday takes a lot of planning, patience and effort. Below, we have sifted through our experiences to give you the Top 5 tips when travelling with young kids.
1) Book your trip ahead of time
Gone are the days when you can book an impromptu flight, fling some clothes in a suitcase and jet set the very same day. You now need to consider not only your’s but the diary commitments of your mini-me(s) also. Our first tip is to book the trip at least 2 months ahead of time. This allows you sufficient time to cross essential items off your checklist such as checking and updating passports, getting immunisations (if required for your destination), arranging time off work, etc. There is also the added benefit of giving you ample time to pack.
2) Book an overnight airport hotel
Unless you plan to fly in the early hours of the morning (i.e. after midnight) when the kids are most likely to be asleep, it can be a challenging experience driving to the airport followed by a flight and then getting from your destination airport to the hotel you will be staying in for your holiday. Indeed, it can be a very lengthy journey when done back-to-back, and we all know that lengthy journeys equals tired and bored little ones. Break things up and ease the stress by booking an overnight stay near your departure airport. It allows you and your little ones rest time before the next leg of your journey and gives you added prep time for the all-important flight where keeping them entertained is an absolute must.
3) Hide some toys for the flight
There is nothing worse than running out of options for keeping little ones occupied on the flight, especially when you still have at least an hour of flight time left. We recommend that when packing their toys for the holiday, keep some hidden in your hand luggage ready for emergency (i.e. that moment on the flight when an epic meltdown/ tantrum is about to ensue, and you want to avoid annoyed glances from fellow passengers). The look of surprise – and most importantly – renewed amusement when your little one sees the toy you’ve just pulled out from your bag will make this top tip all the more worthwhile.
4) Make a list of items to pack
You’re probably thinking this is going to be a very long list and tedious process, but if you want to minimise the risk of forgetting something majorly important and feeling completely flustered, then pay attention. A good way to prepare this list is to think of the activities you and your family will get up to on the way to and during your holiday. Think of even the most basic activities like getting ready (toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gel, creams, clothes, shoes, etc) to being on the flight (passports, toys, etc)…. and so on. You will get a feeling of satisfaction when you see all items on your list ticked off and you know everything is covered.
5) Choose a family-friendly hotel with activities for kids
This sounds like a no-brainer but not all hotels that claim to be ‘family-friendly’ are infact family-friendly. For example, having dedicated splash times for kids in the main swimming pool is not the same as having a dedicated kids swimming pool. Check that the hotel you’re staying in has a kids club or evening entertainment programme for those days when you and the family are not out and about. It will certainly give you more options to play with.
Finally, our top tip is to live in the moment during your trip. You are creating some wonderful memories and that is the most fun thing of all. Happy holidaying!