Nobody ever said kids were going to be easy but one of the undeniable true joys of parenthood is being able to take them on holiday and explore the world with them. But kids, by their very nature, are unpredictable and travelling with kids can be a handful at the best of times. Whether we are taking them across the country or abroad, it’s important to plan every family holiday around a worst-case-scenario. Because your kids might surprise you and act like perfect little angels for the entirety of your trip. But they probably won’t.
Here, we’ll underline a few top tips for travelling with your kids and keeping things calm, safe, comfortable and stress-free.
From the holiday taxis that take you to and from the airport (so much easier than public transport) to the hire cars on the other end and even the excursion transportation at the hotel, the more transportation you can book in advance, the less hassle it will be.
Make sure you check-in early at the airport to prevent a last-minute panic (a la Home Alone) and make sure that you’re flying early in the morning if possible. The airport will be less busy and as your kids will probably be tired, they will be that much easier to control!
There are two kinds of parents of young children – those that bring almost everything with them on holiday and those that try to make do with the bare essentials. The perfect mix, meanwhile, falls somewhere between the two. Focus on the essentials first (passports, underwear etc) and then make a list of ‘luxuries’ before working down the list of what can be cut. Also, always keep an absolute family holiday essentials bag on you (medication, changes of clothes, nappies, phone charges) at all times.
Most airlines now allow you to check-in via a bespoke app and this not only cuts down on time but is an incredibly convenient way to cut out the old boarding passes and documents that often have us juggling in the departures lounge.
Kids will suddenly crave food at the most inconvenient of times so always have snacks to hand and try to steer clear of anything with a lot of sugar. High sugar snacks will always lead to inevitable energy crashes and these are never fun!
Flying with kids can be a real nightmare if you’re not prepared. As well as keeping them fed, kids require almost constant entertainment when travelling so bring a bag full of items like an iPad, colouring and sticker books, with you to keep them occupied so you can get on with sorting everyone else out.
Finally, something that its often overlooked on any family holiday is the ‘free day’ in the schedule. It can be tempting to fill all available time with something to do or see, but you’d be amazed what can happen on that one free day. Ask for your kids’ input and ideas and let is become a real family experience. You never know, you might just end upon creating memories that last a lifetime.