Having kids forces us to make changes to our tried-and-tested routines.
And travelling with children is no different.
Sure, care-free jaunts around the world may be a thing of the past — but travelling with the kids in tow can be the best kind of travel. And, like most things child-related, you’ll struggle to remember what travelling was like before they came along.
1: Plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt. If you want to see more than one place, be realistic about what you can cover with little ones in tow. The less you feel you have to pack in, the more enjoyable and stress-free the holiday will be.
2: Pack extra nappies, outfits and baby formula in your hand luggage in case of flight delay. Arm yourself with toys, books, tablet/DVD player; and be ready to entertain them for the bulk of the flight. Always have snacks available for your kids!
3: A pram or buggy can be useful on holiday even if your child is walking, serving as a place for them to rest during day trips, a makeshift bed when out in restaurants and something to help with carrying the bags.
4: Some airlines let you check in online, which allows you to book preferred seats from home and cuts out queuing.
5:Check the latest restrictions on hand luggage before travelling. The more stringent regulations relate to carrying liquids, gels and creams, which includes baby foods, drinks and nappy cream. The standard instructions are not to carry over 100ml of any single item, although exceptions are usually made for essential medicines or supplies for children under two.
6: Leave plenty of time, while you want to minimise time in queues, you certainly don’t want to have to rush. Leave home with hours to spare – if you get to the airport quickly, make use of the play area and get those children exhausted: the more energy they spend on the ground, the less they’ll have in the air.
7: Regardless of the regulations in your destination, remember to pre-book car seats whenever driving with your kids as choice may be limited on arrival.
8: Children will need sun hats – wide brims and neck flaps are worthwhile when playing outdoors. Equally, don’t overlook the fact that children’s eyes are more vulnerable to glare than yours; get them sunglasses, or goggles with elasticated straps, which stay on better.
9: Children are particularly prone to dehydration, mostly because they don’t drink unless they feel thirsty. If the tap water isn’t safe to drink, you’ll need to boil, filter or sterilise your own, or buy bottled water.
10: Keep calm – if your child chooses the worst possible time to turn into a screaming beast from another dimension, take a deep breath and try to keep calm.
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