The schools break up this month and if you’ve planned a sunny break with the kids in the school holidays then it is never too early to get prepared when you are travelling with children. The old adage ‘fail to plan – plan to fail’ comes to mind because it’s all about being organised!
Start your family summer holiday the right way with our travelling with the family tips to avoid stress and make sure everyone has a great time, because it’s your holiday too.
Flying with children
Children pick up on your stress so if you can keep calm, the kids will have a better chance of staying calm. Allow plenty of time to get to the airport, book a cab well ahead and make sure you request baby or kids car seats, this way you and your family will arrive at the airport relaxed.
The majority of children love flying and you can turn it into a great adventure, packing a few games in your flight bag will keep them entertained. Why not use this time to spend some quality time with the kids, reading, playing guessing games and making up stories will soon make the flight pass quickly.
Healthy snacks and drinks also help pass the time, and sucking on a lollipop when landing is a good idea to help with the cabin pressure and prevent their ears hurting. A word of warning though, go easy on sugary sweets throughout the flight, a hyperactive child on a plane is no fun for parents or other travellers.
Family packing tips
If the children are old enough to carry a bag, giving them their own rucksack as a flight bag is a great idea. They can pack their own books and games for the plane journey, along with their special teddy or comforter.
When it comes to packing for a family, there are two words of advice here – ‘pack light’. Summer holidays really don’t require a mountain of clothes, even when you are travelling with the family. How many times have you been away and brought back clean and unworn clothes. So pack light and if you run out of clothes a quick rinse and dry in the sun and you’ll be good to go.
One less suitcase will also help with the transfer from airport to hotel, as it will give you a free hand to hold onto the kids or push the pushchair, especially in busy airports.
After your tickets, passports and European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC), one essential for any family holiday if you are travelling overseas this summer is sun cream. Buying your sun cream before you go and packing this does take some room up in the suitcase but it is usually cheaper (half price and 3 for 2 deals are everywhere this time of year). It’s important when buying sunscreen for children to buy a reputable brand, which you know, will keep them safe in the sun.
The same goes for after sun, it will soothe and cool the kids skin if they get a bit prickly and help mum to rehydrate and avoid any premature wrinkles!
Family First aid (just in case!)
A small make up bag filled with family first aid essentials takes up no room and is the perfect size to carry around for that ‘just in case accident’ or a raised temperature. It also saves finding the nearest pharmacy and means you can give your baby or child something straight away. Here’s a few things to get you started – calpol pouches rather than bottle as they take up little space but as any parent knows calpol is indispensable for poorly children, just knowing you’ve got it will give you peace of mind. Other handy items include plasters, a sting pen, antiseptic cream, travel sickness tablets (good for kids on bus journeys) and maybe some paracetamol for mum and dad.
Finally, remember when you’re travelling with family that this time is precious, so enjoy it.