Getting away with the family is magical, but the idea of traveling with little ones in tow can be a great source of anxiety.
So whether you’re packing up the car for a weekend away or preparing to board a plane, we’ve pulled together our top tips for making the experience as stress free as possible!
1. Book in advance
The earlier you book, the more options you’ll have. You’ll have more options for accommodation, travel and experiences, and likely get access to special offers and early-bird savings too. Plus, booking in advances gives you more choice when it comes to booking seats that are close together or rooms that have everything you need.
2. Make a packing list
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination after a long journey to find that you’ve forgotten to pack the sun lotion or a phone charger. Lists are a saviour. Write everything down for each member of the family, and make two copies. One for the way out, and one on the way back so nothing is left behind.
3. Give yourself extra time - lots of it
We all know that everything takes more time when you have children. To avoid last minute rushing, tears and tantrums, we suggest doubling your estimation of how long everything will take.
4. Avoid rush hour travel
Try to start your journey late morning or early afternoon to avoid rush hour traffic, queues and unnecessary stress. Planning around these times means you won’t have to have a ludicrously early start, or face overcrowded tubes and buses. Plus, this travel window is typically the quietest time at airports. It’s a win-win-win.
5. Make a holiday folder
Keep every single detail of your trip in one place and make sure you have multiple copies, physical and digital to be extra safe. This should include photocopies of passports, travel insurance details, booking confirmations, flight details, accommodation information and emergency numbers.
6. Book a place with a kitchen
Access to a fridge, stove and counter space is absolutely essential when travelling with little ones, especially babies. Most hotels offer rooms with additional facilities so always check before booking a deal.
7. Research the area
It’s always a good idea to have a look at nearby amenities, play parks and kid friendly activities. If you’re staying at a hotel, ask about what you’ll need to book before you go, and what can be arranged on the day to avoid disappointment. Also, locate your nearest hospital and pharmacy for peace of mind.
8. Pack wisely
Remember, you’ll end up carrying their ladybug scooter bag at some point so make sure you don’t have more bags than hands. Less is best.
9. Bring entertainment with you
Long journeys are hard for kids. Who can blame them? Bringing a mix of toys (digital and non-digital) is a great way to keep them occupied whilst travelling. Top tip: avoid taking items that have lots of complicated pieces to avoid losing anything important or precious.
Most importantly, have fun. Stay in the moment and try not to let the stresses around you impact your holiday together.