When youngsters enter your life, it may be time to adjust your travel plans. Crucially, one thing some parents do, but shouldn’t, is put their travel plans on hold when they have kids. That’s certainly the easy option, but there can be no denying that you’ll probably need a break more so than ever before! Heading abroad can be an excellent opportunity for them to explore new things and learn about different places. While there will be some destinations that you’ll want to save until they’re older so that they can enjoy the full experience, there’s no excuse to stay at home, especially when you make extensive use of these 10 tips.
1. Always Do Your Research First
As noted, travelling with children has its differences to what you’re used to. While you probably look into flights, accommodation and things to do extensively, you might not have considered the various factors that can impact on your kids.
First and foremost, we’d recommend never travelling too far away. Two to three hours are the limit for younger children, and you should also attempt to go for a country where the time difference is not too harsh. You’ll know all about the difficulties of establishing a sleep schedule at the best of times, so the last thing you need is to work against yourself and have to fix it when you get there, and once again when you get back home.
2. Make Sure Your Documents Are In Order
You’d be surprised by how many people forget that their kids need a passport to travel. They know that’s the case, but spend so much time planning the trip that they neglect to get their documents ready! Last-minute passport applications can take time, and you don’t want to miss out on travel just because you’re in a queue, especially during popular holiday times throughout the year.
3. Make a List of the Essentials
If this is your first time heading abroad with your kids, it’s a good idea to work on your organisation skills with the help of a list. There are things you use every day and would be lost without that you may never have packed before, and the last thing you need is to leave them behind. Think about regular, day to day items like nappies and wipes, and don’t forget the things that you’ll use on holiday but potentially not at home, like armbands and swimming costumes.
4. Check Child Specifics with Your Travel Provider
As with the items on your checklist, you may never have travelled with certain items before. Some airlines will attempt to charge extra for the carriage of pushchairs and other baby items, while others recognise their essential nature and will allow them as part of your standard luggage.
It’s always a good idea to weigh your luggage too, but even more critical when you’ve got kiddy items in there too. If you’re often close to the limit, you’ll be even closer when their supplies are factored in.
5. Remember the Safety Essentials
If all goes to plan, you won’t need things like medicines and first aid kits. However, you’ll be in an unfamiliar environment and you don’t want to be caught short in cases where you do need them but don’t know where to get them. Make these items a priority in your packing order to ensure you have what you need when you need it.
6. Bring Along Some of Their Favourite Toys
Even if you’ve planned the holiday itinerary down to the minute, there’s bound to be downtime. Kids are great at getting bored, but they’re likely to disturb you more than you’d like when this is the case. A few of their favourite, smaller toys are the remedy to this, so make sure you have something to entertain them when you want to relax.
7. Don’t Forget a Tablet and Charger
One of the worst things, when we were younger, was the lack of television channels we could understand when we travelled abroad. It’s understandable, but that doesn’t help. Fortunately, nowadays you can take your – or their- favourite shows with you without any difficulty at all. Just remember to download them at home beforehand to avoid data charges and, above anything else, don’t forget the charger!
8. Keep Plenty of Snacks to Hand
Kids like to snack, and you don’t need to travel abroad to know all about that! There will be times when you can’t reach a shop, and airline prices can be pretty prohibitive. That makes it essential to keep some snacks on you at all times and don’t forget to pay attention to what you can and cannot take on planes nowadays.
9. Take Something to Aid with Nap Times
If your kids are young enough that they still nap, the excitement of being on holiday won’t entirely be enough to keep them awake all day when they’re not used to it. Something that keeps the sun out while they’re in their pushchair, or a blackout blind for in your room, can work wonders to ensure that they can get the rest that they need and don’t spend time being grumpy.
10. Don’t Forget to Do Things They’ll Enjoy
If you’re the kind of person that likes to pack in as much as you can when you travel abroad, you mustn’t forget to adjust your approach to keep your kids entertained. Always remember that this is their holiday too, and while they might not understand or remember all of it, it’s never too late to start making memories and taking videos of life experiences that might end up staying with them forever.