Travelling with kids can be considered the thing of nightmares, but it really doesn’t have to be. As quoted by The Unmumsy Mum “it’s just the same sh*t, different location”. However, there are many tips and tricks to get the most out of your holiday and take the pain away from travelling. In this blog post, parents share the things they’ve learnt from their experiences:
Opt to stay in a house or villa:
When browsing for your latest holiday, why not look for a villa or house? Searching ‘Mexico houses for rent‘ as an example will bring you back tonnes of gorgeous, child-friendly places you didn’t know existed. Creating a home from home environment can be a lifesaver when travelling with small children. Staying in a house or villa allows them space to roam around and means they can make as much noise as you can tolerate!
When they’re little, aim for somewhere with your own cooking facilities. Cooking is probably not something you want to do on holidays, but it saves you lots, and if stops your children eating chips every day for the duration of your holiday. Or is it just my children??
– Sara, Mind Your Mamma
Do your research:
Planning ahead is crucial when travelling with children. make sure you know what entertainment and amenities are around you. Line up fun things to do to break your holiday up and keep your family stimulated. There are so many resources in which to do this. For example, if you were opting to visit a place like Mexico you could pick up a travel guide at a local bookstore, however, there are so many free resources online nowadays! You can ask questions on Trip Advisor or have a quick search for Mummy Bloggers that have stayed in the same destinations you are looking to visit and read their real-life experiences and reviews that would probably feel more relevant to your dynamic.
Find out where your nearest supermarket to where you are staying is before you get there. You will always need something that you forgot or need more of and saves stressing. If flying with a buggy buy a bag/cover for it for the hold – not only will it keep your pushchair in better condition but you can stuff extra nappies or a blanket in it too. A tablet (with media downloaded in advance) and kid headphones also great.
– Helen, Welsh Mum Writing
If your trip is going to involve a long car journey, plan your stops in advance! Our little really disliked the car when he was little and so it helps us to know we only had X amount of minutes until we could stop for a cuddle. Also, accept that everything is likely to take longer and plan extra time accordingly! I was very apprehensive about our first family holiday but actually, it was so much easier than I had imagined and we had a great time.
– Amy, Amy Jane & Baby
Entertainment for the kids should be the first thing on your list along with toothbrushes and underwear! The holiday isn’t going to function in the same way without it.
We have travelled regularly with the kids since they were small. Our lifesavers have been in iPads ( don’t forget to download their favourite movies before flying!), favourite snacks (particularly lollypops for flying due to ear pressure) and Home comforts for the hotel ( think cuddly toys, favourite book/puzzle etc).
– Vikki, Family Travel with Ellie
My top tip would be to bring a small travel toy they haven’t seen before so I bought my little girl a travel etch a sketch and it kept her entertained for ages
– Amelia, Another Mummy Blog
Wrap little inexpensive toys as presents to open on the plane/train etc, the excitement of opening gifts is enough to keep them amused for some time. Also get one of those travel trays so that everything can be laid out for them within arms reach and prevents them from rolling off their laps/table.
– Nita, Mummy Wishes
Don’t forget the Essentials:
Although most supermarkets will cater to your needs, you don’t know the environment or local opening times should you get caught out. Make sure you have your essentials covered and then pack a little more!
For young children out of nappies, invest in a travel potty. You never know when you’ll be caught short.
– Pete, Household Money Saving
Having experienced this the bad way – take a decent thermometer/calpol/medical kit with you! Don’t expect to find like for like where you’re going!
– Laura, Edinburgh with Kids
My advice is to pack a bit more than you need, take lots of snacks and allow extra time for lots of stops and changes.
– Christy, Welsh Mum
Top Tips & Hacks:
If you’re going away with younger kids, pack their own bed linen which has been used in their own beds for a couple of days, and make up their holiday beds with it. If they wake slightly during the night the familiar smell is more likely to help them drift back to sleep, rather than register that they’re in a strange bed, which could wake them.
– Kate, The Mum Conundrum
Have fun! We also tried keeping them on their UK timings for bed so it meant they went to bed later on holiday but came home pretty much in the same routine when they were young.
– Michelle, What Mummy Thinks
We prefer to stay in accommodation that has a separate sleeping area for kids (and if possible a kitchen) so air BnB is so helpful. It means you can put the kids to bed after a good days exploring and get a little time to relax in the evening.
– Jemma, Have Kids Will Travel
Relax, realise it will be a different kind of holiday than an adult one and be prepared to go with the flow.
– Victoria, Starlight & Stories
*This is a collaborative post