Traveling with children can be difficult. Many families worry about what to pack, where to go, what the kids will need, and what they will do if anything goes wrong. However, it can also be wonderful. Children have such a great sense of wonder and adventure that going away with them can allow you to see the world in a new way. Holidays with children are truly joyous, so use these tips to make your first family vacation as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
If you are traveling with very young children try to make the most of not being tied to school holidays. Traveling off-season can mean your trip is much cheaper, the resort is quieter and safer for your children, and that the weather isn’t as warm. Traveling in high season can be difficult with very young children and babies as they can struggle to adapt to the heat, so avoid it when you can.
Location is another important decision. It is usually a good idea to travel somewhere short haul, but you may also want to consider how busy the resort is likely to be when you are traveling and what there is for families to do once you arrive. Many locations have plenty of activities for families, but some others may be unsuitable, so look online for reviews and advice before committing.
Thoroughly check the accommodation before booking. Find out what facilities are available on-site, and what’s available for your room. Can you get a cot and a changing table? Are there high chairs in the restaurant? Is it a safe environment? Is there a separate family pool? Make sure you know the answers to these questions before you book. If you have any queries, get in touch with either the resort manager or your travel agent who will be able to give you more information.
As with any vacation, it’s important to set yourself a budget. Vacations can be expensive and costs can easily spiral if you’re not careful. When traveling with young children it’s a good idea to make sure there’s a little spare in case of emergencies or unexpected circumstances.
Prepare for the Journey
One of the most difficult parts of a family vacation is the journey, especially if you are flying and have an airport to navigate. Make sure you pack plenty of activities and snacks to keep them occupied. Try to plan the journey in 15 minute intervals to make sure you’ve got enough to keep them happy for the whole trip.
Most airlines will let you keep a stroller with you until you board the plane, but you may find it’s easier to check it in and let your child walk. Airports are very exciting for them so giving them a chance to explore can be easier than trying to keep them happy in a stroller. However, this depends on your child and their age, so you should think about your options carefully.
Packing for any vacation can be stressful, but this is especially true when you are traveling with children. Make sure anything you need for the journey is packed in your hand luggage, and keep your passports, tickets and any other documentation in a separate, easy to access folder. When it comes to your main luggage, make sure you’ve got these essentials:
- Young children and babies need a very high SPF factor. This wouldn’t hurt adults either.
- A lightweight stroller.
- A portable highchair. Fabric highchairs are easily attached to any normal chair, meaning you don’t have to worry about highchairs in restaurants while you are away.
- A sling or wrap. Sometimes these are much easier than a stroller for sightseeing and exploring.
- A parasol for the stroller.
- Diapers, wipes, portable changing mat, etc.
- Infant paracetamol.
- Insect spray.
- Beach towels.
- Plenty of clothes.
- Adult toiletries.
- Favorite books and toys.
- There are plenty of different style swimsuits for girls, boys and adults, so pick a few you love; you’ll want at least two each. You’ll also need swim diapers for younger children.
Even babies need passports. So, if you are leaving the country, make sure your passports are valid and have at least 6 months left on them from the date of your return. Apply for the kids first passports as early as you can so there is no last-minute rush or panic.
Preparation is the key to having a great family vacation. Don’t be overwhelmed or get too worried about simple things. Remember, that there will always be help available if you need it. Hopefully, this will be the first of many family breaks together.