Sun, Sand, Tears and Tantrums
The holiday season is nearly upon us and many will be turning their thoughts away from hum drum of daily life and instead start planning their summer getaway. Unfortunately most of us can only dream about grabbing those boutique holiday brochures for exclusive adult-only resorts, whiling away the day, sipping neon cocktails and nibbling on mouth-watering seafood…..because we have to face the reality of holidaying with our kids!
That’s not to say you can’t go on holiday with kids…..far from it. But you do need to have a practical approach to spending 14 days away from the comforts of home with your offspring.
Here’s some top tips to ensure a harmonious, happy holiday.
- Plan ahead. Yes gone are the days of reckless abandon, you now have small people to consider, so this means you need to know what is happening and at what time. Build in extra time to your itinerary – it can take twice as long to get through security with children, buggies, trunki’s etc
- Check in online. This allows you to book preferred seats from home and cuts out queuing. When you get to the airport, you usually join a fast-track queue to hand over your checked luggage.
- Packing. It may seem obvious but remember to pack enough sun cream (it can be very expensive abroad), bug spray and medicine – Whether they’re out of routine, jet-lagged, or eating less healthily, kids always seem to get ill on holiday.
- Pack light. Investigate whether you can hire baby equipment from wherever you are staying. Hotels, resorts and even villas can often offer you highchairs, cots etc meaning you don’t need to take everything with you.
- Electronic nanny. Yes it is OK to allow kids to play with gadgets every now and then! For kids able to carry their own rucksack, pack colouring things, books, sticker books etc. And before you leave make sure your tablet/device is fully loaded with kid friendly apps – guaranteed to keep them quiet for at least some of the plane or car journey.
- Snacks. Every parent knows the value of carrying snacks at all times. Try and avoid sweets and anything that could get messy but small treats could help stave off a tantrum mid-journey.
- Find some childcare. Hotel kids clubs can be great, you get a couple of hours to read a book, the kids have a fun time with other children their own age. Check before you leave to find out what your hotel or resort offers and for what age groups. Hotels sometimes also offer early evening entertainment for kids too, allowing you time to slip off for an aperitif!
- Don’t holiday alone. If you’re not lucky enough to be staying somewhere with a kids club, consider holidaying with family or friends. Holidaying with the grandparents can be a win, win situation, they get to spend time with the grandkids and you get another welcome set of hands to help out. Likewise travelling with friends can work well too – especially if the children are similar ages.
- Teenagers. A different breed altogether. Try and include them in the planning and preparation of your holiday so they feel included. Give them space and relax the boundaries on holiday. Try and find activities that they’ll be interested in – this may mean stepping outside of your own comfort zone. Always ensure they have access to WiFi.
- Create memories. Encourage your children to take photo’s (buy a cheap disposable camera), buy postcards from places you visit and for older children buy them a journal to fill with a holiday diary.
Bon voyage and happy holidays!
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20 Things to do with Under 5’s (plus Free Facstheet!)
Keeping the Kids Entertained this Summer (plus Free Factsheet!)
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Summer 2015 Section