Travelling with young children can be daunting, but there are certainly ways to make it easier and if past experiences have taught me anything, it’s to go prepared.
So, with that in mind, here are my top tips for travelling abroad with small children:
1. Choose a destination that won’t give you a headache and check before travelling that it is child-friendly! Keep it simple, reduce your journey times and keep transfers at the other end to a minimum.The last thing you need when you step off the plane is a 2 hour drive to your hotel.
2. If you have arranged car hire, don’t forget to think ahead about a car seat and bear in mind that you will have to fit in your luggage as well as a pram so make sure that you hire a big enough car.
3. Try and fly as close to their nap/bedtime as possible, sleeping children are much easier to manage in a confined space than hyperactive ‘bundles of energy’ children.
4. Keep hand luggage to a minimum but do pack some small surprises for along the way, as well as nappies, wipes, a change of clothes and plenty of snacks and drinks. For distraction and/or entertainment purposes take stickers, crayons, activity books, favourite toys or whatever else they find familiar and comforting. Don’t pack things with lots of small pieces.
5. When traveling with a young baby, never forget the power of milk as it can be a lifesaver if they get fractious or tired. Give them a feed during the flight’s ascent and descent as it will relieve any ear-popping pain.
6. Load ipads, iphones and any other gadgets with kid friendly apps and make sure they are all fully charged before leaving. Don’t forget the chargers and travel plugs either.
7. Remember to leave enough time for your journey as everything takes that bit longer with children. Allow for travel sickness, nappy changes, toilet breaks and general loading and unloading of luggage. Running behind schedule adds unnecessary stress which in turn will rub off on your little ones so make a checklist of things to pack ahead of time.
8. Make sure your little ones have had all of their immunizations and check that none of you require any vaccinations prior to travelling abroad. It’s also worthwhile to take a little first aid kit with you and essential medication such as calpol and teething powder.
9. DO NOT go on holiday without the appropriate travel cover – many companies nowadays will offer an incentive or a reward scheme for taking out one of their insurance policies.
10. Do take your pram – it’s the fastest and most efficient way to transport your baby and/or toddler through the airport. Most airlines will allow you to take is straight to the plane and then you will have it waiting for you at the other end. A baby sling can also be an invaluable piece of kit as it keeps young babies protected and you mobile in most situations.
FINALLY – Holidays are made up of lots of lovely moments so don’t forget to take a camera and capture the memories!
Do you have any top tips for travelling abroad with small children?