Travelling with children can seem like a very daunting task, I remember thinking when the children were younger that it would be incredibly stressful. We did take a holiday to Turkey though last September and our children were 4 and 2. It was stressful but not as much as I thought it would be. I gathered up some useful tips that I wanted to share. Do you have any useful tips for travelling with children?
- Spread the clothes across the suitcases – I packed when the children were asleep the night before we left, so I could do it in peace and concentrate. I piled up all of the children’s clothes and ours then split the clothes across our three suitcases. This is so that if a suitcase goes missing you are not without one child’s entire wardrobe or yourself for that matter.
- Book night flights – now this does come with it’s disadvantages but in the whole it was far easier to fly at night so the children could sleep the majority of the flight.
- Pack activities for the plane – I made sure my iPad had charge and a movie/game on it incase the children were bored. I had colouring in books for both, with crayons. I also packed cars for Noah and little figurines for Isla. These all came in really handy on holiday too!
- Be prepared for mealtimes – I have two, sometimes, fussy children when it comes to food and I was so paranoid they wouldn’t eat anything or explore foods on holiday. We took a few snacky items from home for those just in case moments that we had issues. We made sure that Mummy and Daddy explored new food and encouraged it with the children. The children tend to copy us so I had the view if we are happily eating these new foods then so will they. We also let the children choose their own foods from the buffets, getting them involved meant they were more interested in trying new things as they had picked it themselves.
- Research the hotel/complex for childcare facilities – the children could go to kids clubs where we stayed in Turkey. Which was fantastic. But because Isla was not three at the time she couldn’t go to the same club as Noah, which was slightly awkward but meant we had to plan around it. It usually meant that Noah would go to club in the afternoon and Isla would nap, so that Mummy and Daddy could nap too!
- Take a buggy – Isla was walking when we went on holiday and we didn’t need the buggy in any great sense. But it was the most useful object we took on holiday! It came in handy for nap times, by the pool in the shade Isla would sleep for a good couple of hours which was brilliant as the heat in some countries means a nap helps the children cope. It also came in handy in the evenings, we could contain Isla in the buggy whilst watching the evening entertainment and she had somewhere to fall asleep too.
- Make sure you have car safety – when we went to Tunisia a few years ago Noah was just one and we didn’t take a car seat with us as we didn’t plan on driving anywhere. We took a taxi on a day trip one day and they do not have car seats over there. Noah had to sit on my lap and be strapped in. It was scary as the roads are not like ours, the bends are tight and they drive quite quickly too. It was the most nerve wracking moment of my life. If you can, or are planning on travelling in taxi’s or buses, take a car seat for younger ones.
- Book a car park at the airport with pick up – it was so handy to just drive to a car park outside the airport and have someone pick your car up, take it to the car park and return it to the same place when you come home. It saved us so much hassle. When we went to Ibiza when Isla was a few weeks old we didn’t do this and I had to carry all the hand luggage, a double buggy and Daddy had the suitcases across the car parks and onto the car park buses. It was a nightmare and really added stress to the trip. It was so nice knowing that the car would be waiting for us just outside the airport terminal when we landed at 2am.
- Use the local excursion companies – we stayed in a hotel with a tour operator but booked our excursions, approximately half the price, with the local companies. Yes their offices were not as nice, the locals looked different to the hotel staff and it wasn’t as professional looking as the hotels – but we had a nice air conditioned coach, two of the best boat trips we have ever been on and we all had a lovely time. They worshipped the children, especially Isla with her blonde locks, they were extremely friendly and we all had a really great time – for half the price! I loved the fact we had a guide who was local, he knew hundreds of exciting facts about where we were and it was nice to try local food in restaurants you would never go in if it wasn’t for those experiences. We saw sea turtles, up close, it was amazing.
- Overall, have fun – it’s not all doom and gloom when travelling with the children. Yes it is an experience and it can be quite stressful with things. Embrace the new environments, go and see the evening entertainment (even if its after the children’s bedtime) you are on holiday and so are the children, let them gather fantastic new memories to treasure and talk about with their friends back home. After all, isn’t that the whole point of being on holiday?
Children in a suitcase image by Shutterstock.
This is my entry for the Clickstay Mummy Blogger Awards. You can vote for me on the Clickstay website here.