Let’s face it, travelling can be a stressful experience at the best of times. But when you factor in children, it can be rife with potential worries.
Here we present our top ten tips for holidaying with offspring. Some are for babies; some are for older children. And some are just for you.
1. Sweat the Small Print
If you are going to stay at an unfamiliar hotel, then do your research. Is it located up a steep hotel? Are there lots of steps? What are the kids’ club reviews like?
2. Do the Research
Does your baby need a visa? What jabs do you – and your child – require? When it comes to matters this important, you really don’t want to get caught out at the last minute.
3. Plan your Flights
Try to plan your flights around bedtime. Evening flights can be more expensive, but a sleeping child might make up for the extra cost.
4. Don’t Overpack
Unless you are planning on camel trekking across the Sahara, it’s worth remembering that almost everything can be bought abroad. For peace of mind though, pack essential medication like infant paracetamol and formula milk.
5. Invest in a Cheap Stroller
If you are doing a lot of travelling, especially by air, think about investing in a small, light stroller instead of bringing along your normal one.
6. Take a Seat
It may be bulky, but consider taking your own child car seat if you'll be driving abroad. Car-hire companies will usually supply one on request, but the quality may not be up to scratch.
7. Slowly Does it
Leave plenty of time to get to the airport. If you arrive extra early, head for the play area and tire them out for the flight ahead. And forget the days when you used to be first off the plane or sprinting through passport control. With young children in tow, it’s best to just go with the flow.
8. ‘Appy Ever After
Thanks to toddler-friendly apps, there's no need to take a nursery-full of toys away with you. A device loaded with apps and games - even if it’s just your own mobile phone - will do the trick.
9. Lost in Translation
Keep tabs on little ones at airports, train stations and crowded attractions with a child locator. Or simply write your mobile number in biro on their arm.
10. Feed Me
When flying or driving long distances, make sure to pack snacks. Avoid the temptation to feed them sweets. Cheese cubes, breadsticks and fruit will help avoid the dreaded sugar rush. Oh, and don’t forget to pack plenty of baby wipes!