Regardless of whether it is the first or tenth time you take a trip with your kids: travelling with children is always a challenge! And if we have not prepared for those hours on the road, or chosen the right hotel, it can become an impossible mission. We have searched for some solutions to keep you from suffering during these days of free-time (which we usually are in desperate need of). They start with good planning. Jot down our advice for travelling with children, from babies to older ones. Everything you need to know for the trip with the little ones to be successful.
The experience of travelling is always a good idea. Your child will attain new skills and it will give you a chance to forget a little bit about the daily routine. You will arrive at your destination and enjoy it.
Before making any decision about the trip you have to stop and think, what are the best options for transportation, schedules, hotel, and even the destination?
You can no longer afford to stay in that cute little hotel in that far-flung village in Portugal. It would be magical, but clearly you would not be using your head when making the reservation. Think about the flight schedules, whether there would be a layover, what kind of access there is to the hotel if you are taking a stroller, whether it is close to what you want to visit, and if there is a play area…
Perhaps you used to get to the airport just in time, using all the tricks and shortcuts to get there in less than 30 minutes and you got through security as if you were Spiderman. Those days are over. Now, leave home at least two-and-a-half hours in advance. If someone wants to rush, they can do so, you, however, relax and wait for your turn. With some luck, people travelling with kids board the plane first.
Even though travelling with a kid requires a million thingamabobs, clothes or diapers, you will find a store open with whatever you need for your child wherever you go. If you realise you need something urgently, ask a concierge at the hotel – they are there to help you. Remember: only check your bags with what is absolutely necessary. And do not forget your camera and cell phone charger.
Think about all you will need until you get to your accommodations. Do you need food for your baby? Diapers? A change of clothes, lotion or medicine? Perhaps a toy or something entertaining? Do not forget the wet wipes that help you out in any kind of trouble.
Hotels have their advantages, such as room service, childcare, full board, leisure activities, tours through the city… Make the most of all the activities that the hotel has to offer. And if you are lucky, your child will feel at home and will want to stay with the entertainer at the pool. Great! Finally, a little bit of time for you and your partner!
A piece of advice: Let the hotel know in advance about your child’s needs and age.
If you are worried about your children getting lost, write their name and a telephone number on their arms. If you are a techy, you can buy some geolocation device, place it on their wrists and enjoy.
Many kids love the ocean, whereas others feel utter panic. And this can change from one year to the next, therefore, our advice is to always be close to a pool you can go to if your child is horrified by saltwater this summer. As we have already said, what is most important is planning and taking it easy.
One tip that sometimes works is to make a list of the things that could go wrong and how to solve them. How can I get to my destination if I miss my flight? What can I do if my child gets sick during the trip? These questions simply help you relax when faced with these issues.
For children, every novelty brings up issues, and everything is new on a trip. Take your time before setting out on your trip and let your child know where it is you are going and why you chose that destination. Everything you explain in advance will be welcomed.
You can plan a movie session with them where the destination is shown in the film or you could read with them about the trip.
Choose direct flights, bear documentation in mind, reserve the seats that are most convenient for you, visit the airport play area while you wait and keep a snack handy (food on the plane is not known for being tasty) and some toy.
On vacation, routines are meant to be ignored: Forget your agenda and tasks, do not have anything pre-set, and motivate your children to discover new things. You will never live these days again.