You work hard throughout the year taking care of your kids, and like all parents, you deserve a holiday! Yet many parents dread taking their children away on vacation more than they look forward to it. By following a few handy tips, you can ensure that you and your whole family enjoy a stress-free holiday.
1. Research your destination.
There's nothing that will guarantee stress than landing in a different country with no planning. Take some time to research family-friendly activities, visa requirements, and the best accommodation for your stay, and you'll be set up for a smoother adjustment.
2. Check airline luggage regulations carefully.
Many airlines have strict regulations on luggage, particularly when it comes to hand luggage allowed in the cabin. There are restrictions on all liquids, gels, and creams, which can include items like baby food and cream. Be sure to ask about these policies before you arrive at the airport to avoid any surprises, and mark all personal items with name labels UK or luggage tags.
3. Keep kids hydrated on the flight.
To prevent ear pain as the plane changes altitude, plan on giving your baby something to drink during take-off and landing. Cabin air also tends to be dry, which can lead to dehydration and discomfort on a long flight. Keep offering liquids throughout the flight to combat this.
4. Pack for the weather.
Weather extremes can bother children more than adults. Pack clothing made from natural fibers to protect their skin in the heat, and be sure to bring along sunhats, gloves, and other gear for hot or cold weather as needed.
5. Child-proof your surroundings.
Even in accommodations that bill themselves as child-friendly, chances are you'll find some hazards for the little ones. The first order of business should be to check locks, cover electrical sockets, and remove any other dangerous objects from the room.
6. Designate a meeting point in each destination.
Whether it's the airport, a cruise ship, or a new city, always designate a meeting point in case anyone gets separated in the crowd. Put kids labels on your child's clothing and backpack, with their name as well as your contact info should they get lost.
7. Schedule some alone time.
If you're traveling with the whole family, try and allow at least an afternoon off for each parent to go and have some alone time. If you've booked a holiday at an all-inclusive resort or on a cruise, there may be babysitting facilities to give you both a break for a day.
8. Plan child-friendly sightseeing routes.
When you're planning your itinerary, keep your youngest child in mind and never plan on walking further in one stretch than you'll be able to carry them. Portable baby carriers, slings, and prams are a necessity for negotiating countryside hikes and city streets.
9. Take it slow.
It's tempting to try and see and do everything in your destination of choice, but the looser you keep your plans, the less disappointment you're bound to face. If your kids are jet-lagged or tired, you'll only make the trip more stressful than it needs to be if you try to drag them to every sight in the city.
10. Document your experience.
Take photographs, buy postcards, and look for kid-friendly souvenirs to get the whole family involved in documenting the trip. Older children can keep travel journals or create scrapbooks of their experience, for lasting memories.