Holidays can be a tiring and frenetic experience for even the most seasoned traveler but, when it comes to taking the children with you for the first time, it’s an entirely different ball game. With extra baggage to pack and carry, easily-bored minds to entertain during long journeys, and children’s activities to plan throughout your stay, taking a holiday with the kids for the first time could rapidly become an experience you will wish to forget.
The key to a successful family holiday is careful planning and anticipating those challenging flashpoints in which nerves and relationships could become fraught.
Where should you go on your first holiday with the kids?
If you’re looking for the perfect kids’ holiday that’s both educational and fun, look no further than Disneyland! Not only will your kids have a blast as they enjoy all of their favorite characters and attractions, but also explore and learn about different parts of the world. You can create an unforgettable experience for your kids that combines adventure and learning, all in the same vacation. Plus, you can feel good knowing that everyone in your family is having a great time and making memories to last a lifetime!
Other options that are more budget-friendly are many! From waterparks and amusement parks to zip-lining and beach trips, there are so many exciting activities that kids of all ages will enjoy. And don’t forget all of the cultural experiences that come along with traveling to new places—from local cuisine to the exploration of different cultures and sights, kids get the chance to learn firsthand about the world outside their own backyard.
When it comes to packing for your holiday, you’ll need to carry additional luggage and, while children may receive their own baggage allowance on the aircraft, you may need to watch for excessively heavy bags that will ramp up the extra charges levied by the airline. Letting the kids pack their own bags may seem like a sure-fire way to save yourself precious time but you’ll probably end up with suitcases bulging at the seams that weigh far too much that will end up costing you extra on the plane – not to mention instant backache as you attempt to navigate your way through airports. Give your children a small suitcase each they can pull on wheels and tell them that if their clothes don’t all fit, they simply can’t take it all.
Rent a car
Whether you are going self-drive or flying abroad, car rental could be a great way to broaden the children’s horizons, cut out the energy-draining local transfers and gain extra space for your brood to travel in. Hiring a car from National car rental or one of the other leading rental companies at the airport will enable you to enjoy the flexibility to travel where you like at your own pace and give you unlimited access to your destination country, including to tourist sites off the beaten track. Alternatively if taking the self-drive option, why not hire a larger vehicle in which to spread your family for a roomier, more comfortable journey?
Kids and long journeys, either by road or air, don’t usually agree so advance planning is essential for a more peaceful, less fraught holiday. Buy in some simple activities to enjoy when you are on the move such as travel games. Electronic devices (for example iPods and iPads) will hold their attention for a considerable time but do check the airline’s regulations if you plan to use these in-flight. Don’t forget: headphones are essential if your kids are to hear the audio above the noise of the plane’s or car’s engines. The AA website features a range of downloadable games for the family to enjoy.
Take one step at a time
When driving a distance, don’t overestimate how far the children can travel without stopping. You may find it is more beneficial to take regular, short breaks to stretch aching legs and breathe some fresh air instead of breaking your journey less often. Motorways in Europe tend to offer more frequent rest stops than in the UK, though fully-equipped service stations tend to be more distantly spaced.
Make sure you carry a first aid kit with you at all times which should include children’s paracetamol as well as an insect repellent (make sure, if your child is under one year, that it does not contain DEET). Your kids may well be unfamiliar with the high temperatures of foreign climates so plenty of sun cream, protective clothing, and water will help to keep them sun safe and hydrated. Bear in mind that continental water can upset tummies so bottled is a good alternative. For more advice on staying healthy when traveling visit the NHS site.
What are some common mistakes parents make when traveling with kids?
When traveling with kids, parents often make some common mistakes that can hinder the enjoyment of the journey. One of these is trying to cram too much into a single day; kids may get more out of a holiday if their time is spread out over several days and travels are not rushed. Another mistake is underestimating the amount of gear kids need for the trip – such as snacks, books, and comfortable clothes – which can make children more prone to boredom or discomfort on long journeys.
How to Make Flying With an Infant a Breeze
Preparation is Key
One of the most important things when flying with an infant is to make sure that you are prepared. This means ensuring you have all the necessary items packed in advance such as diapers, formula, wipes, and extra clothes. If possible, try to bring your own car seat or stroller so that your baby has a comfortable way to get around the airport and onto the plane itself. It’s also helpful to plan ahead by selecting seats that have more legroom in case your baby needs more space or if you will need to change their diaper during the flight. Additionally, double-check airline regulations before leaving for the airport as these may vary depending on which airline you take.
Keeping Baby Comfortable During Flight
It’s important to ensure your baby is comfortable during the flight, especially since it can be a bit noisy at times due to other passengers and airplane engines. To help keep them calm and content while in the air, try bringing along toys or small books they can look at while waiting for takeoff and during turbulence. You can also breastfeed your baby or give them a bottle of milk during takeoff and landing as this will help relieve any pressure they may feel in their ears from changing altitudes. If possible, try walking up and down the aisle with them if they become agitated; this will help distract them from any noise or movement that might upset them.
Finally, parents should also remember that kids can find airports daunting and unsettling: planning ahead to have plenty of activities lined up and making sure kids are able to ask questions can help turn stress into fun. When it comes to traveling with kids, being organized beforehand means more time for everyone to enjoy!