Many of you might ask, is there such a thing as stress-free travelling with kids? After being mum for more than 10 years, and travelling with my little ones since my older one was just 3 months old, I should know the answer to that question, shouldn’t I?
I might disappoint some of you, as my answer really is that it surely is possible but it depends on many factors.
Some of my friends classify me as a kind of military mother, who likes things in order, everything planned and well researched, and sometimes much stricter than other parents.
That’s just me, but for many that is not the right way to bring up their kids. Everybody is different, and I never judge others, but also believe that this is exactly why travelling with my children has never been a disaster or difficult like I often hear from other parents.
Who knows? Maybe we have just been super lucky with our two girls who were born with the jetsetters’ genes both me and my hubby possess?
Don’t despair. I strongly believe that travelling with kids can be made easier by following a few tricks and tips, which I would like to share with you now.
Book a family-friendly resort/hotel
After all these years of travelling with our daughters, we have learnt that once we go on holiday, we want to go to a place that is child/family-friendly. That usually means a place with kids clubs or some kind of supervised activities for children of different ages.
They offer the needed entertainment or childcare when you decide to have for example a meal just with your husband/partner or go for a romantic walk along the beach.
This does not mean leaving your little ones in there all the time (unless they really want to), but it gives you some free much needed time for just the two of you, which I believe is very important for a healthy relationship.
Before Your Holiday
Make sure you check all your passports and if any visa or immunisations are needed. The last thing you want is to be checking-in and not being allowed on a flight as your passports have expired.
Also make sure there is enough time for the duration of your stay, some countries require 6 months otherwise you will not be allowed to fly either.
Avoid any last-minute panics children can’t be rushed easily and will pick up on your stress quickly. Why don’t you try some Rescue Remedy® products to help you and your little ones get through stressful times?
I always have my Rescue Remedy® spray on hand, and some sugar-free Rescue Plus® Lozenges for the girls. Pantothenic acid, better known as Vitamin B5 helps support normal mental performance & Vitamin B12 helps maintain normal psychological function. Don’t forget to take long deep breaths to avoid stress.
From my experience there is no right time to fly for everyone. Some people swear by early morning flights, others by the latest possible ones.
We have never actually flown very early in the morning as we all like to sleep, and to be honest catching an 8am morning flight means a kind of nightmare for me. I can imagine I would not sleep at all as would be worrying we oversleep and miss our flight!
On the other hand, when we flew very late at night, it was not the best experience either. I remember arriving in Crete at 2am, and our whole routine was disrupted.
For us the best time is at about lunchtime, which gives you plenty of time to get to the airport, and also usually means getting to our destination later in the afternoon or evening unless travelling on a longhaul flight.
The best advice I can give is to try a few different times and decide for yourself. Of course all will depend on your children’s ages too!
At the airport
We usually pre-book parking at the official short stay car parks well in advance (as that way it is much cheaper) or sometimes go for the airport meet and greet.
Make sure you book with the official airport car park company/website or companies that you have used before or have been recommend to you by good friends.
Nobody want to come back from a lovely holiday to find out their car was lost or damaged as you saved on much cheaper parking! Do your research!
Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, and check your route before driving to avoid delays that could be avoided.
Allow extra time for check-in and security checks especially during school holidays. There could be super long queues and you could easily miss your flight because of this.
Running with your baby in arms and a toddler-in-tow, while carrying some hand luggage and trying to catch a flight can be one of the most stressful situations. Yes, we have been there!
One thing I highly recommend is to get a Trunki for your little one who can get easily tired. This not only serves as their funky hand luggage but they can sit on it or you can pull them. Anything better than carrying them for a longer period of time.
Count on extra time for toilet and last minute snacks/treats stops at the airport. My girls love exploring all the shops with me and daddy. We usually treat them to a magazine each, which I would highly recommend as another piece of entertainment for their flight.
After passing through security, don’t forget to stock up on enough water for everyone to get through a possible delay and have enough left for the descent (the most bothersome time for ear pressure discomfort).
1. Do layers of clothes
2. Skip laces, opt for slip-ons
3. Low-sugar snacks
4. A travel journal for older children to write in or younger to draw pictures in.
5. Be aware of other passengers
6. Wear socks!
Hope my tips will be useful and let me know if you know of any other ones, will gladly add them to my list. There is never enough advice when it comes to travelling with kids and young children.