Welcome to part two of our Travel Tips guide. In this part I will be offering some friendly advise on going on holiday whether abroad or in the UK with our offspring, however small or tall they might be. The first time I went anywhere with my son I immediately went into panic mode and searched the internet for advice. You can imagine the amount of sites and info that was offered, my head almost exploded trying to take it all in. Just seeing the pages and pages of black and white from websites, bloggers and chat pages was enough to put me off going anywhere. So I have condensed mine and made it easy to read in the hope you will be skipping all the way to your destination.
• PLAN AHEAD – Booking your holiday is only the first part. I would always recommend researching the area your staying, local shops (encase you lose your mind and need to buy a new one), things to do, temperature (so we know if we are packing bikini or thermal underwear), if you need Visas or any jabs before going, book any airport parking if traveling abroad. There is always someone that has been before so read reviews. There will information out there whether it’s in a lonely planet book or online. Make sure you are completely clued up as the last thing you want are surprises unless it’s in the form of a very large diamond.
• PACK WISELY – You don’t need the kitchen sink so don’t try squeezing it in. Unless your going to a 3rd world country, most places will have shops so don’t stress of you have forgotten a nappy or two there will be places you can buy them from. If you’re traveling to a tourist area I would even go as far to say if you can’t fit it in buy it there. The same goes for clothes, you really don’t need to pack all your Sunday best dresses just a couple that you can mix and match. Maybe even throw in some hand wash powder so if you are desperate you can wash and wear it again. I have included my ‘10 essential holiday items’ below for your reference.
• DOCUMENTATION & MONEY – keep all your documentation safe, print it all out from insurance stuff, to hotel address and if you’re traveling to Europe don’t forget your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). I would always suggest to make copies just encase and if you want to go one step further I always like to give family members details of where we are staying and flight details just to be safe. These days not many of us carry cash (unless you’re the queen). Carrying wods of cash on you I never think is the best thing to do, I always think its best to get a small amount of local currency and then upload the rest onto a cash passport which allows you to withdraw and pay over the counter like a normal credit or debit card.
• TAKE A CAMERA – Whether it’s on your phone or you have the latest SLR take it with you. If it’s not just to use for you to keep memories of your time all together but if you have older children like us it gives them the opportunity to explore and take photos for themselves. Our boys love the chance to play photographers for the day.
• SLOWLY SLOWLY CATCH THE MONKEY – Take your time, don’t plan too much into your days cause believe me it will change. Remember the Michael MacIntyre joke he did about leaving the house with kids? Well just cause you’re not at home doesn’t mean stuff like that won’t happen. Whether you’re in Surrey or Sardinia a toddler can still refuse you put their shoes on and a teenage can still sulk cause he is bored and refuse to go anywhere. So just go with the flow. Who wants time restraints on holiday anyway?
• I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE – Now is the time to learn a few travel games and nursery rhymes if you have younger children, cause believe me when your singing “oh the grand old Duke of York” for the umpteenth time you will be wishing you knew another song. If your holiday involves a car journey, plane journey, a train journey or any other journey sometimes a good old family sing-song or game does the trick.
• ROUTINE – So I’m not suggesting that you stick to the exact routine as you would at home cause well you are on holiday after all. However routine is important especially to the little ones. This doesn’t just help you to get a better night sleep but it helps children settle in their new environment a lot quicker. Children like to feel safe and secure and if there is no routine to their day it can be very unnerving for them. Not all holidays allows a strict routine but I would always suggest to try to do one that works for you.
• TICK IT OFF – We love a list in our household so before any holiday I have lists for Suitcase items, Hand luggage items and Things I need to do before leaving. Tick it off as you go cause with all the chaos in organising your holiday you will be pleased you wrote it down.
• HAVE FUN – most importantly out of all the points above this should be the most important. How often do you get this time altogether? So rare so make the most of it, don’t worry about things at home, try not stress and just have as much fun as possible.
Finally I wanted to include my ‘top 10 essential items’ for anyone traveling with children:
2. First Aid Kit
3. Lightweight stroller
4. Ipad/portable dvd player
5. Hand wash detergent
6. Sun protection
7. Home comforts and/or comforters
8. Sterilising wipes
9. Oversized Muslin – perfect as a lightweight blanket or mat
Hope these tips have been helpful, if you have any questions or would like to contact us to discuss anything further please let us know.
The Only Way Is Latte xx