Exploration and experiencing the world is one of my biggest passions especially introducing my children and wider nieces and nephews to new places, cultures, food and ways of life. There’s almost nothing more enjoyable to me. Even though most of it now seems a very distant memory I have travelled quite substantially with young children and my daughters had both circumnavigated the globe before their first birthdays so here are five top travel tips from my extensive experience.
1) When flying Pre-order baby food or milk formula
Order any baby food or milk formula online for collection to the Boots Chemist airside at the airport (most airports have them) as this will save time precious time and effort at security especially if you are travelling with hand luggage only.
2) Always have a change of clothes in your hand luggage
Always have a change of clothes in your hand luggage, not just for your child, but for you too in case they are poorly all over you on the plane or if something is spilt on you. For long haul flights I usually have 2 or 3 changes of clothes in hand luggage as there have been times I have really needed it. One daughter was poorly sick from Singapore all the way to Auckland and we are talking projectile here for several hours straight. Luckily I had several layers on as I also ended up going through all my spare clothing and I arrived into Auckland wearing only a vest. I had a baby wrap sling for Aurora which I also used for warmth too as it was a little chilly when we landed.
3) Carry or wear a pashmina when you travel
Take a pashmina in your hand luggage or wear one as a scarf as you can easily use them for multiple purposes such as a blanket, tie it as a skirt or top (see my post above for why this might be necessary), you can use it as a baby sling, for replacement clothing on your child, as a shield against the sun if you need shade or for nap time, a picnic blanket or even to roll up as a pillow.
4) Travel cot
I recommend purchasing a pop up travel cot that’s light enough to pack in your case so you won’t have to rely on the hotel where you are staying to provide one for you or worry about what the cleanliness or quality of it might be.
6) Easy clean drawing
Pop a packet of chalk, water pens and an old fashioned etcha sketch into your bag or case as super handy for entertaining your children on holiday whether a staycation or overseas as it is easy to clean and you don’t have to worry about any damage in the same way you might with crayons or pens. They can even use them on your suitcases while you wait in the queue at the airport.
7) Reusable stickers
These are legendary as they can play with them over and over. They also can’t stick them in hotels and on planes causing damage. They make great fake tattoos in the bath or swimming pool too.
8) Two different activity packs or bags
If you have a long car journey or a flight transfer to reach your end holiday destination then pack two different activity packs or toy bags per child so they have something exciting and new for both portions of your trip for maximum entertainment.
9) Interactive games are fun
I’m a big believer in interactive group games for your kids that encourage them to look outside of the window or explore their destination rather than them being sat with tablets the whole time. Interactive games can include bingo games around car colours, landmarks, flower colours, animals (if you are around countryside or safari), birds, etc.
10) Polaroid or disposable cameras
Why not give older children a camera and set them a photography task for your holiday such as they have to take pictures of your destination that only include a particular colour. You will find they explore their destination a lot more, you will get to see things from their perspective/ viewpoint and you get lots of great photos that would look amazing in a collage frame too.
I hope these tips have been useful for anyone travelling with their kids this half term or perhaps making plans for Easter or Summer time. If you haven’t yet booked a holiday and need inspiration then the top five family friendly holidays I am booking at the moment include –
- Lapland – Santa trips
- Disney holidays (Florida and Paris)