Every parent knows that travelling with young children can be stressful, particularly if it’s your first family holiday abroad. However, you can ensure that your holiday runs smoothly with the help of some careful planning and organisation. To help you enjoy a relaxing family holiday, here are some useful tips for travelling with young children.
Reduce your travel time
If you’re travelling with young children or planning your first family holiday abroad, you may want to consider choosing a destination closer to home. Long-haul flights can be extremely challenging for both children and parents, so it’s a good idea to reduce your travel time by finding a location that can be reached within a few hours. Remember to pack plenty of activities and games to keep your children entertained on the journey. Items like iPads, audiobooks, board games, and colouring books can provide hours of entertainment while travelling. There are plenty of parenting blogs and forums offering useful tips on how to keep children entertained on long journeys. Don’t also forget to pack lots of snacks and drinks to avoid any hunger tantrums on the journey. Dried fruit, popcorn, and nuts are healthy options that are easy to transport, making them ideal choices when travelling.
Choose family-friendly accommodation
Most holiday destinations offer an extensive range of accommodation choices, from all-inclusive resorts and holiday homes to camping and guesthouses. The accommodation you choose is extremely important, so you must research your options carefully and select the best place for you and your family. If you opt for a hotel, then make sure it offers all the facilities you want. This may include an outdoor swimming pool, evening entertainment, a kids club, and onsite bars and restaurants. Self-catering apartments and villas are other fantastic choices as they provide additional space, along with the freedom to prepare your own meals and snacks. If you’re travelling with young children, there are a variety of toddler friendly villas that offer incredible facilities like cots, baby monitors, and child-proof pools. This makes planning and packing for your family holiday far more convenient as everything you need will be ready for you when you arrive at your destination.
Book in advance
When you’re travelling solo or in a couple, it can be exciting to leave room for spontaneity by leaving your trip unplanned. However, this is not advisable when travelling with young children. Booking your accommodation, transport, and activities in advance will mean you can truly enjoy your family holiday without worrying about booking the next night’s accommodation or trying to reserve tickets for major attractions last minute. Plan a rough itinerary for your trip and let your family know what to expect. This can always be adapted once you arrive, but having this will help you get the most out of your holiday. It is also important to keep in mind that accommodation and tours in popular tourist destinations often sell out. This is another reason why you must make your plans early and book in advance.
Do plenty of research
Before you head off on your next family adventure, be sure to do plenty of research on your destination. Find out how to get to your villa, where key facilities are located, and the most convenient methods of getting around. Doing so will help you stay organised and ensure that things run smoothly once you arrive at your destination. You should also consider booking transfers in advance to save you the hassle of trying to navigate crowded public transport or having to stand in long queues to purchase shuttle tickets at the airport. You also need to decide how you’re going to get around once you get to your destination. Public transport is cheap, but it’s often far more time-consuming and not ideal when travelling with young children. Whereas taxis are convenient but can get expensive. If you’re on a budget, you should consider hiring a rental car while you’re away. This offers the ultimate freedom to go where you want, and many companies offer fantastic deals on car rentals. What’s more, you can often book a car online in advance then pick it up directly at the airport once you arrive, making this a highly convenient form of transport.
Keep the kids entertained
Keep in mind that children become bored and restless far quicker than adults. To ensure you have an enjoyable trip, it’s therefore crucial that you plan plenty of fun activities to keep the kids entertained on holiday. Variation is key – if you want to visit temples or historic sites, then pick a few of the best ones to visit before doing another activity like going to the beach or spending the afternoon at a local zoo. Always research kid-friendly attractions in the area you’re visiting to make sure there are fun things to keep your children entertained while you’re away.
Leave extra time
Remember that everything will take longer when travelling with children. For instance, checking-in at the airport, getting through security, and boarding the plane will all take more time than if you were travelling alone. For that reason, you must plan for extra time and leave early to make sure you don’t miss your flight or connection. The same applies to your itinerary while you’re on holiday. Activities and attractions will typically take longer with a family and young children, so try not to plan too much into each day. Remember that adopting a relaxed approach will help your holiday run smoothly and stop you from becoming stressed. Try to be flexible and adjust your travel plans when necessary.
Travelling with young children can be a challenge, but there are many ways to make family travel less stressful. In summary, you should reduce your travel time wherever possible, pick family-friendly accommodation, plan an itinerary and book in advance, and always leave plenty of extra time. Following these simple tips will help make travel as relaxed as possible, allowing you to enjoy your family holiday to the fullest.