Well if you’re off on your hols I am VERY jealous – we were supposed to be off to Florida next week for our first trip to Disney World with the kids but well that’s not happening now! Anyway, we’ve been lucky enough to take our little ones abroad a few times during the last few years and have shared some tips across the blog so I thought I’d collate them in one place for you.
If you think you’ll need it, take it.
Especially if you have a little one and are going to another country. Most airlines will at least increase your allowance a little even if you’re travelling with baby on your lap and it’ll give you piece of mind knowing that you have everything you need.
So I believe most airports have a Boots airside (the other side of security) so make the most of them. As well as being stocked with nappies, formula and other essentials you can pre-order on their website and collect from the departure lounge. This means you don’t need to worry about those extra nappies or tubs of formula adding to your baggage allowance – all the more space for all those holiday clothes! Simply shop online as normal and select the Boots store at the airport you’re travelling from. IMPORTANT: Leave plenty of time to collect your items, most stores are busy and you will need to wait in the usual queue.
Keep them cool.
Our first holiday when my eldest was five was to Spain in the middle of August. It was BOILING! Luckily we’d brought a DreamBaby fan that handily clips onto a pushchair, car seat, cot, highchair, table… you get the idea! It has foam blades so there’s no chance to hurting baby or toddler and it is pretty powerful. TIP: Stock up on batteries, you’ll fly through them but it’s well worth it. Also be prepared to be stopped every few metres to be asked where you got the fan from!
Surviving without the Perfect Prep.
If you’re using the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine you’ll know just how brilliant it is. Our first holiday filled me with terror as the thought of living without it for two weeks was awful and with a very hungry baby I was going to have to take out a small loan to be able to stock up on enough readymade bottles. Instead we devised a system, requesting an extra kettle at our hotel reception to ensure that we always had one kettle full of boiling hot water and another with cooled boiled water. It wasn’t perfect but definitely helped.
Take a good pushchair.
We used to have a travel system (Silver Cross Surf 2 – totally recommended) but I knew it’d be too big and bulky to take away with us therefore I invested in a pushchair to take away. Things to think about… how easy is it to fold up? You’ll be collapsing and erecting the pushchair loads at the airport, usually whilst holding baby and trying to find your passport. Does it fully recline? Super important for those naptimes and late nights. Does it have an extendable sun shade? If you’re in the heat with high UV rays it’s totally essential. What kind of storage basket does it have? We all know that even a simple trip down the road needs at least a bag and a half of things!
Buying the Chicco Pocket Snack Booster Seat was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made during our time as parents so far. It’s portable (and able to fit in most pushchair baskets), easy to keep clean and able to be strapped onto most chairs making it perfect for dining out. I’ve always been a bit concerned about how clean highchairs actually are so being able to take our own out-and-about with us was a huge relief.
Don’t board the plane first.
Most airlines will allow families to board the plane first, don’t. Instead hold fire a little and let your little one get those last few moments of being able to run around before you’re on the plane.
Plan the journey.
So when we travel on the plane I try and split the journey up by every 30 minutes to plan things to keep the little ones entertained. I tend to stock up on little crafting bits and games from Tiger, Argos and Poundland and have them on hand for whenever the kids get bored. LEGO is always a winner too. TIP: Wrap the items up in wrapping paper so they have something to unwrap, it’s all very exciting!
Book a transfer.
If you don’t have a transfer booked when you arrive at your destination airport then definitely think about pre-booking a taxi to ensure that you have a car seat available.
Yes holidays are different with kids but hopefully you’ll still get to relax, enjoy and unwind. Throw the routine out of the window and don’t stress too much about screen time.