Whether you’re travelling to a hotel near Queensway Station or going hundreds of miles away to holiday in a far-distant country, taking the kids away from home for the first time can be a tricky experience. Striking a balance is easier said than done and many a parent has cursed under their breath for not taking the mission seriously enough beforehand.
To help you avoid regrets and make sure that everyone involved has a really ace time, why not take a look at our top tips below? That way, you can be certain of standing the best chance of having a holiday to remember for the right reasons.
Designing the holiday
Travelling with children is no picnic and you’re going to want to start taking into account all the extra items and care you’re going to need to apply when travelling with them from the very beginning. Design your holiday around your entire family – not just the things that you and your significant other want to do – and ensure there are plenty of additional touches added especially for the kids. Your choices need to be based on everyone in the family.
Once you know where you’re going, you can start the all-essential packing process. This is a particularly exciting activity for your child so try to get them involved. If they’re old enough, give them a list of items to pack and help them tick everything off. Try to be understanding – at certain ages, it’s harder to leave some toys behind than others, even for a week. But at the same time, if there really is no way you can pack the giant blue teddybear in the hand luggage, then accepting that is all part of growing up.
Take your time
It’s worth factoring in extra time for each stage of the journey if you’re travelling with kids. Follow the instructions and actually get to the airport two hours before your flight for once. Toddlers in particular love to observe new surroundings so give them time to explore. You’ll also be grateful for the extra time in case you need an emergency nappy change, or if a similar situation arises.
Give them their own camera
Encourage the kids to take an interest in the family holiday by giving them their very own camera, which they can use to hone their photography skills and create some lasting memories of the trip. Disposable models are obviously the best bet for those kids who like to see what happens to electrical objects when they’re submerged in deep water.
Check the passports
Unlike adult passports, children’s passports only last five years, and seem to have a habit of running out just as you’re about to go on holiday. Check the expiration dates as soon as possible – it often takes more than a month to get hold of new documents if you’re using the standard service and the priority system costs significantly more.
Involve the older kids
Keeping the young ones interested is not a problem – the whole world is new to them, after all, so they’re bound to be fascinated when you go on holiday. Keeping teenagers engaged can be another matter, however, so get a headstart and ask them if there’s anything specific they want to do. You might be surprised to learn the answer is something other than spending all day on the internet.
Make sure the hotel is child friendly
Some hotels are far more child friendly than others and it’s well worth doing your research beforehand. You want to ensure the entire holiday is a hit for everyone, not just the time spent outside of the hotel. Check to see if the venue boasts any special additions for the kids – some advertise special treats such as ice cream sundaes in the kitchens and the opportunity to see how the hotel works behind the scenes. The restaurant is another factor that needs to be taken into consideration, since if you’re intending to use it, you’ll want to make sure it has children’s menus. Other thoughtful additions might include a DVD player to keep them occupied.
Above all, enjoy yourself!
Going on holiday as a family is one of the most special activities you can do. Aside from being prepared, the best way to make sure everyone has a good time is to relax and enjoy it yourself rather than getting stressed. Go on – you’re on holiday!