With a pushchair in one hand, a half-eaten Dairylea Dunker in the other and a myriad of questions fired at you from the 3ft-tall person next to you, the relaxing holiday you wished for may seem like a million miles away.
Here we offer 14 hacks which makes travelling with young children easier for parents.
If you have a tablet device, load it up with the kids’ favourite games and television shows for the holiday. Pop the headphones in and let the kids become absorbed by the world of Peppa Pig and friends for a little while so you can site back a relax. The Play and iTunes stores have a huge selection of games which are free to choose from, many of which features kids’ favourite characters and celebrities.
Organise Your Cables – Easily
Keep all the chargers and adaptors for phones, tablets and laptops organised and easy to find by labelling them and storing in glasses cases. A separate glasses case for all the electronic items for each member of the family can help increase the level of organisation.
Schedule Travel Times Around Sleep Patterns
The last thing anyone wants when travelling is to be seated near to a cranky and crying child. Plan travel arrangements around the kids’ sleeping patterns where possible. If you are due to embark a cruise early in the morning, booking into a local hotel for the night before can save you a lot of headache!
Scan all Important Documentation
With kids (and partners) to consider, it can be easy to overlook some other important aspects of travel – such as passports and boarding tickets. Photocopy all important documents and store them separately in case you lose the original. Hand a copy of all important documents to all adults travelling in your party.
Loosen Sand with Baby Powder
If travelling with babies and young children, chances are you’ll have packed the baby powder anyway – and it provides plenty of benefits not advertised on the side of the bottle. After leaving the beach, sand stuck to the kids’ feet can irritate their skin. Simply sprinkling baby powder on the sandy body part will absorb the moisture – and sand will immediately fall off.
If you are travelling to regions with heavy tourism, visitors (on very rare occasions) may be targeted by local thieves. Hide your money, keys and passports in old, cleaned-out sunscreen bottles to mislead thieves targeting your valuables. Here is an example of a disguised sunscreen bottle.
Make a Map for Kids
Perfect for holidays where you are travelling to a few different destinations – create a fun map for kids to follow your progress. This will help kids feel more involved and at-ease. This is particularly helpful for children who do are anxious about new and unexpected experiences. Maps can be as simple as a Google printout or as extravagant as a large drawn map with local facts and wildlife checklists.
Create a Gift Tradition
Kids love tradition and familiarity almost as much as they love presents, so combine the both in a gift tradition. Collectible toys such as replica cruise ships are fun reminders for kids and something extra for them to look forward to when you are booking holidays in the future.
Get a Tottoo
Designed especially for kids on holiday and new places, Tottoos are customisable, washable temporary tattoos. Customise the message on the Tottoo sharing important contact or medical information in case your child goes missing so somebody knows how to safely return them to you. Particularly useful for toddlers prone to wandering off.
Pack the Night Light
If your child still sleeps with a night light, it may be advisable to pack it with you. Sleeping in a new place or country can be stressful enough for children – so a reassuring light can help ease the children to sleep on the first night.
Avoid upsets and plan changes by booking everything well in advance. From hotel rooms, plane seats and cruise cabins to tables in restaurants, try and remove the risk of unwanted disruptions by being incredibly organised.
Online tools such as TripAdvisor can help you research the best kid-friendly places to visit in a destination. This simple site is ideal if you are taking a cruise with the kids and visiting a number of different ports along the way and want to find places to entertain the kids.
Stock Up on Liquids
Unfortunately delays and cancellations can occur when holidaying. If you are subjected to such misfortune, make sure the kids don’t suffer from dehydration or discomfort by making sure you always have extra soft drinks and bottles of water to share.
Phone for Extras
When holidaying with children, many holiday companies will offer incentives such as first child travels free when accompanied by an adult. Phoning an agent can help you find the best family-friendly deals available. To speak to a Cruise1st agent and discover all our great deals, simply give us a ring on 0808 274 6777.
Images sourced via Pinterest. Credits: Lego Gizmodo