We’ve all been there at the airport: screaming, crying and throwing all our toys out of the pram…not to mention what the kids are up to. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. You can plan for a much smoother operation whether it’s chilling out on the beach or pottering around the countryside together, all with your kids on side. Here’s a round-up of tips and essentials for family fun away from home.
First up, from the distance you travel to the temperature and time, your kids’ needs kids will vary. One thing that you can count on, regardless of your situation, is a check list. Sounds ridiculous but, with a million things to do, it’s easy to let your child’s favourite toy slip your mind. So whether you prefer things the old fashion way or in spreadsheet format, make a list and cross check it before you go and return. (I’ve got a lovely downloadable one just here). This can cover all the essentials with separate columns for toiletries, clothes and your own necessities. Who said being organised was uncool, especially in sunnier weather?
If you were keen walkers BC (before children), then you don’t need to sacrifice that, but you do need to compromise. Pick your route in line with what’s achievable for your kids and plan breaks to keep them entertained. Before you leave make sure they’ve been properly fitted for their walking boots and that they’re broken in. Blisters aren’t your friend, so make sure they’re comfortable. You also need to think about the climate and keeping dry while you’re walking. Try browsing the range at Tesco for a suitable walking jacket. Depending on your climate, walking jackets should be both waterproof and breathable to avoid overheating and getting soaked during any down pour. So whether it’s tackling Santiago’s Way or bagging a Munro in Scotland, you’ve come prepared.
If the sun does come out, if you’re venturing out on a sunbed holiday, it can be a nightmare if your terrible two is on the receiving end of too much sun. Pack several sun lotions in a range of factors. Got a water baby on your hands? Opt for a waterproof number to avoid any sneaky rays catching them in the pool. Similarly, you should also come prepared with cover ups to keep them out of sun strokes’ way. Think hats for their heads and a pop-up umbrella by the pool or beach so that they can keep their cool. For more active holidays, there are a few extra items to keep in mind.
On a day-to-day basis it’s never a bad idea to carry plenty of snacks and games, which come in handy for pacifying your little ones while you delve into attractions that might not be up their street. This can be anything from an old school ping pong set to an iPad. Technology can keep kids entertained for hours while they switch between apps and take photos. Just make sure you turn off in-app purchases to avoid a nasty bill. You can also keep them involved by giving each of your children a little backpack full of their favourite things. This makes them feel in control with easy access to their toys.
So there you have it. Holidaying as a family doesn’t need to be a nightmare. Plan ahead and pack with the climate and their needs in mind, and the world’s your oyster.