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Going abroad with our children is an exciting adventure. Some of us do it for the first time when our kids are very young, perhaps even babies. Others decide to wait until they are older. Some, of course, never do it, preferring to enjoy all that their home country has to offer while saving money on much cheaper options. Whenever you do it, a family holiday can be a magical experience, as well as a great way to spend time together away from all other distractions, and while you could argue that there’s something more glorious about seeing somewhere further from home, it’s also safe to say that there’s more stress involved.
When we go abroad with kids, there’s a lot to think about, whether they are babies or teens. You might worry about keeping them happy and comfortable on the flight, finding food that they’ll enjoy, and keeping them safe. You may also have concerns about buying everything that you might need at your destination. So, here are some tips to help you enjoy your first family trip outside of your home country.
At the moment, finding a safe destination has a whole other range of concerns. You might want to check current Covid-19 infection levels and local restrictions, as well as the likelihood of facing a period in quarantine either when you arrive or when you get home. Many families are choosing to delay trips abroad until next year when the rest of the tips on this list will still be relevant.
Of course, even without a global pandemic, there are other safety considerations when traveling abroad, and you should always take your time to do some research before booking. Find a safe area, with positive reviews, and good access to health and security services, and consider staying in an English-speaking hotel for further support. Checking local news sites is always a good idea if you want to get a feel for how safe a destination is, away from the ever-positive travel guides and adverts.
The accommodation that you choose should be family-friendly. Ideally, it should offer a kid’s club (even if you don’t use it, it’s a sign that they prioritize kid’s needs), a safe pool, a room with an extra bed, or cot and other things that you might need. Make sure your hotel offers food that your children will enjoy, and that there’s plenty for them to do.
Besides this, check if the location offers you to safeguard your luggage or not. For instance – places like Paris offer you the liberty of securing your luggage with luggage storage Paris services while you enjoy traveling. Seek details about such services from your travel agent in advance.
A holiday with children isn’t the same as a holiday with just your partner or your friends. It isn’t even the same as a trip with family members who have children. It’s different. But that doesn’t mean that all family holidays are the same. Before booking your trip, think about what you want from yours. Do you want to spend a lot of time in the hotel, enjoying the facilities on offer? Do you plan to try local activities, or explore the surrounding area? Do you want plenty of tourist hotspots? Think about the kind of holiday you want and look for a destination that gives you what you need to achieve your family holiday.
Your days of being able to lay by the beach soaking up the sun, drinking cocktails, and reading in peace are over. So are your days exploring local nightlife? Prepare for a very different holiday and you won’t be disappointed.
When you are on your own you might wing it by packing your Emigre gear, knowing that you could probably get everything you need or at least something close to your destination. When you’ve got kids, things are different. They might need specific medications or sunscreens. You might also need nappies, creams, and wipes, and they’ll certainly need a sunhat and shades. Think about what your kids need, and make sure you pack them. If there’s no laundrette on site, you might want to take some hand wash detergent to prepare for accidents. Make sure you have all of these Travel Essentials for Family Getaways and you should be fine.
Your kids might need some home comforts to help them to stay comfortable and sleep. Younger children might want a teddy or blanket. Older kids might want a favorite toy, and teens probably just need a phone charger.
When you travel with kids’ insurance can be essential. Make sure any health needs, unexpected cancelations, or other issues are covered.
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Traveling with children can be stressful, and you’ll definitely need your holiday by the time you arrive. You might decide to drive, but most people fly, in which case, these tips might help.
Your hand luggage is very important when you’ve got kids. Make sure passports, tickets, and other documents are easy to find, that you have the cash to hand, and plenty of snacks for the journey. You’ll also want some activities to keep the kids happy, and any nappies and toiletries that you might need, and a spare set of clothes, just in case. Remember, if you are paying for a seat for your child, they also get their own hand luggage allowance.
Kids have very short attention spans, add that to the excitement of a flight, anxiety, and any nerves that they may have, and keeping them calm might be difficult. So, plan activities in 20-minute blocks. Pack books and games, as well as electronic devices to keep them occupied.
Snacks are a very useful tool when it comes to keeping kids happy. But, think about it carefully. You don’t want anything too sticky, too smelly, or too likely to make them hyper or sick.
If you stress and worry, everything will be worse. Keep calm, take it as it comes, and try to enjoy yourself.
Many airlines will let passengers with young children get on the plane first. This can be a mistake. Let them burn energy running around the airport for as long as you can before they have to sit still.
Make sure you know what you are allowed to take on the flight, and what has to go in the cabin bag. Check with the airline before leaving home if you have any doubts.
Your holiday is unlikely to be perfect. Things will go wrong, there will be stress and the kids will get upset. This doesn’t mean that the whole holiday is ruined. Forget perfection and let yourself enjoy the adventure.
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