Just because you have a family, it shouldn’t limit your travel options. In fact, there are loads of families who constantly travel the world, and it seems to work just fine for them. Here is what I’ve learnt from them and my own travelling experiences with kids.
The first step is to get them in the habit of travel. The more that the little ones get used to travelling, the easier it will be for them. If you can’t afford to travel abroad all the time, go on day trips. Stay with friends or family so they get used to not sleeping in their own bed.
Cook dishes from the country you will be visiting so they get into the habit of eating the local style food. If you expose them to all these new experiences when they are young, they will grow up with wanderlust and find travelling a breeze.
The next step to getting your kids ready for their holidays is to get them involved from the beginning.
Children learn about all sorts of places at school, so they may even have an idea of where they would like to go.
Even if you pick the location, show them the types of activities on offer there and ask them what they would like to do. You could even make it into an arts and crafts activity.
Get some travel brochures of the place that you are going to and getting the kids to cut and paste the things they like the look of.
An essential step when taking the kids on holiday is to prepare for both the expected and unexpected. For example, if you know that your little ones get car sick, make sure that you have their bands and medication. Schedule in frequent stops too, so they are as comfortable as possible.
Preparing for the unexpected is not so easy, but there are a few things you can do. Firstly make sure that you have your euro health card with you. Whilst the UK is still a member of the EU this will entitle you, as UK citizens, to free or discounted emergency medical care in the EU.
Of course, when the UK leaves the EU following Brexit, the validity of these may be in doubt but travel expert Simon Calder advises that before joining the EEC, the UK had reciprocal health agreements with many European nations and it is likely that a similar range of deals will be put in place. You need to check before you go.
It’s also useful to take an emergency first aid kit for less serious incidents. This should contain plasters, antiseptic and ibuprofen, as well as after sun and diarrhoea powders. It’s always better to have this stuff and not need it, rather than need it and not have it. You don’t want to spend your time away trying to find a chemist in an unfamiliar place.
Stick to your routine
The next step to successful travel with kids is to help them to stay in their routine as much as possible. Children can become cranky easier if they don’t eat and sleep at their normal times. Try and keep to their regular schedule as much as you can.
If you know you will want to stay out later in the evenings, get them into the routine of having a longer, later nap for a few weeks before you go.
What tips would you add for a stress-free holiday with the kids?