It's nearly Summer Holiday time! In readiness, One Mama's Kingdom gives us her top travel tips for a stress-free holiday with the family.
We all know the feeling when you finally arrive at your destination with all your luggage with you and you sit down on the lounger with your first beverage of the holiday in hand. It tastes like liquid heaven and you breathe out a long sigh. Pure bliss. …This, however, seems to change slightly now kids are involved. I can barely think about the destination as my brain whirs in the early hours weeks before our holiday, programmed to think about whether we have enough food, clothes, sleepwear, toys, medicine, sun cream. Should I take the steriliser? Will everything fit in the car? What baby food can I take with me on the plane? What’s the best mosquito deterrent to use on the kids? All I can think about is the baby, and if I have enough knickers to see me through and have remembered my swimming costume then it’s a win!
I hope this blog helps those of you who, like me, like to plan for every eventuality, but hate the burden of carrying lots of bags and just want a zen experience when travelling with children. Here’s to a happy, enjoyable and hopefully a stress-free holiday!
My top travel tips
Be organised – this is essential if you want to remain smiley, just at your own smugness if nothing else, for not having to empty all the contents of your bag out for the dummy. My advice is get a rucksack. The best part of travelling with a rucksack is there are compartments in the bag perfect for baby things such as: nappies, bottles, toys and you can see everything with one opening of the zip and it allows you to be super organised. You will know exactly where to go to reach little one’s favourite snack without breaking a sweat! See?!.... calm and serene travel
Some great options include:
Go hands-free – when travelling on your own, this is a must and also helps when you need to hold little hands. The bum bag is your friend and you can find some cool ones out there so don’t be put off. You can access the main essentials: keys, money, phone and passports, car park ticket with the pull of a zip and they will always be close by and accessible even if you have a baby on your hip. The bonus is you can use this on holiday too!
Pack a bag- within a bag. I take a little foldable rucksack because trust me, you won’t want to carry a big nappy bag around on holiday with you. It also gives you permission to take only the bare necessities and put it on or under the buggy without feeling like you are packing the world for a quick stroll around the market!
Also, Dad friendly so Dad’s can pick it up and go!
Take toys and books – when travelling with any children, one should always provide entertainment; for some it could be the trusty iPad, for others it might be a good old colouring book and crayons. For littlies, I suggest small things to chew and a book to read. But what I found recently is genius…Games in tins – they encourage a child’s imagination and are very portable. I found a farm in a tin from notonthehighstreet.com but others are available. Whatever you decide, make sure it is accessible and age appropriate. You will thank me. Oh, and take spares for the nights you might be out…new toys/activities will give you, at the very least, 30 minutes of extra quite time and kudos! This is one of my favs, LEGO in a tin!
Find Substitutes abroad – I found an amazing website that helps you know what to buy for your babies when you arrive at your destination. It gives you the names of brands you might use at home and tells you the equivalent of what to buy on your hols. By buying abroad it will give you heaps more space in your bags and will stop mamas like me worrying about what to get in the super market when faced with a mix of foreign options. I bought nappies and milk. check out babies abroad
Smuggle your scent – babies like to smell you and smell things from home so make sure you pack his/her favourite blanket, cuddle toy and a few other familiar things like his/her dummy, toys books or anything you think might make little one feel secure. Sometimes, even a piece of clothing that smells like you could work. It also helps to have an opaque blanket that you can use to block out the horrible strip lighting and subdue the other stimuli on the plane.
Ask for help –getting bags and pushchair off the bag carousel whilst holding a baby is not easy. FACT. Nor is it ideal when you are trying to keep your brood close. So, be gracious and accept help if you need to. There are nice people out there, I promise.
I love a good tan as much as the next sun worshipper but from an early age, I was told to always wear sun cream and reapply it every half an hour. I have stuck to this and want to make sure my kids are aware too of the harm the suns rays can do to our skin. Our little ones have the most precious skin of all so here are a couple of sun creams I would recommend.
My top 3 sun lotions for your babes - Remember you should buy new sun cream annually
You’ve got this mama!
Aimee is the author and founder of ‘One Mama’s Kingdom’, a blog all about getting out and about with your little ones and includes a range of topics associated with motherhood. Being a Primary School Teacher she is bursting with creativity and can generally be found crafting something out of recycled materials after dark. She is very passionate about mindfulness and well-being with hopes to inspire and educate the next generation; through sharing the importance of a balanced body and mind. Her happy place is on her yoga mat or anywhere in nature. Thankfully living in Dorset, Aimee is never short of amazing places to explore with her family.