If like many of us you are someone who is dubious about the chances of a long and beautifully sunny British summer you may well be planning to catch your rays somewhere warmer this year. Travelling anywhere takes organisation; travelling with baby or toddler abroad however requires something else altogether.
We’ve put together some points to consider and handy hints and hips to help you make the most of your holiday.
If you haven’t travelled with a little one before now remember that they are no longer allowed to travel on their parent’s passports, instead needing their own. Ensure that you apply for these well in advance so that they arrive in good time. Our post on passports for babies and children may help.
Keeping Little Ones Occupied
Plane journeys can be difficult as you find yourself trying to entertain, feed and soothe little ones in the minimum amount of space while trying not to disturb other passengers. Firstly, don’t worry about the latter as you will certainly not be the first parents to fly or travel with young children. You should also find that airline staff are happy to help where needed.
Take a range of easy to carry books and activities to keep little ones occupied, snacks and more.
Check how much space your baby will have so that you will be able to ensure that if you plan to take them in their own car/travel seat that there will space (this can help little ones to settle and sleep as they are used to the familiar feel and smell).
You probably don’t want to take your five hundred (or more) pound buggy system abroad with you. Consider for toddlers purchasing a cheap and cheerful folding umbrella that you can take with you and a sling or baby carrier.
Some hotels and holiday companies allow you to hire pushchairs and the like in advance to have them ready and waiting for you when you arrive. Check this out when booking.
Be Sun Safe
An obvious one but worth mentioning. Keeping little ones cool and protected from the sun at home is important. When visiting other climates where the heat is more intense and you are likely to spend more time out and about extra planning is required.
Make sure that you buy an appropriate factor of sun cream for little ones (and reapply as necessary), encourage extra hydration, employ sunhats and keep delicate skin in the shade whenever possible.
Sand abroad can be quite hot on naked feet and so make sure that little ones have suitable shoes or have a fold up playpen, a rug or similar they may play on comfortably.
Insect bites can quickly turn a fun holiday in a miserable time, especially for little ones. Talk to your pharmacist / staff at your local chemist to find out the best repellent to use for maximum protection on delicate skin.
Beware The Glare
Some children might benefit from the additional protection that baby / toddler sunglasses provide. Look for those with a comfortable and breathable strap as opposed to ones that hook over the ears as these are more like to stay on!
For keeping little ones in the shade whether they are on the go or on the beach one company which offers a number of solutions is SnoozeShade and might be worth a look at.
It is essential that you choose accommodation that is suitable for the whole family. One company specialising in holiday accommodation which is suitable for little ones is tots2travel, and their website offers a wealth of information on what made an accommodation safe for little ones. They vet all of the properties they offer to families to ensure they are absolutely safe and geared towards family holidays. Whether you choose to book via them is up to you however either way they certainly offer excellent advice.
Things to consider include barriers around pools, a child safe apartment, secure windows and balconies, electronics and more. We loved this pool on a recent holiday as it had a good sized area for all the toddlers to play safely away from the large pool.
Regardless of where you stay it is advised to bring some creature comforts for times such as bedtime so that you may replicate the usual bedtime routine as closely as possible. Own sheets (that smell of home), favourite stories and teddies all create a sense of familiarity which helps when trying to settle a tired little one away from home.
Do comment with your tried and tested hints and tips for travelling with baby or a toddler.