Holidaying with small children is really rewarding. Here are a few tried and tested holiday hacks to help you with your planning or packing.
When travelling with children, especially babies, you can be sure you will need to do some sort of washing whilst your away. Whether it’s smudged ketchup on a t-shirt from dinner or the aftermath of a dramatic poonami-tsunmai, you’ll more than likely want to get it sorted so you don’t have to deal with a bag full of stained clothes when you get home.
I always take 100mls of non-bio washing detergent and 100mls of conditioner in hand luggage liquids bottles. You can get a pack of 3, plus a funnel and small pot for £1 in Primark and it’s so useful for on the go or emergency washing.
I ALWAYS accompany this with a bar of Vanish and then i’m ready to deal with whatever those kids throw at me….or down me….or down each other…or themselves…
2. Put the Baby to Bed in the Pushchair
If you’re travelling with a small baby and want to go out to dinner, put the baby to bed as normal in their pram and then you are free to enjoy your evening with them happy and snuggled up right next to you. This wont last forever, so take advantage of it if you can.
3. Restaurant with a Bench Seat
When we went out to dinner with our three year old in Bulgaria, we tried to look for somewhere that had booths or bench seats. Once she had eaten and it was time to go to bed, instead of leaving we simply laid her down on the seat and let her go to sleep whilst holding her legs or having her head on our laps. She was happy as she was asleep and we were free to enjoy a little more of the evening.
4. Baby Bag
I still carry a baby bag with me everywhere I go and I seem to have just as much in there for the big one as I do for the baby. When waiting around for dinner, or waiting in line for an attraction take something to keep the kids entertained like a colouring book with pencils, a small book you can read together, a sheet of stickers and snacks like a pot of raisins. Any of this will simply take their mind of the fact that they are waiting for something else.
** Extra hack – make your own colouring books from the internet. We usually make books with pictures of her favourite TV shows. At the moment that’s Masha and the Bear and any type of Disney princess! You can also make this any size you like, with as many pages as you like.
5. Games That Make You Think
This summer we took some games rather than just toys for our three year old and it was a really good addition to downtime. It allowed us all to get involved and the time flew! Guess Who is a good first game to play and learn together and is available in small travel sized editions.
If your little munchkin has a scooter at home, take it on holiday. We don’t have a boogie board for our buggy so this is ideal and saves our backs and shoulders from endless carries. It’s also something they can play with at the park or walking the promenade, for example, whilst you’re away. So good!
7. Indoor Pool
If you’re booking a holiday in Europe out of season, for example in the Easter or October holidays, think about the weather and whether it would be worth booking a hotel with an indoor pool. It’s a great option to have if the weather isn’t great or the outdoor pools are a little too chilly for the little ones.
There’s no getting away from it. An iPad can be really helpful when travelling and lets face it, it wont be long till our kids know how to use it better than we do. The CBeebies app and downloads is great and so easy to use.
I know not all of these will apply to everyone as people and kids aren’t generic. However, I hope you find it useful or use it to start thinking about some of your own holiday hacks.