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Holidaying With Children: Top Tips From Parents

Whether it’s venturing out of the country or to somewhere in the UK, going on holiday with your children should be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences. It should be something that you’ll remember for a lifetime, but if you don’t prepare adequately it can turn out to be an absolute nightmare.

Nobody knows this better than parents themselves. For this reason, we have taken the time to get in touch with some leading bloggers in the parenting niche and ask them what their top tips are for holidaying with their children. As you’ll soon find out, there’s plenty of advice to digest and if you can at least take some of it on board, you and your little ones should be set for a great time away this summer. Here goes…



Susan Mann from SusanKMann.com says...

My tips for travelling would be take snacks and drinks, they can add up to be quite expensive when buying them away. Travelling, colouring books and portable DVD player and games consoles are good to help with older kids. For babies I recommend blackout blinds, there is a great portable one you can get.



Mari Whooley from Mari's World says...

My top tips for travelling with small children are:

1. Always keep a pad of paper and a few small crayons in your handbag as they can be very handy in all sorts of situations.

2. Keep refillable water bottles with you (empty them to pass through passport control and fill them up again in duty free) the bottles can be used throughout journeys and days out.
3. Dress kids in layers so it's easy to take off and put on as needed.



Laura Hitchcock from Little Stuff says...

1. Pack them a travel bag for car journeys – make sure it has a new notepad, new pencils (NOT crayons they melt when left in hot cars!), stickers, a few small toys such as cars, ponies, Playmobil, and some new reading books. Also an MP3 player loaded with storybooks and songs, and a flask of water.

2. Old fashioned car games have stuck around for so long because they are actually fun. I Spy never gets old, of course. We also play ‘First to spot…’: we all choose something to see, and it’s simply the first one to spot something on the list (red tractor, lady in a hat, blue door, yellow flower…) . They replace it with something else, and the game goes on – it’s more fun with a list of 5 or 6 things to spot at once.

3. Be prepared. Any journey can hit delays, so be prepared for them. Have a supply of water, snacks and fresh small toys for when tired and irritated small people start to get fractious.

4. Audio books are your friend. Really good children’s stories are excellent for grown ups too. On long holiday car journeys we’ve loved listening to the early Harry Potters, the Muddle Earth books, the Jiggy McCue series… Listening to a great story that is well-read will eat up the miles and the boredom on a motorway.



Katie Ellison from Mummy Daddy Me says...

My top tip for travelling with children would be 'Just try and relax. They are often in a strange environment- routines go out the window, the food is not what they are used to, the sleeping arrangements are different etc, but the more relaxed and laid back you are, the more laid back the holiday will be.



Emma Garratt from The Mini Mes And Me says...

It's quite common for little ones to get bumps and bruises while exploring new places so make sure you don't leave home without a first aid kit. Ensure you have the basics like plasters and bandages but also stock up on Calpol, repellents and allergy treatments as it may be hard to find these while in another country.



Amanda Cottingham from The Ana Mum Diary says...

I think one of my top tips is a kids travel journal. To make a journal for children to write or draw about their travels is so useful. It keeps them entertained, but they can also bring it to school for show and tell once they are back. Older children can decorate it themselves, and write stories about their holiday, whilst younger children can collect things from their trip and draw pictures.



Claire Walsh from Being A Mummy says...

As a mum of three I’d say the best thing for going on holiday with young children we have bought is a beach tent. It’s the one item which we have used time and time again and was well worth the investment. I'd also say that the best holidays we have had have been within a couple of hours drive from home as there is no fuss in the car going or coming home!



Clare Nicholas from Emmys Mummy says...

My top tips are:

1. Pre-book cots, bed guards and highchairs if needed. There is nothing like being unprepared for dinner/bed when you arrive with tired children.

2. Send toiletries such as nappies and wipes, shampoos etc ahead of your trip to save some space in your bags.

3. ALWAYS take Calpol and a thermometer with you. They will always be ill on holiday.



Emma Button from Mellow Mummy says...

My main tip for parents travelling with young children is to pack light. You'll need your hands free for chasing after escapee toddlers so in my experience, it pays to take as little luggage as possible. Try and do a bit of research beforehand to find out what baby/toddler/preschool products you can buy locally at your destination so that you don't need to pack so many essentials. Think hard about whether you really need to take a pushchair with you - we travelled recently with a 22 month old and made the decision not to take the buggy and it made travelling so much easier with one less thing to lug about with us when boarding a plane.



Chrissie Saunders from Mediocre Mum says...

This has probably already been covered. We fly to Canada every summer to see family and it's a 10 hour flight. Our daughter is now 6 and an iPad fully loaded with games, movies and books plus a set of headphones is a must. It drastically reduces the amount of carry on luggage. You may also consider an additional power source like a Power Monkey.



Mirka Moore from All Baby Advice Blog says...

One of my top tips is to make sure you have spare clothes not only for your little one, but for yourself too. I will never forget when I was flying with my little one and she vomited all over me, and I had to stay in it for the whole flight... that has taught me a lesson ;)



Becky Gower from The Mummy Adventure says...

A Trunki has been priceless for travelling with a toddler. Not only is it a great way to get them around the airport when their little legs get tired, but we let our little one pack his favourite toys, books and puzzles in there to keep him entertained on the plane and during the quiet times on our break. We popped a blanket in there too just in case.



Jennifer Bath from Mum Of One says...

My top tip would be not to forget either a thermometer or Calpol. Nothing worse than your child feeling ill in a country where you may struggle with the language.



Anna Marikar from In The Playroom says...

My tips are to pack plenty of things to keep them entertained, both while travelling and while on holiday. My kids wake up very early as they are excited so something quiet to keep them amused in the early mornings is a real necessity! Colouring books or even a small set of Duplo work really well for this.



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