Thursday 13 September 2018

Preparing for a Holiday with Kids - Our Top Tips!

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The summer holidays might be over but that doesn't mean the end of the sun or the holidays! For lots of people now is the perfect chance to grab a cheap holiday and catch a final bit of sun before the winter comes!

Last year we definitely made the most of Evelyn's final year in pre-school and went on several holidays during term time for a cheaper (and quieter!) holiday before she started school and we could have been faced with the possibility of a fine!

Planning for a holiday with kids is a whole new ball game though than when traveling alone! It takes patience, planning and lots of snacks! But all jokes aside it can be a stressful time and so I wanted to share some of our top tips for preparing for a holiday with kids and how to make it as stress free as possible!

Pack more than you think you need! - I remember the days before kids when I could pack everything, I needed into one school suitcase for a week away and have space. However now we travel as a family, and I am packing for two small children I know this means taking extra!

When you think holiday you think sea, sand, ice creams and possibly mud and dirt. It can be a messy but fun business and I always pack at least two outfits a day for the kids so they can be as carefree and messy as they like as I know I have spare packed.

Travel Insurance - Travel insurance can be a definite essential especially if you are planning on traveling abroad. It doesn't bare thinking about anyone getting poorly on holiday but to then be faced with a huge bill can make a bad situation even worse!

Having travel insurance can give everyone peace of mind and for just a small payment your whole family can be covered for a whole host of problems and illness. I would really recommend making sure you do this once your holiday if booked so you aren't left stressing about it a few days before you are due to go. You can check Bupa's site to find out how they can help with a variety of different travel options to keep you and your family safe whilst on holiday. Its quick, easy and hassle free.

Pack smart - When it comes to packing, I get so fed up I end up just trying to squeeze every item of clothing I can grab into the suitcase just to get it done. However, I always instantly regret this once I get to our holiday destination!

It definitely pays to spend a little more time packing to save time once to get on holiday. For the kids I now purchase A4 size zip lock bags and place a complete outfit in each one (top, trousers, pants, socks etc) and then write in black marker pen what is inside the bag. I can then take the individual bags once on holiday and place them inside the cupboard or wardrobe. This means that each morning the kids can just grab a bag and know they have a full outfit! It means less stress on holiday and more space in the suitcase!

Allow plenty of time for any journey - Anyone who has children will know the idea of getting somewhere quickly is now just a distant dream! In our house as soon as we need to be somewhere or leave on time for a holiday the kids have lost a shoe, need the toilet or must change their clothes!

There is nothing worse than arriving on holiday late, stressed and frazzled so work out how long your journey will take, keep an eye on travel and traffic updates (there are lots of apps you can use for this) and leave more time than you think you will need, especially if you are tied to being a flight or ferry on time!

Travel boredom pack - These are especially useful for long plane or car journeys and you can make them however you please. I usually make mine up in a kids size small backpack that the kids can carry themselves.

Inside I include things such as books, colouring pens/book, travel games, headphones, tablet or handheld games console with preloaded games, snacks and an eye mask and travel pillow in case they want a sleep on the journey.

I also asked some fellow bloggers for their top tips and here are some of my favourites that they shared …

Lyndsey from Me, Him the dog and a Baby - Reading books about planes and airports can really help prepare children when they haven't flown before. 

Kate from Kate Lili - Take sleep masks for you and your older children in case the room or place you’re staying in is really bright in the mornings. For little ones, when I took my son (2) on his first flight I packed some sugar free chuppa chups lollies for the take off & landing. He was fine with his ears but it was such a novelty it occupied him for ages.

Pete from Household money savingDownload their favourite movie or TV program to a tablet/phone. It can be a real lifesaver when times get tough! 

** To add to Pete's comment above I also found downloading Amazon Fire for kids and Netflix for shows and movies on the tablets a godsend too! They do carry a subscription fee though but its only a few pounds month and so worth it in our opinion! **

Lisa from Travel Loving FamilyShow children on a world map where they are going. Get older kids involved in the travel arrangements. Talk to them about the language spoken, local foods, local traditions. My eldest son 7 loves doing some research on the places we are going on holiday and genuinely gets excited when he hears the local lingo/eats the local food.

If you are looking for more outdoor activities with the kids? Check out these tips. Do you have any to share? If so please do comment below as I would love to hear them. 


**This is a collaborative post with Bupa travel insurance. However all words and opinions are my own. I retain full control of this post.**

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