Since we became a family of four; a year ago, we have been away a lot for weekend breaks and a couple of week long UK holidays. We haven’t travelled abroad yet because (Im not brave enough!)I don’t fancy paying lots until the kids are old enough to remember it. I do love a getaway though so we have got it down to a fine art. Don’t be scared to travel with the kids they are suprisingly adaptable! The packing, the travelling, the sleeping arrangements I have it covered so here is my easy guide!
• Sleeping arrangements. Most hotels and even some holiday parks offer travel cots in the rooms. We try to take our own travel cot and the babys matress from her own cot with us if we have the space as they always sleep so mucb better. If this isn’t an option then take as many of the babys blankets as you can to pad out the travel cot and make it as comfy for baby as possible. If you have a toddler then check if they can provide a bed guard. If not we push the beds together, we have all slept together on occassion or push a bed up against the wall and layer the floor next to it with pillows incase they roll out! Most obstacles in terms of sleeping arrangements can be overcome. Take all the kids comforters and their own pillow.
• Take a travel blackout blind they are lifesavers especially in caravans and lodges that have flimsy curtains.
• Take a nightlight if your wee one is used to having one, and don’t forget the baby monitor it is handy in lodges/caravans.
•Don’t worry about sticking ridgidly to your usual routine! It won’t cause a catastrophe and upset their sleeping forever. Stick to the basics as much as you can and try to either arrange to have them back at your accommodation, in the car or else somewhere they can be in the buggy for their nap times. No point having cranky babies! Try and get them to nap later in the afternoon if you want to go out for dinner then they aren’t as grumpy. We always give a later afternoon snack if we are going to go out for dinner at half five. Can also put the baby in a sleepsuit before you go out so if they fall asleep they can be trasferred to their cot.
• If you are staying in a hotel, check you will have a kettle and mini fridge in your room. These are essential when travelling with a baby. If it’s not going to be possible then invest in a travel kettle. You can buy travel steriliser bags that you fill with water and can add the bottles and hang up on a door peg overnight so you dont have to take a steriliser if travelling with small babies. (Obviously only applicable for bottle feeding).
•If staying in a lodge/caravan then check if you have an enclosed veranda. These can be heaven if you can sit outside and know the kids are safe. Also means you can put your feet up!
• In a lodge/caravan then you have a kitchen so you can take all your regular food to prepare. In a hotel we always take plenty of snacks and also some porridge pots that can be made up with boiling water especially if your little ones like ours and are hungry when they get up! We are always up much earlier than the hotels start serving beeakfast so we take things to have as a pre-breakfast! Those individual choc chip brioche are a godsend too.
•Check the place you are staying provides towels-saves on space whe packing!
•Invest in a roofbox for the car it gives so much space when the kids are little and you have a buggy in the boot!
•If self catering then as soon as you arrive move anything dangerous or breakable out of the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen that the kids can get in. I always put all the knives, graters and glass bowls in high cupboards then you don’t have to worry about them getting anything.
•Check travel times and try and leave about half an hour before the kids would be due a nap. This means you can usually travel a bit further before they get fed up or need to stop for a pee. Try to leave it an hour after they have eaten incase they are travel sick. If you know your little one is travel sick then pack a towel, bin liner,wipes and changes of clothes somewhere easy to pull out. You can also buy liners for the carseats. Check your route and make sure you have places to stop at 2 hourly intervals if needed.
The first time we stayed in a hotel with the kids we thought it was going to be a nightmare but both kids slept great-I think because when you are away you have busy days which knacker them out. I definitely prefer lodges and caravans where you can have seperate rooms though it’s much nicer at night not to have to sit in the dark and whisper like we have been known to do in a hotel room with both kids! But it’s all an adventure and what you make of it .
-nappy sacks – handy for stinky nappies and also for wet clothes and rubbish, always have some in my handbag and the car.
-first aid kit (calpol, thermometer, plasters, antiseptic cream, small scissors, nail clippers)
-a small bag of books and toys for the kids
-portable highchair, we have a great one that can be slipped over any chair to make it easy for feeding anywhere – especially good if you stop in a small cafe or for in a hotel room.
-decant some washing powder and take it in a sealed container so you can do a little washing in the bath if theres a nasty nappy explosion!
-dvds of kids film/tv shows theres usually always a dvd player and this will be a godsend to get a little peace!
-more changes of clothes than number of days you are going, same for pjs.
-pack little rucksacks for each kid to keep in the car with a change of clothes, wipes, juice, snack and a toy.
-picnic blanket always comes in handy if you go somwhere and want to put the baby down.
-all in one rain suits for the kids, means that even if it’s a bit damp you can get out and explore
-big umbrella in the boot. Handy to keep everyone dry or as a sun shade at the beach.
-gaffa tape and hair bobbles, tape over plug sockets and use bobbles as temporary child locks for cupboards.
To be honest unless you are travelling to the moon there’s nothing that you wouldn’t be able to run out and pick up at a push. So don’t get too bogged down with remembering every single thing. The most inportant thing is to thet out there and make memories!
What are your top travel tips? Where’s the best place you’ve ventured? Any other handy tips?