As Prince George embarks on his first overseas trip to Australia, bloggers have been invited by Mark Warner Holidays to suggest our top travel tips when holidaying with children. This is also a great opportunity to recap on the holidays we have had as a family and lessons we have learnt along the way!
Our first big holiday was with our (then) one year old was to Florida. In a way I can’t believe we were brave enough to make this epic journey but it was actually not too traumatic at all. Luckily he slept for most of the flight (admittedly on top of me!) and with lots of organisation and planning – definitely the key to a successful holiday – meant things worked out OK. We went with friends and their little ones too, which did help as they had already done transatlantic trips with children before and were very calm and reassuring. The biggest tip from this holiday would have to be, when there is lots to do, to take turns to make sure everyone has fun! It isn’t all about the children and is your holiday too so factor in some rest and relaxation if this is what you like!
A couple of years later we took the two boys we now had to Barcelona. The youngest was only about 5 months and oldest nearly 3 years. As we were perusing the guide book of things to do the eldest child piped up that he would like to go to see the “sleeping dragon park” as there was a picture in the book that grabbed his attention. This is actually Park Güell, an incredibly stylish park with fantastic views over Barcelona. The “sleeping dragon” was designed by Gaudi and sits at the entrance to the park, which is full of beautiful tiling, bright colours and magical sculptures. It was a brilliant day and he loved feeling like he had some control of his holiday! So why not try our second travel tip and pass the children the guidebook or leaflets and see what ideas they have!
More recently we have headed to Italy to visit Granny and Grandpa and had some lovely times there (and babysitters thrown in too!). In Italy, as in many tourist destinations, children are welcomed and catered for in the evenings and into the night We had a fabulous week in Marina di Ginosa just going with the flow and throwing routine out of the window. The one flaw in the logic is that the Italians and their children make the most of a lazy siesta which for some reason unknown to everyone seems to have the opposite effect on my two boys who try to burn the candle both ends!
Anyhow, our third tip would be to grab some language phrase books for the children and let the kids get involved in the local lingo with their own phrase book! The language of play has no barriers but it is always nice (and very cute!) if children can have a go at speaking the language. They may even make some new friends!
And here are a few other tips to ensure happy holidays for all..
- put your little explorer in a brightly coloured top or hat so that if they happen to wander off for a second you can easily spot them in a crowd;
- keep baby wipes handy even after nappies are yesterday’s news as they are always handy for wiping dirty faces and hands;
- on a long journey make sure you have a bag of essentials to pass the time – colouring book, crayons, snacks (raisins, cereal bars, tubes of yoghurt, drinks bottle etc) and a couple of toys. It is even nicer if your child hasn’t seen these little treats before!
Most importantly – relax, have fun and enjoy your time together!