Saturday, 11 December 2021

Tips For Planning Your First Holiday Abroad With Children

Travelling with children in tow can be an anxiety-inducing experience, particularly when you're taking them abroad for the first time.

The first time we travelled abroad with our son was when he was 2 years old, and even then I panicked about everything from safety at the airport to what sort of food would be available for him to eat. No matter what age your children are, there will always be something that you worry about it when it comes to stepping outside of the familiarity of home.

Today I want to share some of my top tips for making that travelling experience as stress-free as possible, because the truth is that even though the thought of travelling abroad with little ones can be overwhelming - the experience is usually always worth it in the end, and the memories made are priceless.

Perfect Your Packing

This is always the first hurdle when it comes to travelling with kids, as you'll likely find yourself feeling anxious about all of the things they might need while you're away and so you end up just throwing everything in on the off chance that you might want it.

But as tempting as it is to do this, the truth is that you will kick yourself for over-packing when you're struggling through a busy airport with lots of luggage getting in your way and when your hotel room is overcrowded with too much stuff.

My advice would be to only pack the absolute essentials - for things like nappies and wipes you should be able to order an Amazon or grocery store delivery to your hotel for your arrival which will be much more convenient than lugging around two weeks worth of products with you as you travel. You can also do this for things like snacks.

As for clothing, I used to be someone who packed two or three outfits for each day of the holiday incase of food spills or accidents but I would always end up bringing back 50% of the clothes unworn. Such a waste of effort and energy! 

Now I only take as many outfits as there are days of the trip, along with two or three "just incase" options.

Pay For Convenience

Of course this is very budget dependant, but I think it's worth factoring in the price of convenience to the overall cost of your holiday and budgeting for it if possible as it really can make all the difference.

Whether it's springing for the closest parking spots at the airport to avoid a 20 minute walk in the rain with the kiddies in tow, ensuring that you choose easy travel options or perhaps splurging on some extra leg room seating or lounge access to make the airport wait experience that bit more comfortable - these are the sorts of things that can really help to reduce unnecessary anxiety and that can make all the difference to getting your holiday off on the right foot.

Whenever we travel to Disneyland Paris via Eurostar I always make sure that I budget for First Class Seating, not because of the standard of the seats themselves but because it means that we are called to board first - this really helps to reduce my anxiety about finding the right carriage in ample time and stops that panic and last minute rush, so it's worth every extra penny to me.

Don't Over Schedule

It's so tempting to go with a "Make The Most Of Every Moment" mentality when you're on holiday and I have certainly been guilty of trying to cram everything in to one trip on holidays myself, but I always find that it has a negative effect on the trip.

Spending your holiday time rushing from one place to the next and trying to squeeze everything in usually results in a lot of additional stress and pressure, and reduces your free time to just enjoy things and be in the moment - the best moments of a holiday are usually the unplanned ones so try to take it easy and go with the flow as much as possible.

...But Do Have A Plan

This might seem to contradict the above point, but although going with the flow is important I do think that having some sort of rough plan is essential when travelling with children.

From planning snacks to carry with you while travelling and some activities to have on hand for the plane journey, to making sure that your plane seat allocations will work for everyone - there is some important planning to be done.

I do also find that making a list of local activities and places of interest is really helpful, and if you can spend some time researching things such as children's facilities and best time of day to visit for the lowest crowds and queues then this could go a long way toward making the experience as enjoyable as possible.

I hope these tips are helpful for your first trip abroad,  

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