We all know starting a family is wonderful, bizarre, rewarding, and stressful! Whether you’re just discovering this for yourself, or are planning to take the plunge soon, a quick google search will inundate you with advice about what to feed your children, what time they should go to bed, how to juggle their needs with your own, and how to keep your love-life alive throughout.
However, the guys at Holiday Gems know for a fact that when it comes to navigating the first trip abroad with your clan, it can feel very much like you’re on your own! So to help you in your brave quest, here are a few snippets of advice to get you underway.
More of some things, fewer of others
You might feel completely relaxed and well-prepared when packing for your holiday, but everything will change the moment you step off the plane. Vital sun cream will disappear at such a rate that you’ll wonder if someone’s drinking it instead of their water, as a will insect repellent.
These are two things that will be worth stocking up on during the pre-summer sales, as you’ll find they will be many times more expensive when you arrive at your destination.
In terms of other perishables like nappies, don’t overload yourself when preparing for your adventure, as they will be available for a similar price abroad, but do make sure that you have a clear idea of where to buy more at any destination you’ll be visiting, in case of emergencies.
Don’t risk buying new toys and activities to bring with you – stick to a few tried and tested items that your little one loves. There are few things worse than desperately trying to distract a screaming baby in an airport queue with a lovely new toy bunny with crinkly ears that it turns out he hates, knowing that you’ve left his favorite squishy cat toy – guaranteed to calm him down – in the cot at home for fear of losing it.
Along those lines, if you want to bring anything precious and much-loved, do be sure that it is safely secured around your person at all times. Be sensitive to fellow passengers’ ears, though. Baby might be soothed by the battery-operated cow that really moos, but it will possibly not be music to the ears of those sitting near you on the plane.
A happy medium for your itinerary
You may be someone who plans everything minute-by-minute to get the most out of your trip, or you might simply love to kick back, relax, and see where the day takes you. Whichever you are, traveling with a child is sure to change this! It may be that the little one becomes tired and irritable partway through the day and needs a nap or a change of activity, or they may absolutely love dabbling their toes in one particular rock pool and you can’t resist staying for hours to take picture after picture.
The key to making it all work is to allow some flexibility. Think of a worst-case scenario for each excursion, and find a way to counter it with a simple, enjoyable alternative.
Taking it in turns
If you’re traveling as a couple with a little one, then be sensitive to each others’ needs as well as your child’s. This is very basic parenting advice when you’re at home, but when in a strange environment, it can be very easy to neglect one another while trying to ensure everything runs smoothly. Plan self-care breaks, where your other half takes the little one off to enjoy simple activities while you catch up on a few pages of your book by the pool, or see some sights and relax.
Note that your partner may not be best pleased if they return to find that you’ve been enjoying a little too much vino, however tempting it may be! Note as well that many resorts have fun “Kid Zones”, with trained specialists who are able to take care of little ones from a very young age – so if you both need a little breather together, availing yourselves of one of these may prove life-saving!