Travelling with small children needn’t cause big problems. With a little know-how and forward planning, taking the kids on holiday with you can be relatively carefree.
To help busy mums and dads identify what to think about, what to avoid, and what steps to take, the Soreen team have a handy checklist to keep your trip moving in the right direction-
Make sure you’re up to date because children’s passports only last five years and have a habit of running out before you know it. So check well in advance and allow at least 4 weeks to renew one.
In crowded areas, write your mobile number on a child’s arm with a skin-friendly pen or marker, so if they happen to get separated at airports and busy places, someone can soon get in touch.
Taking a small first aid kit is vital – include plasters, sachets of painkilling syrups, and anti-malarias in syrup form if you need them. Small tubs of Vaseline, hydrocortisone cream and a little bottle of liquid gel hand cleanser are also a sensible addition, along with plenty of wet wipes.
Pack clothes made from natural fibres if you’re heading somewhere hot, and expect to change kids twice a day and babies up to three times, because sweat irritates delicate skin very easily.
Don’t forget childrens’ wide brim sunhats and sunglasses, or sun goggles with elasticated straps which will stay on better.
Give wet crockery or cutlery a dry wipe with a clean tissue to reduce any chance of infection and check that bottles and cans are unopened before handing them to the kids. Carry some spare drinking straws with you, just in case.
Ensure the kids have plenty to drink on a flight, because low humidity cabin air can cause mild dehydration. And to avoid irritated nostrils from the same air, simply wet the inside of a child’s nose with a finger dipped in water.
Flying can lead to painful air expansion in the ears of infants and toddlers, so massage the ears from behind and give the lobes a few gentle tugs from time to time.
You might need to carry extra documentation, if you’re taking nieces and nephews on holiday abroad without mum or dad, including proof of consent from the actual parents. And if you have an adopted child, you must take their adoption papers.
Some airports provide meet and assist services for parents with small children and lots of bags, especially if you’re travelling as a single parent. If you like the sound of this service find out in advance if it’s available.
After checking in at accommodation check out how child-friendly it is, including locks on doors and windows, the sturdiness of railings on balconies and the temperature of the hot water. If exposed wires, loose fittings or anything else really concerns you, ask for alternative accommodation. It might cause a fuss, but better safe than sorry.
Slings are the perfect travel aid for carrying babies, because they’re comfortable, practical and keep both your hands free. The best ones have wide, weight distributing straps and a back or neck support for baby.
So those are Soreen’s top tips for travelling with kids. We can’t claim to have thought of everything, but there are enough good ideas there to make life a little bit easier. Oh and a few of our Lunchbox Loaves on the way to the airport will keep the kids quiet and get your holiday off to a great start!