Travelling with children needn't be stressful, if you plan ahead and are organised you should have a relatively stress free holiday. We have two holidays coming up at the end of this year one a short break next week and the other a two week all inclusive holiday in the Caribbean in November. Amelia has been abroad a number of times when she was younger however it will be Harry's first time and we haven't flown since Amelia was around 20 months old so of course she won't remember it.
I am looking forward to it, yet a little nervous how Harry will be on the flight as he's not really one to sit still for long periods of time just like his big sister although I know she will be fine at this age now. Also Harry never ever falls asleep anywhere other than his bed or in the car seat on a long journey so I have no idea how I'll get him to go to sleep but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!
I thought I'd share some of my holiday essentials, hacks and tips when travelling with kids as we all know how much you need to pack for them, so here are some of my absolute musts.
Avoid leaking toiletries
Have you ever opened up your suitcase once you arrive at your hotel or back home and discover that a shampoo bottle has exploded everywhere! I'm sure we've all experienced it at some point in our lives. Well now it's time to put that to a stop. To prevent leakages wrap your lotions and bottles in cling film or just cover the top of the bottle before putting the lid on and stick it down with sellotape.
Invest in a headphone spitter
Now that I have two children and only one iPad since the old one has broken the kids often argue over who want's to watch/hold it. To prevent arguments I picked up a cheap headphone splitter which means they can both listen to and watch it at the same time.
Wrap up toys and little surprises
When I first took Amelia on a plane a friend of mine told me to wrap up some toys in wrapping paper or even newspaper and let them unwrap them. Not only does it give them something to do and hopefully pass a little time, it's nice for them to have a few little surprises. You can do this with new toys and some of their own favourites. You could even do pass the parcel if you have a few kids to get everyone involved
Pack plenty of snacks
Where ever I travel I always make sure I have plenty of snacks for the kids. Kids get bored and hungry very quickly so I always make sure I'm prepared.
Hooded beach towels
Hooded beach towels are great whilst on holiday to keep kids warm when getting out of the pool or on the beach and for quick changing. It also means you don't have to carry the towels if you're popping to the snack bar or walking back to the room or car. The great thing is you can use them all year round for swimming lessons or getting out of the bath.
Pack your child a little cabin case, Trunki or backpack of their own, fill it up with lots of their favourite snacks, toys, favourite comforter, a blanket, magazine, books, colouring books, games. By having their own bag of goodies they will feel more grown up and involved in the holiday and it will keep them occupied! I'll be sharing what I've packed for the kids soon.
Pack a few empty zip lock bags
We all know how messy kids can get especially in confined spaces. I always have a few zip lock bags in the changing bag for those just in case moments. If your child gets dirty and you need to change them or they have an accident then pop the dirty/wet clothes in the bag and close it. This saves everything else in your bag getting wet or dirty and keeps smells locked in until you get to your destination.
Pack a few extra pairs of earphones
I always pack a few cheap pairs of earphones, not only do they come in handy if you loose yours but sometimes you can come faced with horrible passengers who don't like sitting next to kids. I've never had this problem yet but just incase the kids do decide to play up and if someone does kick off at least I can offer them a pair.
My kids love stickers, but I hate having to pick them off everything and having to buy more all the time. This was until I discovered re-usable stickers which are great as you can just stick them back onto the page. One thing I would suggest doing with re-useable and normal stickers is pull off the backing of the page so your child can easily remove the stickers themselves instead of asking you every 20 seconds!
So there we go, some of my favourite travel tips and hacks. Do you have any of your own you'd like to share? Leave them below!