If you have ever travelled with toddlers then you will know how much work, planning and more planning goes into making the trip a smooth one. Having two under 5’s and travelling, how hard can it be? Well I found out via a recent trip to the continent and what an eye opener it was. Read on as I give a few tips and lessons I learned about travelling with little ones.
We recently went to Paris/Disneyland Paris for my son’s 4th birthday and boy did I learn a few lessons. Travelling with little ones is stressful. I won’t lie to you. It takes a lot of preparation, plenty of lists, organisation and going over everything you need at least ten times to make sure it’s all there and you area fully equipped. As much as we enjoyed the trip and mini getaway, it certainly did not come without its challenges. So how do you ensure a smooth journey and time away with little ones?
First things first, preparation is key. When I say preparation, this includes being organised, creating lists, packing, having your travel itinerary ready and a time schedule for the day. Once it was officially decided that we were going to Disneyland Paris and it was booked, it was time for the prep to start. Getting the right amount of suitcase for our things, making sure we had the right clothing, food/snacks, the baby’s milk and all sorts were all part of the preparation process. It did take me a while to get all these things together even though I had written it down and kept rewriting it down.
My advice is start as early as possible. Having lists that you can tick off in the preparation process definitely helps and keeps you organised in your packing and planning for the days you are away. I tried to start a month in advance but left it for a while – big mistake! So you can imagine a week to the holiday, I was running around like a headless chicken.
Anything can happen!
Be prepared for all eventualities! Whenever children are involved, anything can happen. From little ‘accidents’ to the worst case scenario – God forbid. While getting myself organised it struck me that I needed a medicine bag for the children in particular. We were going to Paris at a cold time of the year. I needed to be prepared for anything the cold would throw at us. Having the usual paracetamol is a must, but other things to think about are lose bowels, tummy aches, cuts and grazes and the likes. So I packed plasters, and a mini arsenal of medicines for them. I still ended up having to buy cough medicine while out there though. The one thing I thought we would escape plagued us unfortunately.
So my advice, pack it all. You can usually get travel friendly options in medication which makes it easier to pack and take along. Take extra clothes, extra nappies (if you have a baby), extra everything really because you just never know what will happen while you are away (I even took long life milk along). Don’t forget about yourself as well. Be prepared01. You are of no use to the family if you are unwell and I’m sure you would be kicking yourself for missing out on the fun! If you forget anything, at least have some paracetamol packed and handy for yourself. Every mum/parent’s trusted friend ;D
Are we there yet?
Entertainment is key. Children get bored very easily and that is when they start to kick up a fuss. I knew this one like the back of my hand from the numerous car journeys we had taken as a family in the UK. I was prepared for this one! I bought reading books, activity books, toys and took my tablet along with cartoons and games downloaded onto it to keep the children entertained. I knew they would need it on the plane and when we spent down time at the hotel. They definitely came in handy but be warned that it is not a fool proof plan to stop any squabbles between siblings or when the kids just want your attention. The pound shop will definitely be your best friend in this area, so no need to go out and spend an extra fortune on things they very well may loose before the holiday is over.
Food oh food, where art thou?
One of the biggest problems we faced was when it came to food. You either have little ones who will try anything you put in front of them or the complete opposite – they are very picky. I have the latter. Their pickiness came out in full force while away and this meant that meal times were a problem. I packed snacks and drinks for the days we were out and about but that wasn’t enough. To combat this, I would suggest finding familiar brands of restaurant chains that you are accustomed to. This will definitely be your saving grace. Also do not expect what you know as normal at home to be the same when you go abroad – Chinese takeaway food in the UK is certainly not the same in France! However, don’t completely rule out local cuisine until you have tried it. We were surprised to find a nice little restaurant on our last evening and it was a hit with everyone!
N.B UberEats may just be a good friend while away 😀
Family holiday = No rest for mum
I must admit, I went into this mini break away with a naïve idea thinking that it would be a time for me to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and routines and have a relaxing break. Boy was I wrong! I went to bed last, I dealt with all the meltdowns and the folding and unfolding of the pram and everything in between. By the time we came back from our trip I was absolutely knackered! So a word of advice to all you mums/parents out there who are travelling this season or whenever in the year you decide to go, be prepared to continue as normal. There is no respite, especially if you want to go out and enjoy the daytime when you travel.
So these are a few pointer on how to travel a little more stress free with little ones. Be it abroad or with in the country you reside, hopefully implementing these tips will help make that experience a tad bit easier for you and the family.
Until next time,
Ohemaa Beauty xoxo