Travelling with little ones can be challenging at times, but for parents that follow a few simple travel tips, family holidays can turn out to be much less stressful.
A private villa holiday offers guests a much-needed reprieve from the hectic everyday schedule while they enjoy comfortable, homely surroundings bathed in tropical splendour.
However, if you are taking your children with you, the preparations can be a little overwhelming, and keeping kids entertained on long journeys can also create a challenge.
Well-organised mums and dads now travel armed with a few travel hacks that allow them the space and time to enjoy a relaxing villa holiday filled with wonderful memories.
Below are a few clever ideas to reduce the amount of additional stress when travelling with children.
The hassle of packing multiple suitcases is something that almost every parent faces. To help make sure everyone has everything they need in their holiday luggage, begin by making a list for each person. Next, pack everything the kids need for one day’s outfit in a ziplock bag, including socks, underwear, shorts and t-shirt. That way, it’s easy to double check that you have everything. If you have trouble squeezing everything in, consider investing in vacuum seal bags that suck all of the air out of your folded clothes and leave them flat as pancakes and easy to pack.
If you are flying with little ones, direct flights are definitely worth paying for. That way, you can save the time and stress involved in hauling your family to the other side of the airport as you rush to make your connection. On the plane, younger children might find it harder than you do to manage the ear pressure as you climb to altitude. Have a bottle of milk prepared for babies during the ascent and descent, and a selection of gummy treats for toddlers and older kids.
An eight-hour journey sat next to little ones who are wide awake with vacation excitement can easily result in 6 hours of ‘Are we there yet!?’, so prepare plenty of activities for kiddies to stay busy. A travel binder packed with colouring sheets, puzzles and sticker sets works well. Get a brand new pencil case ready with everything they need, and pop it into the binder as well.
In addition to ‘I’m bored!’, ‘I’m hungry!’ must be one of the most common complaints parents have to put up with when they are on vacation with little ones. If you want to avoid unhealthy or unpopular snacks bought on the go, prepare loom band boxes filled with healthy snacks at your private villa before heading out for a day of sight-seeing. Even better, If the chef whips up a lovely, healhty breakfast for your family, save some bread and fruit in a few Ziploc bags to take out with you for a mid-morning picnic.
Holiday behaviour cards are a great way to encourage children to stay calm and polite whilst on holiday. At the start of your plane journey, stick cards up on the back of the seats in front of you – one for each child. If one child's card stays on the seat for the whole journey, that means she’s been on her best behaviour. However, if the card comes down as you are flying somewhere over the Indian Ocean, she will know it’s time to buck her ideas up. Keep little treats handy to reward the best behaving children when they stay on track.