It’s the ultimate would you rather dilemma: would you rather have no holiday at all for a decade, or go somewhere, but have to take young children? It’s a topic that tends to be divisive among parents: some wait until their children are at least 8 or 9 before they’ll attempt it, others choose to tough it out and, somehow, make happy holiday memories. If you fall into the latter category: congratulations. You’re officially a trooper. Now, if you’re quite sure you want to try, here are some ways to make vacation with the kids easier than it looks.
How to pack
Pack early, pack light, and stick to a plan that you have meticulously pored over with the strategic rigor of an army general. It’s likely that wherever you go will have a supermarket, with nappies, changing wipes, pacifiers, comics, brightly-colored snacks and toys. Don’t overburden yourself with the kids’ luggage either: give little ones a ride-on case or wheelie suitcase for their things: they’ll love how grown-up and responsible it makes them feel.
Survive the flight
When you’re in an air-conditioned tin-can hurtling at 30,000 feet through the clouds, you’ll need every tool, trick and treat at hand to survive without losing your cool. All sensible parenting bets are off. Bring electronic tablets (pre-loaded with distracting apps, films and games), headphones, favorite snacks, soft blankets and drinks. Encourage â€œin-flight movieâ€ time. Encourage â€œquiet reading time.â€ Don’t, under any circumstances, encourage a game of â€œI-spyâ€ if you want your fellow passengers to remain benign towards your party.
Enjoy your stay
Once you have somehow, miraculously, managed the transfer from airport to hotel, you’ll want to relax. Choose accommodation wisely: it can make all the difference between holiday harmony and the vacation from hell. Kids clubs and dedicated play areas will delight your children: they’ll make friends in less than three minutes and be happy for the rest of the vacation. Also, promise to avail yourself of any babysitting services offered by the hotel for one night: you’ve earned one meal without the kids, so make it count.
Your children don’t have to be the burden that holds you back from jetting off on your dream holiday. While holidaying as a family can be undoubtedly stressful, if you pull it off, you’ll make memories you, and your children, can cherish forever.
This is a collaborative post.