When you’ve got one or more pre schoolers in your brood, the thought of taking them on holiday abroad can be daunting. Yes, it’s definitely easier to stay at home but where’s the fun in that? With a little preparation and forward planning, you’ll be jet setting all over the place together!
When it’s just adults in the party, you can just about cope with a 3am alarm call to make sure you get to the airport in time for check-in. But when you bring babies, toddlers and pre schoolers into the equation, you’ll be a frazzled mess if you attempt any long journeys before early morning starts. So if you really do need to be there at the crack of dawn, why not get yourself a good deal in an airport hotel for a stress free start to the day? All the big airports have a great choice of places to stay. The Heathrow Travelodge has a good selection of family rooms, meaning you won’t have to fork out for two rooms to accommodate your family.
In the Airport
If you’re travelling in the summer, chances are the airport will be busy. Don’t forget you can check your buggy in as you board, meaning you can use it in the airport. Gatwick Airport has special family assistance lane,s making the queues less stressful, and once you’re through security they have special kid zones where the kids can play and watch TV while the adults finally get a chance to sit down with a well-deserved coffee.
Even if everything’s gone to plan right up until you get on the plane, you could still be faced with delays, so take at least four more nappies than you think you’ll need (being stuck on a Spanish runway at the same time as your baby develops a tummy bug is unlikely but not impossible!) The same goes for easy-to-pack changes of clothes and plenty of snacks. Also don’t forget any regular medication and sachets of fever-reducing medicine.
Keeping Them Happy
If you can get your baby off to sleep, congratulations. If not make sure you have plenty of books, toys and a partner who’s happy to pace the aisle, bobbing baby up and down. Older children will be kept happy by sticker activity books and colouring in. And of course this is a situation where the screen time rules can also be relaxed in the interests of you and your fellow passengers’ sanity! If you’ll be in the skies longer than a couple of hours, it’s a good idea to put together a cheap bag of presents to dole out at hourly intervals – but only if they behave themselves of course!
So you see, with a little bit of planning you can emerge out the other side of your family flights unscathed (if not exactly serene). And if your kids do cry and act up, don’t let any eye rolls get to you – you’re doing your best after all!