Holiday time

Mostly all schools and companies retire today for the year, for some it’s not a holiday and for others it’s the only time of the year they get to relax and unwind.

For me it’s already been a week if holiday at the coast with my children and parents.

I love this time of year,

No routine

No worrying

No school

And just time to laugh, relax and enjoy one another’s company.

Many families make their way to the coast for a holiday at the beach.

For us we are lucky as my parents now live here and our holidays are a little cheaper.

Some tips for traveling with your little ones,

1.Drive at Night. The most important, helpful, and best tip I can give you is to drive at night. This is great for multiple reasons. First, your toddler can sleep the whole way and you won’t have to worry about feeding him, listening to him cry because he wants to get out, or taking him out every time you stop to get gas. We first drove through the night over Christmas last year and it completely changed our road trip. The Mister and I were able to enjoy each other’s company, Little one slept the whole way, and we only had to stop to use the bathroom and get petrol. Another good thing about driving at night is that as long as you bring some snacks, you don’t have to stop and buy a whole meal (or two). So the only times you do stop can be to fill up and then you can get back on the road quickly. Saving time and making things easy! Remember there’s no rush, o don’t suggest driving far distances at night if your eye sight is not great and you yourself have not rested. It could then be very dangerous as one of our previous road trips turned out to be from that day my husband has always now opted to fly.

2. Bring New Toys. In the chance that you can’t drive at night, or that your child wakes up, make sure you bring a new new toys to distract your little. New toys are always great for long trips because toddlers seem more keen to play with them than their toys they already have. So a new toy can help distract your toddler from the fact that he is in a car seat (and has been for several hours).

3. Put Him in Comfortable Clothes. If you are going to be driving through the night, I highly suggest just putting your toddler in some pajamas. If not, other comfy clothes (like stretchy pants and a light t-shirt) are the best thing to dress your toddler in. Car seats straps are supposed to keep them in there tight and snug, so you want to give your toddler the comfort you can by dressing them in comfy clothes. I don’t know about you but I am always in a better mood when I have comfy clothes on in the car. Why would a toddler be any different?  You pretty much want to take away all variables that can cause problems on a road trip.

4. Bring Snacks for You and Your Toddler. Before you leave, make sure you have good, healthy snacks to keep you and your toddler full and happy. My husband and I usually bring a cooler with drinks and a bag with different snacks. That way, we won’t have to buy things on the way. The key here is variety. Bring both salty and sweet things. This is true for your toddler’s snacks, too. Hopefully you can drive through the night and won’t have to worry about feeding your toddler, but you will still need to eat so make sure you have some good energizing snacks.

Stop a lot!!

Stretch!

If you’re feeling tired have your partner take over and have turns for different stretches.

Always abide by the road rules and have your children strapped in.

Make sure your tank is full and your car is road worthy for a long trip.

If you find it easier to fly with your little ones here are some tips ….

1. Understand the charges and regulations for each airline

If you’ve ever looked into flying with babies you’ll know that there are so many variations in the charges and regulations involved with taking your baby on a flight. Different airlines have different rules. Some charge for one thing; while with another it’s free.

Obviously the length of flight will also change suggestions.

2. Plan and plan some more

Blogger Vicki from online parenting magazine Honest mum’s top tip for flying with kids is be prepared-over-prepared. Vicki says: “you can never have too many wet wipes and snacks! Fill your bag with snacks, games, playing cards, a portable DVD player in case the aircraft doesn’t have one and make sure you buy water once you’re through check in. I always take extra clothes and medicine, you never know when your kids might get a temperature or feel unwell.”

3. Write notes for fellow passengers

Worried the other passengers on your flight are going to hate you if your child screams all the way from Cape to Cairo? Or, even worse, enjoys a penchant for kicking the back of the seat in front. Why not follow the example of the parents who handed out bags of sweets to fellow passengers on their flight or pen them a message of apology in advance, people with children will always understand and if you know your child battles in confined spaces mabey give them something homeopathic or herbal to help.

4. Wet wipes and Pull Ups

Cathy from mummytravels.com says: “pack some spare clothes for them and for you – even now my daughter is potty trained, I’ve kept some emergency pull-ups. And you can never have too many wet wipes! That way if there are delays or you’re in a plane that’s stuck on the runway for ages, you won’t be panicking…or spending a whole flight smelling less than fresh after an accident or unexpected illness. You almost certainly won’t need it but it makes me feel much more relaxed, and I think my daughter picks up on that too. That way flights are an exciting adventure, not a potential nightmare scenario.”

5. Keep it simple

A game can keep kids occupied and make the journey fly by – but you don’t want to be carrying lots of equipment to make it work. So keep it simple. Easy games like I-Spy are the best. 

6. Consider a backpack for hand luggage

Gretta from Mumsdotravel.com says: “my kids are teenagers now, but my top tip for flying with younger children is to have a backpack as hand luggage so that you have both hands free. That makes it easier for you to carry your child, or hold their hand, or push a buggy, or show your passports or whatever else you need to do at the airport.”

7. Hold your baby up high

Ok, so this one won’t work for everyone, but some parents have found that holding their baby above their head makes them stop crying. No scientific reason we can think of for this one working but hey, if it does the trick… Not one to do on takeoff though!

8. Pack each child a plane bag

Katie from mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uksays: “pack them a plane bag – We have three young children and my girls have amassed many flights between them at a young age. We always pack a plane bag for them, we don’t let them see if before we get on the flight and in it are cheap pocket money toys to keep them entertained. Things you can buy in supermarkets and that only cost a couple of rands each, like crayons, colouring books, little sets of Lego they can build and of course sweets in case all else fails! They love it and get excited to open them as soon as we are up in the air.”

9. Check the flight price for your little one

Assume your baby is flying free under 2? Double check. Oksana found she was expected to pay far more than she had imagined on one recent flight: “you may be surprised that some airlines force you to pay up to 75% for a ticket Buy a normal ticket. At least you will get extra space – that is really valuable.”

10. Check in early

If you are flying with the family, or holidaying with your extended kin (sharing a villa with your sister and her five kids perhaps?) you’ll be struggling to all sit together if you leave it late to check in. So do this online as soon as check-in it opens. Unless you don’t want to sit anywhere near your sister’s five kids, that is.

11. Tell the police

Skyscanner PR Manager and mother-of-two Mary Porter has loads of tips on flying with toddlers. Our favourite is: “warn young children of the ‘Aeroplane Police’ who are looking out for badly behaved children. I am not suggesting you scare them out of their wits (and admittedly we never did explain what the Aeroplane Police actually do when they catch a naughty child). However, it proved hugely effective in stopping my toddler climbing over seats, playing with the fold down table, kicking the seat in front and all the other things that passengers around you really love.”

12. Pre-order your baby formula

Check how much you’re allowed and make sure everything is properly sealed.

13. Be a slave to the (circadian) rhythm

If at all possible, choose flights at the ‘normal’ time your kids are meant to be falling asleep. If they’re shattered and it’s bedtime back home you might just find they’ll drop off. However, this could backfire if they’re so excited that they don’t want to sleep – tired and bratty is never a great start to a holiday.

14. Make regular toilet stops

“I don’t need to go” can quickly swing to the other end of the scale when it comes to childrens’ bladders – even the older ones. So make sure they go to the toilet immediately before getting on the plane/car. Don’t give them too many fluids either or they’ll be up and down to the toilet all the way to your destination – extremely annoying for the person in the aisle seat! This is sensible advice for adults too. Drinking five beers before getting on the plane is dangerous, especially for your bladder if you get held up boarding.

15. Play pilots

Kids scared of flying? So were Oksana Ermolaeva’s, a Skyscanner blogger for Russia who made the whole thing into a game. “I played role games with her”, she says. “Let your child be a pilot or a flight attendant. Play everything that normally happens onboard. This really helps to avoid pre-flight and in-flight panic.”

16. Arm yourself with snacks

For the ones on solid, gown-up food, make sure you pack plenty of snacks. Like an irascible cat which hasn’t had its morning Whiskas, a hungry toddler will damn sure let you know if they’re hungry. So, until the in-flight meal is served, fend them off with snacks.

Must importantly for little ones and babies make sure they are chewing or sucking on take off and landing.

The pressure in the aero plane changes quickly and can be quite sore for little ears.

Be aware

Airports are very busy and very distracting holding onto your valuables and children are very important.

I really hope everyone enjoys their holidays and have a safe sounding journey no matter how you get to your destinations.

xxx best wishes

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