For some, the idea of travelling with kids can be overwhelming but it’s not as scary as you might think. Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back. Get out with the kids, explore, be adventurous – make the most of the summers with them, even if that means a staycation and camping in a field somewhere. I’ve teamed up with Goodies Organix to share my top tips when it comes to travelling with kids, young boisterous kids at that.
#1 It’s easier said than done but try not overpack. If you forget something it can be bought abroad. It might not be the same brand, but it will do the same job.
#2 If you are concerned about your child getting lost, pick up identification bracelet before you travel or write your name and phone number on their arm. That way you can be contacted easily if your child gets lost. I recently spotted these adventure belts and thought they would be very good for toddlers or young children who tend to run off.
#3 Don’t forget your stroller, reins or baby carrier. When purchasing a stroller for whatever reason make sure it’s light and compact. It’s also handy to have a rain cover and umbrella for shade when travelling.
#4 Try to plan your flight or long distance car journey around naptime or bedtime. It will take some of the stress away from keeping them entertained if your child naps for an hour or two while travelling.
#5 Try to be flexible when travelling with kids, book off-season to avail of discounted rates and it will be so much quieter at your hotel, resort or theme park.
#6 Take a break and have frequent stops preferably every two hours. Expecting young kids to sit still longer than that is unrealistic. Try to find a playground nearby ahead of your road trip and let the kids riot for twenty minutes. If you are in Ireland Playground GPS is very handy, it will tell you all the playgrounds in Ireland.
#7 If travelling by boat bring them up onto the deck for some fresh air and if you are on a plane stretch your legs regularly.
#8 Travelling with kids can be very expensive, agree on a budget before you go and try your best to stick to it.
#9 Feeding the family can eat a huge chunk of your family travel budget. Opt for self-catering accommodation if you can. This way you can do a shop in the local supermarket for snacks, breakfast and maybe dinner too depending on what kind of holiday you are planning.
#10 Always take your own snacks when travelling with kids on flights, buses, ferries and road trips. Long road trips and flights can leave kids feeling cranky, tired and hungry. Pack a variety of snacks for yourselves and your children. I always bring apples, raisins, nuts, popcorn and some Goodies Organix. My three younger kids love the Animal Biscuits, Gingerbread Men, Carrot Stix and Lentil Hoops & Cheesy Pea Snaps. You would be surprised the cost a few snacks will set you back during a flight, on a Ferry or even at a petrol station.
#11 Don’t rush. Give yourself an extra hour or two when travelling to catch a flight or Ferry. Otherwise, you will miss it like we did earlier this month. The kids really enjoyed waving off our Ferry in fairness.
#12 Tantrums. If your child chooses the worst possible time to turn into a wilder beast from another world, breath and try to keep calm. Try remove them from the situation if possible or distract them.
#13 If you don’t have a portable TV/DVD player try to borrow one. Bring some DVDs or rent some from your local library for free. Audiobooks come in handy for older kids too.
#14 If you are travelling anywhere in Europe make sure you apply for a free European Health Insurance Card also know as the EHIC. This card will entitle you to get health care through the public system in any European country if you become ill or injured while on a holiday.
#15 If you are travelling by car make sure you pack plenty of water, a first-aid kit, a phone charger, a sat nav (or google maps) and a flashlight in case you break down at night. If you have breakdown assistance make sure you are covered in the country you will be travelling to.
#16 If you don’t have Netflix consider subscribing for one-month or even make us of the 7-day trial. You can download movies to watch during your flight or in the car. It’s a lifesaver for us.
#17 If you are driving to the airport check forums, blogs and Facebook groups for discount codes for parking. There’s always loads floating about.
#18 When travelling by car make sure you get your vehicle checked before you hit the road. Also, double check the installation of all the car seats to ensure they are fitted correctly. You can head to Check It Fits before you travel to numerous locations across Ireland and it’s free.
#19 Invest in a roof box when travelling by car. You won’t understand how much joy it will bring you until you do. It leaves so much room in the car and the kids down the back won’t be squashed especially if you have a 7 or 8 seater vehicle.
#20 When packing your clothes roll them up rather than folding them, put socks in shoes and use suction bags.
#21 Consider investing in a car divider to separate the adult from the kids. Best investment I have ever made. Jokes. Kids will fight and whine, it happens the best of us. Try to keep cool and distract them preferably with food.
This post sponsored by Goodies Organix to celebrate the launch of their new 100% No Junk Veggie Snacks, Cheese & Onion Lentil Hoops and Cheesy Pea Snaps. My kids are loving the new flavours and textures. As a parent trying to keep balance and healthy food options in the home and on the road, I’m thrilled to add these to the list. They are the perfect convenient food for on the go, organic and there are no unnecessary ingredients added like salt. Goodies Organix can be found on the baby and toddler aisle in Dunnes, Tesco, SuperValu, Eurospar and Boots.