At the start of this year my husband and I decided that this would be the year of holidays. We decided this because we looked back at the past few years and realised that we had done hardly any travelling. So after many years of just working a lot we booked some cool trips. We went to Fiji in June (half work trip for me as I was doing a wedding but totally still a vacay) and a big trip in Aug to America and Mexico.
Put the trips together and we have done 11 flights, stayed in 6 hotels, and been in countless buses, ubers and more so I feel fairly confident with my tips. Now each kid is different and you might have 5 kids and just laugh at my tips (I salute you if you have that many kids) but these are things that we learned mostly the hard way on our travels.
- Always book the ground floor. It was when we got to our resort in Fiji after many sweaty hours of travelling that we learned this one. We got to our room on the third floor and opened the sliding door onto the deck and quickly realised that our son could almost fit between the bars of the deck railing. He then thought he might like to stand on the chair on the deck. After recovering from my heart attack we made the quick call to have our room changed to ground floor. Sounds easy but we wasted half our morning waiting for them to get our 567 bags (its a lie you can travel light with a baby) and then we had to move it all and unpack again.
So lesson learned always booked the ground floor. When we actually got to the new room our neighbours on either side all had kids so apparently we were the only ones who didn’t know to book the ground floor. Also a little side note. When you have finally gotten the toddler/ baby to sleep you are kinda trapped in the room. However if you book on the ground floor it means one of you can hop over the deck railing and go grab some drinks to bring back and you can take turns for a nice kid free night swim!
2. Your life depends on the time of day you fly. Now BK (before kids) I would just book whatever flights were the cheapest. “Ohhh fun we have to be at the airport at 4am lets get a relaxing breakfast at the airport and maybe do a little shopping” Said NO ONE with kids ever! That was the old me. Now the time we fly out is very important especially for long haul flights. If you have a long flight the worse thing you can do is book that flight during the day. What you have then is a very awake toddler on a veeeery long flight. So thankfully had been told this so we booked our flights always departing at bedtime so that we had the best chance of a sleepy toddler.
3. Pack a pharmacy. BK (again thats before kids) I used to just pack panadol incase a had a slight headache and thats about all.
Now however I cram the equivalent of a small family run pharmacy into my bag!
Toddlers can pick up bugs like nothing else so you need to be prepared. You need at least two thermometers (to compare temps), lots of baby pamol for fevers or toothaches and dear lord don’t forget the antiseptic cream. I like the one you can use for everything like bug bite, burns and rashes. Just lather your baby in that and you are good! But seriously having a sick kid when you are in a new environment is the worst and its made even worse when the resort charges 10x more for medical things. Better to be safe than sorry.
4. Count on every mess possible when packing your carry on. We had three carry on bags for our long trip and two were just for our son. Being confined to a small place (like two seats in a plane) make the chances of something spilling on someone really high. I recommend packing at least 4 changes of clothing. I have the outfit we arrive in, pjs for comfort, a new outfit incase he spills food and one more in case of a dreaded poonami. If you are a parent you know.
Oh lord we have seen some poonamis in our day and you know that if your kid is going to crap through 3 layers of clothing he is going to do it on a long flight when you have no other clothing for him.
5. Try to relax. This might sound hard after you read everything above but when it comes down to it you are blessed to be going on a family holiday. You are creating memories and so try and breathe through the stressful moments and soak in the fun moments. Kids have this amazing ability to pick up our stress and so I personally found the more relaxed I got the better the flight or day was.
Remember mama you got this. Happy travels x