Travelling the world and seeing the sights is often considered to be a luxurious treat for most individuals but holidaying with kids can be seen as a totally different kettle of fish. The concept of boarding a plane and keeping little ones occupied, even for a short haul flight, can fill some parents with dread, and understandably so.
Unless you prepare yourself and stay stress-free, taking youngsters abroad is a recipe for disaster - but this can be avoided. A holiday abroad should be filled with happy memories, not hassle. Have a read of these top tips to ensure you remember your sojourn for all the right reasons, too.
Book the Airport Hotel
Getting your kids up and ready in the mornings isn’t always an easy task. Making sure they’re ready for school can be hard enough, with many mums brushing hair, getting socks on and buttering toast for brekkie all at the same time. While being an octopus would have its advantages, you can make things easier on yourself on the morning of your flight. Head online to book an overnight stay at Heathrow airportand book a family room for you and your brood. On the morning of your flight, all you’ll have to worry about is getting everyone up and out the door, eliminating the hassle of driving to the airport and having to be awake far earlier than should ever be allowed.
Pack in Advance
Don’t leave packing your suitcases until the last minute. While a few bits will have to wait until the last moment to pop in, there’s no reason why you can’t organise your summer clothes ahead of time. Make a checklist for you and the kids and ensure everything is washed and ready to go. Remember that every child, other than babes in arms, are entitled to hold and hand luggage – make use of it.
Use Hand Luggage Allowances
No matter how old your children are, the key to keeping them happy when you’re flying through the skies is to make sure they’re entertained and kept occupied for the duration of the flight. By using their hand luggage allowance, you can make sure that they have plenty of things packed to keep them busy and take their mind off the hours spent in the clouds.
Give the brood a little responsibility and let them have a say in what they take. Ask them what their favourite toys, books and crafts are and give them the choice of what goes in their cabin bag. Travel games, magazines and colouring books are great time killers, while handheld games consoles such as the Nintendo 3DS or the Playstation Vita would be ideal for older kids to stay busy.
If you can, plump for a flight time that coincides with their routine to try and avoid any unnecessary tantrums. Most of the time this is unavoidable but sometimes, travellers get lucky. While you shouldn’t base your holiday around your kids, planning certain aspects around them will ensure that they can adjust to any change in time zones quickly.
Pop online to book an overnight stay at Heathrow airport, pack your bags as you go, ensure your kids stay occupied and choose flights wisely – four key aspects of ensuring a stress-free, unforgettable May half term sojourn.
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