THE thought of taking one small child away on holiday, let alone two or perhaps even three, can cast fear into the minds of even the most organised parents.
So what can we do to make the process less stressful and more like the holiday that we all so badly need?
Here are some tips from Wendy Shand to smooth the way:
Choose a family friendly setting
Many places now are staking their fortunes on being ‘family friendly’ so it is worth running a search in Google or keeping an eye out for places that specifically cater for your family’s needs.
It is worth making a list of things to take. My (very organised) sister-in-law has put a list for each child on the computer and simply prints it off each time they go away. Now her children are older she gives each one a copy and they do their own packing. I can only aspire to be that organised!
Gradually put together a pile of things to take well in advance of your departure date. For summer sun, don’t forget to buy fresh sunscreen and consider buying special sun-suits and large brimmed hats for the children.
Pack some surprises
Bubble mixture is always a great hit especially when faced with a delay or whilst waiting for food. A cheap toy camera - or a disposable camera is also a fun way to pass the time and encourages them to take photos as you go along.
Going on holiday is such an adventure so it is interesting to see it from your children’s perspective!
Plan for meals en-route (plus delays)
Children love picnics, so take sandwiches or baby food and plenty of drinks. It is also worth packing a variety of snacks – raisins, breadsticks, fruit sticks, chopped up fruit etc which are all popular and will help stave off the tantrums.
Don’t forget your camera and spare memory card! Holidays with young children are full of magical moments so make sure that you don’t miss them.
Wendy Shand runs the Tots to France website that offers family friendly holiday accommodation in France. All the properties are vetted to ensure the safety of children and are fully kitted out with home-from-home comforts.