At last the sun seems to be shining outside and the winter is over - so many people's thoughts are turning towards booking their summer holidays. However when you have young children going on holiday is not the carefree activity that it once was! Making sure that you get the most out of your holiday and making travelling as easy as possible is essential. We have now done a number of trips with our little ones and so I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the key essentials that we take with us to make our holidays happy!
1. Making Car Trips Fun
We usually go in holiday in England and as we live in the lovely but landlocked Hertfordshire this usually means quite a drive to get to the seaside. Of course kids and car journeys don't mix but with a bit of effort you can stop them from being a disaster! Firstly and most importantly make sure that you have a comfy and safe car seat fitted so that your children will feel relaxed. Then it's a great idea to get some audio books to play by their favourite authors - we love anything by Julia Donaldson. You can also get some great times tables CD's so it's a good opportunity to do some learning! If your kids are anything like mine they will be hungry all the time so bring some little snacks with you - small packets of raisins are ideal as they are healthy and take time to eat. Finally when the winging really starts it's always a great idea to have a little goodie bag to hand to each child. You could include stickers, colouring books and puzzles. Hopefully this will keep them amused until you reach your destination
2. Holiday Home Safety
We always try to go to child-friendly accommodation and have found some great places through childfriendlycottages.co.uk. But you never know what it's going to be like until you get there so there are some safety essential to take with you. Firstly I recommend a playpen if you have young children. This Lindam Playpen is great because it also folds out to become a stair gate. This is brilliant if there are steep stairs or if you want to keep your toddler safe when you unpack. I also always take a couple of plug socket covers and cupboard locks to keep little hands out of cupboards that might contain cleaning materials. It's also a wise move to take a portable baby monitor as you want to hear if your children wake up when you are sitting out in the garden in the evening.
3. Fun In The Sun
Although we all know that sunshine is not guaranteed in England everyone hopes for some hot weather on their holidays. However it's also very important to protect children's delicate skin from sunburn and to stop them getting dehydrated. I always play by the old folklore that says "from 11-3 stay under a tree" and try to make sure that we have some shade available when the sun is at it's hottest. If you are on the beach a pop up beach tent is a brilliant idea as you can easily get the kids into the shade. There are lots of different types of sunblock for children out there but I love this organic one sold at John Lewis as it is ideal for sensitive skin. When you are at the seaside or by the pool water safety is also important too. Of course proper supervision of young children is always vital but it is also a good idea to make sure they have a buoyancy aid on too to help them stay afloat in the water.
So - I hope these tips help you plan your holidays and do share any great tips that you may have with me too!