A Family Holiday Survival Guide

When you’re newlyweds with no kids, it’s super-easy to plan a fun and spontaneous holiday getaway. Once the kids come, they absolutely rock your world in every sense of the word, in a good way for the most part. However, spontaneity is the first thing to go out the window. As parents, you need to plan every outing carefully and make sure you have everything you need. This, of course, extends to planning a holiday. You may need to adjust your idea of a holiday now, but that doesn’t mean that it will be any less fun and exciting. You just need to alter your expectations and embrace the new kind of holiday.

Spur of the moment trips may be a thing of the past, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Doing research to find a destination and a venue that is kid-safe and friendly actually makes your holiday all the more stress-free. If you’re traveling with a baby, it’s advisable to stay close to home, as long plane rides can be taxing on both you and the baby. Of course, planes are perfectly safe for a baby as old as 14 days according to Baby Centre, but waiting around in an airport can be quite the hassle. Still, if you do opt for this kind of holiday, make sure you know everything there is to know about flying with a baby. On the other side, staying relatively close to home isn’t a bad idea either, as you get to explore the gems in your own country that you haven’t paid attention to before.

The packing list

When packing your own suitcase, there are things you can live without even if you forget them at home. The same doesn’t apply to your baby so make sure you pay special attention and double check everything. First of all, ensure the car seat is placed and secured properly by whichever means of transportation you choose. An all-terrain push-chair is essential for bumpy walks, and a collapsible stroller is a great choice for city destinations. A couple of great, pram blankets are a must, along with other eco-friendly items. For instance, when it comes to clothing, Burt’s Bees has an amazing line of organic cotton clothing items, including baby robes, which are a lifesaver. Count the number of days you’re going to be there, and bring extra ensembles just in case. Bring along warm clothes, as even the hottest destinations can be unpredictable. Hats are mandatory to keep the baby shielded from the sun. Aside from reliable non-toxic sunscreen, make sure you bring your baby’s lotions, wipes, washes, and shampoos because, as you know, hotel toiletries are not meant for babies. A first aid kit is something you don’t want to forget, and include emergency phone numbers in it as well. As far as technical things go, a baby monitor allows you to enjoy an evening on the terrace while your baby is asleep, so that’s always a good idea, as well as travel blackout blinds that enable the baby to fall asleep wherever you are. If you’re planning a trip to the sea, disposable swim nappies are definitely another must-have. On the road, make sure you have enough diapers as well as biodegradable bags for disposing of dirty ones. The list includes extra pacifiers, disposable formula containers (if you’re using formula), your own feeding set with utensils and bibs. A few of their favorite toys will keep them distracted and entertained on the road, so never leave those behind. Now you’re set to hit the road.

Once you’ve arrived

It’s vital to do a quick risk assessment once you’re at your destination. If your toddler is crawling and walking, make sure to move furniture that’s near windows, and also be careful when it comes to other potential hazards such as low railings on stairs and balconies, and sharp edges. Make sure you ask where the nearest health center is, just to be on the safe side.

Lower your expectations

You might want to see everything there is to see, but keep in mind that your kid or kids don’t have as much energy and that long outings can be taxing on them. One outing a day, whether it’s a stroll or a trip to the beach is enough for them, and they need their routine to remain the same. Nap times, feedings, everything needs to be taken into consideration. Make the most of the time you have outside, take photographs, have fun with your beloved family and cherish these new moments. Keep in mind that this can be a relaxing time, and even though you have to be inside when your baby is inside, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a wonderful time having dinner, reading a book or watching a movie.

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