5 things to pack if travelling with kids
Ah, the holiday packing. Not only do you have to make sure you don’t forget anything before jetting off to the sun, you also need to make sure the kids have everything they’ll need. While tears and tantrums can never be totally avoided, you can help minimise the risk with some smart, forward-thinking packing.
1. A surprise present (cheap!)
Flying off on holiday can be stressful for a child, especially if this is going to be their first real holiday abroad experience. Who knows when the moment of that temper tantrum might come: at the airport, on the flight, in the hotel or maybe at the dinner table as they realise the food is maybe not exactly like it is back home! This is where a comforting bribe comes in: pack a small toy that is new to them as a present that you can use to calm them down, reward them or encourage good behaviour.
2. Paper and crayons (indispensable!)
Whether waiting around in the airport, on the plane or at dinner in the evening, some paper and colouring pencils or crayons can be a godsend. Why not make it more interesting by encouraging them to draw pictures related to the holiday. What can they see out of the window? What was their favourite part of the day?
3. Electronic games (and batteries!)
As antisocial as they potentially are, consider investing in a handheld games console or cheap tablet to keep the kids busy. Remember, however, that there’s nothing worse than it running out of juice at an inopportune moment. Make sure you have spare batteries and a charger that is compatible to the wall sockets in your holiday destination. If possible, get hold of a universal charger that is capable of charging phones, games, tablets and the like.
4. Two bathing suits (easily accessible!)
Inevitably, the first thing the kids will want to do when you arrive at the hotel is jump in the swimming pool or head to the beach. Make sure you pack two sets of bathing suits so that they can be in one while the other one dries and also ensure they’re easy to locate at the top of your case so that you don’t have to delay that first splash into the pool or bucket and spade moment!
In general, try to pack as much as possible into your hold luggage so that you have minimum hand luggage. This will leave you free to carry, rally and generally pick up after the kids as you travel.
5. Sun protection (including a legionnaire’s hat!)
If you’re going somewhere hot and sunny (lucky you!), make sure you’re prepared. You can get great UV protection suits these days which have in-built UV protection so you won’t have to worry about lathering them up every five minutes. Of course, you’ll still need sun cream for sensitive areas and it’s also worth investing in a French Foreign Legion-style kepi to protect their faces and necks.
On holiday, you want the kids to be happy, healthy and amused. Consider these five tips and you’ve a good chance of achieving all three.