Family holidays are a chance to reconnect, experience something new with your little ones, and create long-lasting memories. Family holidays are less about unwinding and more about managing nap schedules while away from home. And when you get back you might feel as though you need a holiday to recover from the holiday…but that’s all part of the fun!
Holidaying with kids requires planning; you want a general idea of what activities you’ll do each day, where you might eat and public transport options. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick to a rigid schedule or even the same schedule you have at home.
Naps – go with the flow
You want to be able to find a balance between loosening up your usual schedule while still allowing the opportunity for your child to have a nap.
Adequate day naps – even on holiday – will help your little one cope with all the stimulation of their new environment and hopefully, encourage more settled night sleeps.
Top tips for managing naps:
- Plan to be in your room at nap time. You might pop out for breakfast and a wander around, then head back to the hotel for a decent midday nap in the portacot;
- Choose a travel stroller that lies flat, allowing for easy naps on-the-go. The Edwards & Co Otto lies flat and is suitable from newborn to 20kg. Make sure to pack the sun cover so you can blackout your child’s sleep space and keep them protected from any harsh sun;
- Lower your expectations and be happy if your child manages a couple of micro naps throughout the day. A quick car nap, eyes shut in the front pack, or a late afternoon kip is better than nothing and should keep your child going until bedtime (whenever that is). At home these might be “disaster naps” but on holiday, anything goes!
Navigating the airport
Gone are the days of getting away with carry-on luggage only for a weeklong holiday. Now you’re probably wondering how to max out your baggage allowance!
A few things to consider before your next overseas break:
- An infant ticket (for children under two) usually gives you two complimentary checked baggage items that you can use for your car seat and stroller. It’s always a good idea to toss up taking your own equipment or hiring in your destination country – there are pros and cons of each.
- Instead of taking your big buggy, use a compact stroller for your holiday instead. The Edwards & Co Otto folds up small enough (with one hand, in three seconds) to fit in the overhead locker so you can use it throughout the airport and right up to the gate. This keeps your child safely harnessed through the mad-rush of checking in and boarding.
- Pack a few new toys or look into busy bags for your flight. This should keep your child entertained for a couple of hours. And don’t forget snacks…you’ll need more than you think!
Plan for the unexpected
We don’t want to be all doom and gloom, but it is a good idea to consider some of the obstacles you might face on holiday. It’s always good to be prepared!
- Food safety and eating patterns:
What kind of food is available in the country you’re visiting? Will you be eating at restaurants, shopping from a local supermarket or have facilities to cook at your accommodation? Are you able to pack food into your checked luggage?
Little ones do best with a familiar eating pattern i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few snacks, and generally like to eat every 2-3 hours. If your child is grazing all day, or perhaps you’re visiting a hot country, you might find their appetite at main mealtimes is less than usual. Just keep up fluids and try not to stress about the rest.
- Travel first aid and medicines
It pays to be overprepared as you never know when a virus or tummy bug will strike. Pack the mozzie spray, sunblock, pain relief and plasters. Also pack things like electrolyte drinks, nail clippers and a thermometer that you might never need in your normal day-to-day but may come in handy on your trip.
- Weather report
Take your stroller accessories like the rain cover and sun cover just in case. A rain cover is perfect to keep your little one sheltered on windy days (even when it isn’t raining) and a sun cover can not only shield the sun, but also darkens their environment for naps or when they’re becoming overstimulated and upset.
But most of all, just have fun!