Welcome to the Take Over Tuesday guest post series. I will be featuring posts by fellow bloggers and outdoors enthusiasts. Do you have some expertise or a great story to share? Consider submitting something to the Humans of the Outdoors series or contacting me directly.
Today’s feature is from Carrie May. Carrie is a mother of three and an avid traveller, knowing there are no limits to holidaying abroad with children is tow. Over the years, she has perfected the ultimate getaway experience, minimizing fuss, hassle, and of course, those temper tantrums of little ones.
6 Things That Every Family Should Prepare for Before Travelling Abroad
Family holidays are a great chance to get everyone away to spend some quality time together. In this day and age, with increasingly busy schedules, it can be difficult to spend time as family. But getting out of your normal routine and away from the stresses of everyday life on a family holiday is the perfect opportunity for some bonding time. After all, some of the memories you make on holiday will stick with you and your little ones for life.
What’s more, taking your children on holiday is good for their health and well-being. Science has proven that it’s good for brain development, including improving concentration skills and stress regulation. In other words, a family holiday is not just good fun, it’s got a positive lasting impact on child development and health.
When you get the chance to go on a family holiday, you want to get it right and keep everyone happy. But that tends to be easier said than done. To help with your holiday preparation, we’ve gathered six top tips. Get these things done before you travel abroad together and have a great time!
1. Choose your location wisely.
No one knows your family better than you. The first step to planning a great family holiday is booking a destination that everyone will love. Think about what everyone loves doing and make sure there’s a little something for each family member. For example, if your family consists of a sun worshipper who just wants to kick back and relax, as well as someone who can’t sit still for long, you’ll need to find a balance when you’re booking.
Corsica is a great destination for family holidays – it’s relatively undiscovered by tourists so you’ll get to explore beautiful beaches peacefully before heading off into the mountains for a hike. After burning off some energy, everyone will appreciate some fantastic food in one of the local villages. Choose somewhere that’s right for your family.
2. Plan an itinerary – and get the kids involved.
Once you’ve got your location sorted, start planning some days out. What are the key attractions and sights nearby? What is your plan of action for days when the weather isn’t so great? Get everyone involved and let the kids make suggestions for where they’d like to go. It’s a way to start spending time together long before you actually head off. Children also respond well when you give them a bit of control over an element of the trip.
3. Make sure everyone is a confident swimmer.
During most family holidays, you’ll inevitably spend time by the pool or at the beach. As a parent, it can be stressful keeping an eye on younger ones swimming. That’s why it’s important to get them swimming lessons early on.
According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death to children ages 1 to 14. Swimming is a low-impact sport, that is essential to their safety – so give yourself peace of mind by ensuring everyone is a confident swimmer before you go on holiday.
4. Pack hand luggage well.
As soon as your children are big enough, you can spread the burden of baggage by letting them carry their own hand luggage. In fact, some people say you only need hand luggage to go on a family holiday. It saves time at the airport, as well as any money you might have been charged for extra luggage, and you end up taking only the things that you actually need. After all, your kids are probably going to spend most of their time in swimwear. They don’t really need different outfits for every single day, nor do they need to take all their favourite toys. Both you and your kids will have to prioritize – but you’ll be thankful when you’ve got less to carry and can speed through the airport and straight to the pool.
5. Teach children about sun safety.
When you head abroad, your little ones will inevitably be excited and eager to start playing. But you need to inform them about the dangers of spending too much time in the sun. The last thing you want is anyone feeling dizzy or sick as a result of staying in the midday sun too long. So schedule a bit of time out in the middle of the day but make sure you’ve got somewhere cool and shady to seek refuge and grab some cool, refreshing drinks and some much-needed food.
In terms of sun cream, you should be reapplying every couple of hours – or even more regularly if you’ve been particularly active or in and out of the water. Children should be wearing at least SPF 30, and you can buy sun creams especially for their more sensitive skin. Pack plenty, and don’t use last year’s creams without checking the expiry dates.
6. Practice an emergency scenario.
The easiest way to get your kids to understand and remember safety rules is to make it fun. To do so, turn it into a game. Acting out various emergency scenarios with role play games, such as “what if we get separated”, will help your kids to remember these essential emergency procedures.
Before you travel abroad, you’ve also got to teach your kids how to respond if they’re approached by strangers. It’s every parents’ worst nightmare, but children need to know rather than shouting “No!” or “Mum!” – which can be overlooked by passers-by – they should yell something like “This is not my parent! Help!”
How do you plan a family holiday? Share your tips and recommendations with us.