Travelling with babies and young children doesn’t have to be hair-tearingly stressful. We’ve asked our friends at Mark Warner to share their top tips on planning a holiday, getting to your destination with your sanity intact, and having the time of your life.
Top Ten Tips
• Avoid long trips, whether by car, train or plain. Long haul makes little sense when the children are small, because of the inoculations, jet-lag, and upheaval to hard-won routines.
• Try to time car, plane and train trips to coincide nap-times where this is at all feasible.
• If possible, wait until babies are 8–12 weeks old to fly to avoid exposing them to germs circulated by onboard ventilation systems.
• Submit passport applications for first passports at least 6 weeks before you plan to travel
(all ages now need their own passport).
• Breeze the airport experience by splurging on a Meet & Greet parking service and a lounge with a children’s area.
• Make time fly in the air by giving kids mini-backpacks with an assortment of small toys – comforting favourites and new treats – plus sticker/activity books, hand-held figures and flat-packs of Plasticine.
• Take food to use as a distraction as well as to save money at the airport or on the plane. Avoid messy chocolate and crumbly biscuits (and the associated sugar rush) in favour of boxes of raisins, apple slices, carrot sticks, rice cakes
• Find out what’s available at your hotel or at nearby shops if you need specific brands of formula, baby food and sunscreen – many family-friendly resorts have their own shops with familiar makes.
• Take two of crucial items that could get lost or broken, such as glasses or inhalers, and a prescription (accompanied by a doctor’s note) for vital medicines.
• Find out if you need to book resort childcare in advance, to avoid disappointment. It also pays to ensure that your child’s crèche or kids’ club slot corresponds with any activities you wish to take part in, such as tennis or
This summer Mark Warner Family Holidays start from £450pp and include; British Airway flights from Heathrow T5, transfers, accommodation, half, full and all inclusive board options, childcare from 2 – 17 years (4 month – 2 years is chargeable), sailing and windsurfing with tuition, tennis, mountain biking and a fitness programme.
• Freelance travel writer and PR (The Guardian, Conde Nast Traveller, National Geographic Traveller and more)