As you know, we have recently come back from our family holiday in Crete. It was only the second time we’d taken Jake abroad and the first time we had taken a baby as we waited until Jake was 2 years old. We didn’t really know what to expect but we did plan everything down to the smallest detail to ensure that the travel side went as smoothly as possible and that the resort was perfect for our needs. So, if you are thinking about taking the kiddies abroad this summer, here are my 5 tips to prepare for your holiday.
Book a Family Friendly Place
Do your research before you jump in and book your accommodation. It may say it is family friendly but what does this include? Is there a kids club, a disco, activities etc to keep your children entertained? Is there a child-friendly pool with lifeguards? What are the reviews like on their website and over on Tripadvisor? Get as much insight as you can because we all know those beautiful website images may be outdated or photoshopped! The last thing you want to do is turn up to a dirty, unsafe, fault-ridden resort where you cannot relax. This holiday is for all of you.
Meet and Greet Airport Parking
This was a godsend for us with a four-year-old and a baby. We simply drove to our terminal at Gatwick, proceeded to the car park across the road and was met by a customer service rep who took the car details, checked when we were returning and then took our car for us to be parked for the duration. No driving miles away, no waiting in the cold or rain for a bus, no missing bus after bus (that was horrendous a couple of years ago when Jake was just 2) and no rushing to get to the gate on time. It was seamless, it really was and we will always be doing this in future.
As soon as you book your holiday book your travel insurance. That way it is all fresh in your mind, you won’t forget and you can just relax knowing that you are covered. If you know you need a trusted insurer due to current health issues you can get instant answers with a Bupa Global – Health & Travel Insurance Quote. As William was a premature baby we had to check how we would need to be covered but as all of his medication had stopped by the time we went away and as he has done so well he didn’t need to be covered for anything additional but it was safer to check before flying out than taking a gamble and finding he wouldn’t be covered if the worst happened. Travel insurance will also cover you for any lost luggage, delayed flights, hotel evacuations as well as health. You don’t want your holiday ruined by a huge bill.
Ok, so I can admit that I am an over-preparer and we did actually go over on the weight allowance on one of our suitcases. We were very organised and purchased some suitcase scales but as we all know, having kids doesn’t mean that jobs run smoothly, get finished in a timely fashion and often get put to one side whilst we deal with that nappy explosion or spillage or upset… So, our final suitcase didn’t get weighed prior to leaving the house and we had a bit of a shock when we had no choice but to pay for the extra weight at check-in. We could have easily left things behind, we could have thought a little more about reducing our clothing and opting to wash them whilst we were there and we should have really found out about the nappy ordering service that Boots offer at airports. I really do need to stop panic packing!! If you want to find out more on how you can keep your luggage weight down I have covered this previously (with some help from other parents) in this post here.
Pre-book a Hire Car
When we hired a car on our holiday to Zante in 2016 we chose a car hire company that was located right outside the airport. It worked so well because we didn’t have to wait for a transfer (or worry it wouldn’t turn up which did actually happen to us on a holiday a few years previously), we didn’t have to use taxis throughout our stay and we had a car seat for Jake provided too. Again, do your research and make sure there is a reputable company in the country you are choosing to travel to- we went with Enterprise as it was a company we knew and trusted. Check the details of the hire carefully, check the car on arrival plus the car seats and make sure you are happy to drive it. A car allows you to have so much more freedom during your holiday and you will have the opportunity to see so much more of the country.
I think my biggest tip would be to think of everything you will need to make sure your holiday is as easy, straightforward and enjoyable as it can possibly be.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.