Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog!
We have recently returned from our first family holiday abroad and I want to share with you my favourite holiday hacks when travelling with a baby or toddler. These tips helped us to relax and I hope they will be useful for you too!
My number one tip is to make sure that the accommodation and resort you are hoping to stay at is family friendly. A family friendly destination abroad will help you to enjoy your holiday more because everything you need will already be there. Decide what you will need and what is important to you. An ideal family friendly destination will have the following plus points:
– Pre-bookable cots, sterilisers and strollers should you need them
– Pushchair friendly access
– A baby or toddler pool and perhaps a playground/indoor play room
– Blackout blinds and curtains
– Air conditioning as standard
– A clean sandy beach with shallow water
– Highchairs in all areas
– Child friendly buffet
– On site Supermarket for essentials
Close for convenience
We chose to visit Menorca for our first family holiday. We have been to the island before and like the short flight time (2 hrs) from our nearest airport. We chose to stay at a family friendly hotel with a very short transfer time (10 mins) as we were nervous about being on a coach without Bubba’s car seat.
If it is your first time flying with a baby you might want to consider choosing day time flights. We found that day time flights allowed us to stick as closely to our normal routine as possible. Depending on what’s available and which holiday company you decide to travel with, you can usually select day time flights when searching for your perfect holiday.
Hand luggage hack
When travelling with a toddler or a baby on a plane, hand luggage can be a saviour. Pack familiar snacks that you know your child likes, bring along some new toys that can distract them and always have spare food pouches, nappies and wipes at the ready. One hack I love is to pack all of your liquids and pastes in a clear zip up bag for easy access at security.
Sleep like a baby
Bubba slept surprisingly well on her first plane journey due to the excitement and the white noise of the plane engine. When abroad, try to keep naps and bedtime routines as similar to home as you can. We found that Bubba had two naps during the day and slept well at night whilst on holiday because she was so tired from all of the wonderful things to see and do.
If you are heading to a beach destination then be sure to pack talcum powder in your suitcase. This hack works wonders on sandy hands and feet. Simply sprinkle the talcum powder over your sandy toddler and brush away – you’ll be amazed at how quickly the sand comes off!
Life’s a beach
Holidaying with a toddler doesn’t mean being resigned to a week by the poolside. The beach is fantastic free entertainment so be prepared and enjoy yourself. We took beach toys with us on holiday to save paying for them when abroad. You could even take a shower curtain, part bury it and make a mini baby pool in the shade.
Bubba has her own swim ring which enabled us to swim alongside her in the swimming pool. This meant she was free to splash without having one of us carrying her. You can also buy them abroad in the supermarkets where they will usually inflate them free of charge too. The independence of a baby swim ring is a positive but it goes without saying that they should only be used under constant supervision.
Air conditioning hack
If you are travelling with a baby or toddler then you will want to ensure that your accommodation has sufficient air conditioning. I checked TripAdvisor reviews before booking. Once you are on holiday, you may find that the air conditioning system in your room will only work if your key card is in its slot. However, if you have a spare card such as a gym membership one with you, slot this in and leave it in the room while you are out. This will mean you return to a sufficiently cool room and you won’t have to wait for the temperature to drop.
Beach bag and buggy
Both my beach bag and buggy I purchased for next to nothing at my local jumble sale. I didn’t want to take my usual changing bag in case it got ruined by sun, salt and suncream. However, I found a cheap changing bag at the jumble sale to take away with me and this doubled up as my beach bag for the duration of our holiday. Our secondhand buggy was a bargain and meant that I wasn’t worried if the baggage handlers didn’t treat it with care. It did the job we needed it to do and it was cheaper than pre-booking a buggy at the hotel. This also meant we could use it at the airport – on both departures you can take it right up to the gate.
Library books abroad
This final thrifty holiday tip is brilliant for bookworms. I love reading, especially when abroad. However, buying books can be expensive. Now, whenever I see a book that I think I would like to read I check my local library’s online catalogue to see if they have it and if I can reserve it. I took three books abroad with me for free and read them all while Bubba napped. Obviously, you will need to take care to look after the book whilst away but this tip can help you to save a pretty penny.
If you are looking to book your first holiday abroad with baby then take the plunge – we loved our holiday and can’t wait for the next one! The memories you will make are priceless and so worth the effort.
If you enjoyed this blog post and would be interested in seeing our packing hacks then please leave a comment – I love hearing from you.
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Love, Thrifty Mumma X
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