You have a young family, maybe a new baby, but want life your life as you know it to continue as normally as possible! Maybe that includes travelling, possibly abroad, just as you have done in the past but with one or two changes to the method.
Planning, Preparation and Packing for Young Families
The days are now gone when you can hop on a website, pick a cheap flight and carelessly arrive at the airport. With a family in tow there is a lot to bear in mind, and it is all in the planning.
Firstly, find flights that depart and return at a reasonable hour of the day to avoid the stress of waking the family at 2am and travelling to the airport. If you do have an early flight, consider staying at the airport, where you can relax into your holiday.
Choose your seats on the plane carefully and remember it may be easier to sit at the back where you are close to the toilet facilities. Think carefully about young children’s meal times. And lastly, take your time over packing and use a list to ensure you do not forget any essentials. It is so much easier to tick off a list rather than pack and unpack when you can’t remember if you put in that all important babygro!
Child-friendly at the Airport
Over recent years there has been a big push by airports to make the transition from arrival to departure as easy as possible. Many airports now have designated security channels for families, which should hopefully make this a swifter process, and save parents that stressful wait at the back of a large queue!
Improved amenities also include baby changing facilities, water fountains, courtesy pushchairs and free Wi-Fi. Once through security, many airports now offer child-friendly zones where the little ones can be kept amused; particularly helpful if you have a longer wait for your flight. These include play areas, viewing galleries and baby care lounges, some even offering privacy pods to feed and bathe your baby.
Hotel Facilities for Young Children
It is possible these days to book your package holiday choosing a baby/child-friendly specific room, with the young family in mind. Lately there has been a focus on providing hotel rooms with all the comforts of home. One tour operator even encourages children to take a ‘healthy eating challenge’, inviting them to try something new each day with a ‘sticker’ reward scheme. Great thinking!
Here are some of the options available:
- Versatile rooms with adjoining bedrooms and lounge area
- Baby cots with comfortable mattresses
- Toaster, microwave, kettle and fridge
- Pre-bookable baby packages including a pushchair
- Toddlers and kids clubs
- Baby crèches (usually a charge)
- Baby lounges (change tables and bottle warmers)
- Evening clubs for older children
- Children’s section in the restaurant (some include baby food prep areas)
These facilities are a guide only and may incur upgrade charges from your tour operator, but probably worth the extra for the parents who want to be able to relax as much as possible on holiday, especially when the kids are tucked up in bed.
Finally, once your holiday is organised and booked, check your car into airport parking as your final booking and rest assured that you are now ready to pack!
You may also want to check out this guide to: 50 baby and toddler friendly hotels in Europe.