If you have a toddler or infant and are feeling a bit apprehensive about the prospect of taking them on holiday, here are a few tips which should ensure that your travel experience is as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
Book family-friendly accommodation
The type of accommodation you choose to stay in will play a significant role in how challenging your holiday experience is. Ideally, you should try to book family-friendly accommodation; that is, a hotel which caters to the needs of those who are travelling with young children.
You might, for instance, want to look for hotels that have child care centres and babysitting services, so that you and your partner can go for a drink or have a peaceful meal together at some point during your trip. If you decide to book a place that offers these services, make sure to give the hotel a call before you book to find out more about them.
For example, if the child care centre provides the children with trips to the hotel swimming pool, you may want to inquire about the relevant qualifications of those supervising these activities (for example, whether they are trained in CPR and first-aid) and whether or not they offer safety equipment, such as inflatable arm bands.
You should also ask about the type of food they provide the children with throughout the day, and (if relevant) if they can accommodate any special dietary requirements your child has.
It's also important to ensure that the hotel room you book is appropriate for you and your family's needs. If you have an infant or a toddler, it can be tricky to go out for restaurant meals several times a day. As such, it's a good idea to look for hotel rooms with kitchenettes that have microwaves and hot plates, so that you can warm up a bottle or a snack for your child when they get hungry. A mini-fridge, with space for bottled milk or formula, can also be a very useful when you're travelling with very young children.
Pack with care
The items you pack for your trip can also affect how enjoyable (or how stressful) it will be. If you intend to do quite a bit of sightseeing throughout the course of your holiday, for example, it's sensible to pack plenty of non-perishable snacks for your child (things such as low-sugar cereal bars, dried fruit, single-serving packets of peanut butter and crackers are all good options), so that you can provide them with some nourishment if they start to get tired and cranky when you're out and about.
Additionally, make sure to pack a small medicine and first-aid kit, so that if your child scrapes their knee or develops a cold during the trip, you won't have to rush around, desperately looking for a pharmacy in an unfamiliar town or city. In this kit, you should keep some plasters, antiseptic cream, child-friendly liquid paracetamol and some travel-sickness medication.
Bring along a few sources of entertainment, too, so as to reduce the chances of them having a boredom-induced temper tantrum during the holiday. An e-tablet filled with child-friendly games, apps and cartoons should help to keep your child content and occupied whilst you're queuing up to enter a museum or waiting for your meal to arrive at a restaurant.