Now let me preface this. I HATE flying. I have a morbid, awful, phobia of it. I have a variety of techniques to help me cope with this and refuse to let it stop me and the kids seeing the world. However, it means we don’t fly abroad often so I’m certainly no seasoned expert. There are plenty of other bloggers out there with tips on flying with babies or other ways to cope, pack, entertain etc. However I have now done some short haul flights and holidays in the sun with my two littlies (almost 5 and 3), and am so frequently asked for five minute tips on holidaying that I’ve decide to compile this list of things that I’ve learnt (sometimes the hard way!)…
- Forget what holidays USED to be like. Don’t think its going to be just like your pre-kids days – tanning, napping, pool dips on lilos, and drinking. THEM DAYS ARE GONE! Let it go, and prepare yourself to appreciate holidays in a new (ahem, massively less relaxing) way…and remember, there’s always the retirement years to look forward to! 😉
- Don’t tell the kids about your holiday too early. Counting down 75 sleeps ain’t no fun. A week before to build excitement is plenty I found.
- Packing cubes. I discovered these on Amazon. They are ace.
- Trunki’s are brilliant. I packed the kids clothes in them and took them as carry on so they could whizz around the airport. However Florence did fall off hers headfirst and chipped her tooth on the hard airport floor so maybe…just take it steady on them!
- Kids on planes are a pain in the arse. They just are. Accept it and repeat the mantra…THIS FLIGHT WILL END.
- I used a combinations of things to keep them entertained – TAT bags (see below for contents), colouring books, iPads and headphones (we have iclever ones), My Busy Bots bags (gifted), taking them to the toilet and snacks a PLENTY. I circled them on repeat for Flo as her attention span is quite literally five minutes. She is the reason for the mantra.
- Lollipops for landing (and to shut them up for five minutes)
- Playdoh gets through airport security.
- When kids are drowning they are SILENT. They don’t shout help or splash around. Florence has been attending swimming classes since she was 10 weeks old but we had a momentary scare with her, and saw similar with another child. Don’t be fooled by anything. Swimming pools are dangerous as well as fun.
- For that reason she wore this Splash About life jacket for the rest of the trip. So did Ewan. I’d highly recommend them.
- Feck off the routine. Seriously. Don’t try and stick to anything. Eat when hungry. Let them sleep whenever and stay up late. Screw the iPad ‘rules’. It does absolutely no harm and trying desperately to clock watch when you’re away just steals a bit of the freedom. Leave the routine at home, you can easily pick it back up when you get home again.
- All these suncreams were great (see photos below). None of us burnt. I’d personally buy the Riemann’s P20 one again for me because although pricey I genuinely only applied it once a day and it worked and for a Mum who often creams the kids multiple times and forgets herself, slapping this on first thing and forgetting about it is super helpful.
- They will mostly eat chips and ice cream. Make peace with that.
- Take five minutes to just watch them. Take pictures in your head as well as on your phone.
- Speaking of phones I switched mine off for the majority of the week. The break gave me space to breathe. I read two actual books.
- If you can, take grandparents with you or friends that will happily take turns watching the kids. Or at the very least take turns as parents to give each other an hour.
- I personally love these sandals from Clarks. They’ve always been so comfy for the kids and can go in the water. I get them every year.
- ‘Everything I know about
parties, dates, friends, jobs, life, love’ by Dolly Alderton is a brilliant book. Read it if you can.
- If you go to the beach, here are some five minute beach games.
- Have a lovely time. It might be SSDL (same shit different location) sometimes but that DL can be all you need to really shake yourself off and revaluate things. And a bit of sea and sunshine does everyone good.
I have absolutely NO idea if that is at all helpful to anyone. It’s just some stuff I noted down while we holidayed in sunny Spain. And because I read that incredible memoir by Dolly Alderton who writes lists like this, I thought I’d pop my thoughts up here in her style as a wee homage. Happy holidays (not holibobs Dolly, NEVER holibobs!)
Florence’s TAT BAG
Includes: an I Spy bag from Our Sensory Shop (Discount code DAISY10), one pot of playdoh and 4 accessories, three farm animals and two fences, fairy and pixie happy land characters, four small vehicles, three crayons (triangular ones are best as they don’t roll off the plane tray table) a book, a mirror from out of a cracker. She also had a regular colouring book and the MESS FREE one pictured below.
Ewan’s TAT BAG
Includes: A squeeze ball from a Mini Writers club box, one pot of playdoh and two accessories, some magnetic tiles and wheels, a joke book, a small reading book, four vehicles, an Usbourne Travel Activity Pad.
p.s. No-one gives a shit about how you look on the beach in your swimming stuff. Literally no-one. I was in Marbella for god sakes – home of the TOWIE parading – and I still saw every kind of titty, overhang, bum crack, wobbly bit, white bit you could ever wish to see. It was glorious. Go join them with your own bits. The beach is a place to be free.