Saturday, 10 May 2014

The World of Travel With Children

This informative collaborative post was written by K. Watson.

Holidays should be the part of the year you look forward to most… right? Right? Don’t worry, you’re not the only mother who might feel like this isn’t always necessarily the case.

It’s not that you don’t like relaxing and having fun, of course not. But it’s undeniable that since you’ve had kids, a trip away has probably been anything but calm. Now, the intention of this isn’t to scare first timers who may not yet have experienced the joys of jetting off with little ones… instead, see this as a bit of a warning. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make sure everything goes smoothly!
  1. Transport
There are loads of things to take into consideration once you’ve picked your destination, but there’s no need to be overwhelmed. Take everything in your stride, methodically, and providing you’re well prepared, there won’t be any issues. Will you need to fly? Don’t give your kids any reason to freak out about being on a plane – your fellow passengers aren’t going to appreciate your child being that child, you know, the one who doesn’t stop crying on a flight for three hours straight. Make things even easier for yourself by getting your airport transfers sorted, first. People like Coach Hire London are able to do this for you, no matter your group size. If it’s really going to be impossible, consider taking a coach. Companies like National Express and Megabus have services all over the country and Europe, but if you don’t think you can bear being on a bus for that long, why not look into trains?
  1. Money
Of course, there’s the obvious. If you’re visiting Spain or the USA or, to be honest, anywhere outside of the UK, they’re going to look at you like you’re speaking another language if you try and pay with your English Pounds. You may well ACTUALLY be speaking another language, too. So you’re best to get your currency sorted in advance, especially if you’re going somewhere a little more obscure where it may have to be ordered in for you. Whether it’s Euros, Dollars, or something else entirely, try and take a mix of cash, traveller’s cheques and even a Cash Passport. You might want to avoid using your debit card because of bank charges for using it abroad, so this type of pre-paid card is a great alternative! If you do get stuck abroad, and you’ve got family or friends who can help you out, don’t panic. Services like Azimo allow you to transfer money to anywhere in the world, so you won’t be left cashless with the kids!
  1. Kid’s Activities
You might want to lie on a beach sipping sangria in peace for a week, or perhaps take in some culture and history, but your kids are going to have other ideas. Please, please, if it’s the only thing you do, check your accommodation has a Kid’s Club or some kind of play area. You should read the reviews on websites like Trip Advisor, to give yourself the best idea of what to expect. Unless you’re going to Disney Land or somewhere designed especially with children in mind, they’re going to want to make friends and splash about in a pool, at the very least.
  1. Medicines
This is a pretty big one. If your child requires any kind of medication, whether it’s an antihistamine, asthma inhaler, epi-pen or whatever, then it’s your responsibility to make sure you have it on time. Communication errors can be scary (or sadly, worse) in emergencies in foreign countries, so you’re best to have yourself prepared for all eventualities just in case. You should also check if you need a doctor’s note to be able to carry whatever it is. If customs take something off you, you could find yourself in a tricky situation!
  1. Insurance
Insurance isn’t something you should overlook. The typical ‘it won’t happen to me!’ thing just isn’t acceptable when you’ve got vulnerable people relying on you, too. Hospital bills in other countries are frightening, and although you’re probably more afraid right now of even considering the possibility you’ll need to visit one, you do not want to have to pay those things yourself if it comes down to it. Get insurance to cover the whole family, from medical expenses, to damages and of course lost or stolen items. (You should also keep in mind that you should have home insurance, too. Nothing worse than coming back to find that your lovely four year old left the tap on for the WHOLE TIME YOU WERE AWAY, and now you’re expected to live as a mermaid… Not that this happened to anyone. Especially not this writer. Honest.)

Now that’s been said, it’s time to dig out the passports and enjoy the holiday. And if you’ve not yet booked anything and you’re ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’, then get on it. Get saving your pennies, rallying your family around (you’ll need as much help as you can get!), and get trawling the net for the best destinations and deals. Have fun!

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