Friday 15 July 2016

Tips on travelling alone with children

Who does not love an adventure, an adventure that you can share with your little person!

Earlier this year Leanora & I went on our first Mummy & Daughter holiday and I have to say I enjoyed every minute of it.

At first as the days were approaching ever so closer, I was excited, then my excitedness (is that even a word!) turned into me becoming very anxious thinking can I do this all on my own, what if something happens, do I have the right insurance, the right currency, does my family even know where we are going, do I even know where I am right now! And the answer was yes! Yes by only planning and being organised, which is I suppose easier said than done, especially when you have a busy life not just being a parent, but a working one at that and dealing with whatever else life decides to chuck at you.

The only way I knew I was going to be able to conquer my anxiety, was creating a to-do list! A to-do list is so important, it is easy to forget what has been done and what needs to be completed and this for me works well,  I am more of a visual person and being able to tick each task keeps me sane.

1. Passports: Where are they? Kept in my safe. When I travel I buy a zip lock plastic wallet to keep all particulars and important documents in. Great separation when you get to the airport or pay your taxi driver you can just go in your bag and documents and money is all kept in one place and at hand.

2. Currency: Shop around it is always good to see where you can get a good offer, Marks & Spencers have good offers, the Post Office or Euro Change is really good too. 

3. Insurance: I do not have travel insurance with my bank, but when they gave me a quote for the year, I was flabbergasted and on that note, I decided to talk with family and friends to see who they have  affordable insurance with, in the end, I decided to go with the Post Office, they are really affordable and offer you a range of insurances to suit your needs, plus they break it down really well.

4. Booking: When it comes to booking your flight, always check your flight times! I've booked in the past and not realised that it was in the middle of the day and Leanora (Miss Fidgety Pants could not keep still on the flight) would not settle and as a parent it can become quite stressful for you and your little one especially if they are not used to flying and just want to get off the chair and run up and down the aisle. The way I have decided to TRY and avoid this, is booking a flight that coincides with Leanora's sleep pattern, so the time you board you and your child/children can get some much-needed rest before your adventure begins. Yes, I do know that it is easier said than done, as we don't have any flight time control, but it is always worth checking, as sometimes the original time given can be adjusted, but a fee normally comes into play and that can vary. 

5. Transfers: If you are not hiring a car throughout your holiday and you've never been to your holiday destination before, I always recommend booking a transfer to your newly appointed holiday home. The last thing you want to be doing is pulling luggage, pushing a buggy, carrying bags, plus the kids and searching like a mad woman for a taxi. 

6. Accommodation: This is very important, I always try to book an apartment or self-catering. It is a dream for me, especially as Leanora is still quite young and at times she can not keep still when dining out, so you can either order in or cook a meal in the comfort of your apartment. Plus it will also feel a bit cosier, a home away from home, dining al fresco on the balcony or garden.

7. Toiletries/Medicines: For me, I am easy breezy I just purchase a travel kit, that meets all my needs, you may remember my Aesop Jet Set Travel Kit post but you can catch up on that later.  Leanora has only just turned 2 so she is still in nappies, but pull-ups  (no for long, currently potty training and all is going really well, surprisingly) I calculate how many she roughly goes through a day and times that by the number of days we shall be away plus 5, you never know what could happen. When packing our suitcase, (I only bring 1 large one, as there is only two of us) I lay these in the middle, to separate Leanora's items from mine, so when we arrive at out new holiday home I can unpack in an orderly fashion and it's visually easier to pack everything away (weirdo I know lol) I also make sure I have Leanora's cream for her eczema, we've been currently using Arbonne's baby range, which you can find all about here. I always pack a little first aid kit, filled with medicines, bug sprays, plasters, safety pins you name it, as you never know what bumps and grazes the little ones or even us (the big ones) can get. In regards to and SPF for Leanora & I, I simply use the same as her, I always go for a child's factor 50, to protect us a much as possible from the glorious vitamin D rays, plus I can save myself a few quid as I only by the one for us to share. 

8. Clothing & footwear: Obviously you will shop appropriately for your destination, but it is always best to be safe than sorry, prevention is better than cure! I always pack us a sweater or two each and rain macs and an umbrella as you never know what could happen and the heavens may open at any moment. If you have booked an apartment, some have washing facilities so you can always wash clothes on the go and if you are a bit odd like me, 9 times out of 10 your suitcase packed when going home has all clean clothes, saves you time when you get back home.  

9. Technology: Now this is a life saver, get up to speed on what is new and age appropriate for your little ones, this will keep them entertained whilst on the plane be it app or video, so if you were unable to book that flight slot that fits in with the kids sleep, then this is the next best thing. Plus this saves space in your hold bag, as you know pencils and pens can get lost, kids fight over the colours, this one is hogging the book, etc etc etc. So to give you peace of mind, it is worth investing in a tablet. if you have more than one child and only one tablet, you can buy a cord, that lets you insert to headphone jacks so both can share peacefully. What is also great is cameras, you can get really durable ones for your toddlers, so if they drop or throw it, it can withstand any tantrum, plus it encourages your child/children to be more curious of their surrounding areas.

10. Child Locator: Now, Leanora was not a fan of her reins, but she likes the bag aspect of it, as it is Minnie Mouse. God forbid, you get parted from your loved ones. But better to be safe than sorry, you can pick up from any good technology store a child locator and just pop it in their bag, or wristbands with all of your contact information, so if you do get parted A) You can locate your little or big person B) All your contact information is easily locatable. 

I do hope this has helped and put your minds at ease, I know it can be difficult for us single parents, but believe me if I can do it so can you. The key is to just plan and prioritising ahead if your adventure. 

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London Mumma xx


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