Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.
Travelling with children, yes or no? On the one hand there’s the excitement and unique experiences that come from travelling together to a whole new country and creating memories. On the other hand, there’s the whole rigmarole that comes with travelling with small children. Is it worth it, especially, if you decide to go long haul?
Families are unique and what works well for one doesn’t necessarily work well for another. If you’re vibe is relaxed and laid back, chances are your little travellers will adopt the same approach. Admittedly travelling with a baby is a special kind of experience but it can be done as thousands of parents will attest to.
Long haul travel experts will tell you that the key is being organised. Making sure that you and your small people have a few items with them that are familiar – a favourite teddy or blanket and that they’re comfortable. Travelling in pyjamas is perfect, kick off shoes and snuggle down with a movie and a bunch of snacks. If your child is pre-iPad or movie age, then having a series of toys they can open every half or so has proved a winning strategy for so many parents. Oh, and snacks, so many snacks. What you eat on the aeroplane has no bearing on what you might eat in real life, it’s just about getting through the trip, so relax and let your five-a-day rule slip a little.
Long haul sounds ok in theory but in practice it’s way worse than you even thought possible. Screaming children, disgruntled fellow passengers, zero sleep and messed up body clocks. Remind us again why we thought this was a good idea?
The fact is, holidays ought to be a time for relaxing and wrangling a mobile toddler for eight hours on a plane is exactly the opposite. Sure, there might be some nice sights and people when you get there but you’ll be too exhausted and wrung out to properly enjoy them.
Far better to holiday closer to home. Why not just pack up the car and head off up country for a week? You’ll have all your home comforts with you and won’t spend half your holiday battling jet lag.
Save the long haul flights until your children are much older or when they’ve left home and treat yourselves to a business class trip where the only decision you have to make is which wine to choose from the menu.
Long haul, short haul or staycation, holidays were meant to be fun. If the thought of flying for hours with your children is a stress level too far, then consider a shorter trip to test the water first. Flying can be a great experience for everyone and the more chance they have to get used to it, the less of a big deal it becomes. On the other hand, it’s not for everyone so enjoy exploring the sights and cities around you and create a holiday that’s as unique as you and your family.