6 Ways to survive family holidays with young kids

Planning a family holiday? Check out these tips on how to survive the trip with young kids in tow and ensure you all have a great time whilst you're away.
Planning a family holiday?

Check out these tips on how to survive the trip with young kids in tow and ensure you all have a great time whilst you're away.

6 Ways to survive family holidays


1. Jet lag

If you’re heading somewhere which is several time zones different to New Zealand, you're undoubtedly going to have to deal with children with jet lag.

Try to get your kids to fall into local time as much as possible.

Head outside during daylight hours and carry out dinner and bed routines as near to their usual time as possible.

Get up the next morning at the normal time too, and if everyone’s really tired, have a nap in the afternoon.

2. Accommodation

No matter how child-friendly the accommodation you've booked is supposed to be, it's worth doing a quick safety check when you arrive.

What's child-friendly for older kids, might not be quite so safe for your little ones.

It is definitely worth checking the locks on doors and windows and making sure your child can't climb over balconies or wander off into the pool the moment your back is turned.

It's also a good idea to check the temperature of the hot water. If it's much hotter than at home, children who are old enough to wash themselves might need warning.

If your child's no longer in a cot and you're worried about them falling out of a strange bed, think about putting the mattress on the floor or spare pillows along the side of the bed to help cushion their fall.

Block the way to any power sockets with furniture or bring socket covers with you.

When you have small kids, self-catering is sometimes an easier option. Somewhere that has a washing machine for frequent spills and somewhere you can store and cook food at their usual times.

3. Sleeping

If you’re travelling around New Zealand, flying to Australia or to one of the Islands, jet lag won’t be an issue, but it’s often disruptive for little ones when it comes to sleeping in a strange bed and a different room.

Try and keep to a routine as much as possible, but be prepared to be flexible whilst you’re away.

4. Feeding kids

If you’re breastfeeding it will be business as usual. Just remember to keep up your fluids in warmer climates to prevent dehydration.

Be aware too that attitudes towards breastfeeding in public still differ from country to country and culture to culture.

Be prepared to show a little diplomacy with a well-manoeuvred blanket or sarong.

If your baby's bottle-fed, it's wise to try to get them used to room temperature or even cold milk before you travel in case hot water isn't readily available.

You can buy infant formula almost everywhere overseas, although brands may differ to those you have at home.

If you have a toddler in tow make sure you have a stock of nutritious snacks to hand when hunger strikes.

Check out these ideas for healthy snacks for kids on the go. 

Be prepared to bend the rules a little though when you’re away and there’s nothing healthy available.

5. Day trips

You may have a list of things you’d like to do whilst you’re away. However the reality of having young children may mean that you will need to tailor the list to suit the whole family.
Plan for a slower pace and limit yourself to one or two main activities each day to avoid the kids having a meltdown.

6. Be SunSmart

If you're heading to the beach or the snow or anywhere remotely hot, it's important to teach your kids to be sun smart.

Remember that kids' skin is thinner and burns more easily than adults.

Encourage kids to play in the shade and try to keep them out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day.

Cover them liberally with a high-SPF sunscreen and keep re-applying it throughout the day and after they’ve been swimming.

Make sure your kids also wear wide-brimmed hats and a UV-protective top.

Kids eyes are more sensitive to glare, so it's important to ensure they're wearing sunglasses or snow goggles to protect their eyes.

Stay alert to the signs of overheating and make sure everyone is drinking long and often to help reduce the possibility of sunstroke.

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