In the second installment of dadzclub's series on family friendly holidays, Holiday Cottages suggest their top tips for holidaying with kids.
There’s no point in wrapping the following statement up in cotton wool; holidaying with kids, particularly those on the smaller side can be very hard work. However there are a good few things you can do to make your holiday experience run a little smoother.
For a start, you might want to put long haul flights – or flights of any kind on hold. Who wants to be the fried-looking couple with the screaming baby in a confined space, or to be dealing with jet-legged children. Let’s not forget the sheer volume of equipment you have to pack and carry into another country.
A holiday a little closer to home is a much safer bet and a lot less stressful to boot. With a diverse collection of self-catering holiday cottages spanning the West Country within our portfolio, we thought we’d fill you in on some of our top tips for travelling with your kids for a family-friendly South West holiday…
1. Make travelling with kids hassle free
It can be to everyone’s benefit to stick to a similar night time routine. If travelling by car you might want to arrange to travel at night. You will not only enjoy a more relaxing journey (hopefully they’ll be too pooped to launch into a tedious “are we there yet”? performance) but you should be able to either scoop them up from the car into bed or at least guide them in their zombie-like state towards their beds on arrival. This sets the president to be able to keep to your little one’s nap times and bed times as much as possible.
2. Packing everything but the kitchen sink!
Properties catering for families tend to offer a range of equipment to ensure your stay is as hassle free and convenient as possible; these items can range from cots and high chairs to other bulky accessories that might be a struggle to travel with. In our portfolio, we’ve specifically chosen cottages due to their family-friendly features such as play equipment, swimming pools and safe gardens perfect for the days where you might want to stay local and enjoy the property itself.
However, for the times when you’re out and about when your child would normally take his or her daytime nap, a buggy blackout blind is a useful investment as even if the sun is streaming down, junior can enjoy an environment ideal for a bit of shut-eye on the go. And if you’re spending time on the beach, a sun tent is also a useful accessory. Portable black-out blinds are now also available, so for infants used to sleeping in pitch black, it won’t hurt to purchase one – the blind can be re-used, so you’ll get plenty of wear out of it.
3. Routine and familiarity
Familiar objects can help also help your little one’s settle. Even if your home for the week provides bedding for the children you might want to consider taking your own – or at least a couple favoured blankets or a pillow. The smells and texture of such objects will instantly help him/her feel safe and reassured and if they have a favourite toy or comforter…don’t forget to take it with you!
4. Getting out and about
There’s always plenty going on in the South West, particularly for families and a wide range of attractions you can visit; from theme parks and wildlife parks to days out on open farms, you won’t be short of things to do. And let’s not forget how inexpensive a day out in the West Country can be if you wish to explore its spectacular scenery. With mile upon mile of golden sands, ancient coves, rugged coastlines and plenty of green space to run around about on the whole family is sure to be entertained.
For more inspiration and ideas, have a browse of the family holidays page http://www.holidaycottages.co.uk/holiday-ideas/family on our website, where you will not only be able to search through our hand-picked family-friendly cottages in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset and the Cotswolds but view a range of articles and ideas to help you plan your perfect South West break.
Farm & Cottage Holidays are family run and owned holiday cottage rental specialists with over 30 years of experience, offering a collection of over 1,400 of the finest cottages in the South West. View our diverse collection, check availability and book securely online at www.holidaycottages.co.uk or, with lines open 7 days a week, you can speak to a member of the team on 01237 426272.