1. Sitting still for the entire flight can be difficult for adults let alone children. Many airlines have onboard entertainment systems which will keep your child entertained for the first few hours of your family holiday. However, you shouldn’t rely on these as the only form of entertainment and it’s a good idea to pack a few comics and colouring books as back up.
2. If this is your first package holiday with the children then it’s a good idea to plan for a slower pace than you might usually adopt on a holiday in the sun. Be realistic about how much you can arrange with your little ones in tow and keep a few free days in the event that the children need a rest.
3. Ask your tour operator if they have any family friendly offers; this can be anything from free breakfasts for children to package holiday places at discounted child rates.
4. Check the hotel that you’re staying at has child-friendly entertainment. This may be in the form of a kids club or babysitting service and means that you and your partner can take a night off and enjoy a relaxing evening on your sun holiday with no interruptions.
5. Make sure that you visit a doctor at least two months before the start of your package holiday. This will enable your doctor to make sure that all your children’s vaccinations are up to date. If your child has any pre-existing medical condition then this will also give your doctor ample time to ensure that you have all the information that you need in advance of your upcoming family holiday.
6. Make sure you have all the documentation that you need. If you’re the only parent travelling then you will need written consent from the other parent, regardless of your marital status. If you are widowed then you will also need to bring proof of this. Adopted children will need to travel with their adoption papers.
7. Teach your child something about your family holiday destination before you arrive. This is a great way to prepare them for what to expect and also, where appropriate, teaches them of any customs that they should be considerate of. If you’re breastfeeding then it also a good idea to research the local attitudes to this, should you need to be more discreet.
8. If the food of the country that you’re going to is radically different from what your children are used to then it’s a good idea to prepare for this. Try serving your children a few traditional dishes before you take your package holiday and research restaurants in the local area that serve more westernised food if that doesn’t work out.
9. In every destination, be sure to designate a meeting place in the event that any of your group gets lost. You can also buy wrist tags for children that include your mobile phone number and these are a great idea for younger children, should they go AWOL on your package holiday.
10. Children are very susceptible to heat and sweat a lot which can lead to prickly heat and sun-stroke. You should be prepared to change your baby’s clothes up to three times a day and children’s up to twice. Choose clothes that are made from natural fibres and most importantly pack plenty of sunscreen.