Jess' holiday tips & essentials
Since becoming a mum we have holidayed lots with the kids. My husband works away a lot so in his off season which is about two weeks a year he wants to spend quality time with the kids and I just want to lay in luxury and be fed grapes off the vine, so we have always tried hard to find accommodation that suits everyone and we have not missed a break yet.
The more kids you have the harder this seems to get and more stress is brought with it. But I have put together allllll the tips and essentials that I keep for my jolly’s and to hopeful make it the stress free break all us mommas need.
Let’s start from the beginning...
Baby zen yo-yo probably one of the best things we have spent our money on. We bought one of these about a year ago for traveling with a toddler and another about two weeks ago when I was having sleepless nights of how we were all going to fit in the car with luggage and a huge double pram. Don’t get me wrong I love our Joolz duo but by Christ they take up a lot of room. Baby zen fold down so small you can even take them on the aircraft as hand luggage. For the airport I would also recommend taking a cloth sling that folds down small into hand luggage. You can wear baby in a sling going through luggage check at the airport and if you have to go on the bus to the plane they ask you to fold down the buggy so comes in handy. I use a artipope wrap.
MILK soooo many questions regards to formula, you can take formula in your hand luggage, the small ready made bottles are best. Airlines do understand that baby needs to be fed and you may be going long haul so they are general very understanding to how much milk you need. For the rest of the holiday, if you packed it before hand your luggage would basically just consist of milk so at least a week before you travel pre order on boots online to be collected at the airport boots. It’s so simple, you have pre paid just turn up and grab your milk. Take in your hand luggage a bag for life of some kind so the plastic ones don’t snap on your travels with a life supply of milk. Shove it all in the over head lockers and voila you have enough milk for the plane, holiday and beyond right above your head.
Most questions and worry’s come from “how do you keep kids entertained on the plane” and it’s the same old answers .. iPads, download loads of new apps (toca life apps, Netflix and sky let you download films and programmes to watch offline, reading eggs ... etc) Headphones are a must, airports sell loads of kid friendly ones, get them to pick a pair before take off so they are excited to use them, they will be much more interested and less distracted if they can actually hear what they are watching. we also take, card games and snacks. I think the key is not throwing it all at your kids at once. There is sooo much going on and so much to see. Watch the plane take off, talk about were you are going, what you will be doing and if by then they haven’t fallen asleep with all the shit chat, pass them the iPads. Remember chill mum = chill kids, so chill.
Now you don’t have a case full of formula because you have pre ordered to boots in your airport, you will be filling your case with 300 vests and 78 bibs leaving you an inch to put your knickers in. My best piece of advice is to pack washing tablets in a sandwich bag. I for one do not want to be spending my holiday hand washing like old mother Hubbard but it 100% will at least half your packing list and take the stress away from running out of clothes.
Request everything and anything from your hotel!! The smaller the hotel the better service you will receive so go boutique or one off if you can. Before your stay email them and explain you are a stressed mother and want them to do a shop for you. Order as much as you possibly can, nappies, milk, wipes, swim nappy, disposable bibs, baby food, shampoo, conditioner sun cream... the list can go on. There is usually a small charge for the service but 100000% worth it. Once you arrive your cases will be lighter and your room filled with all essentials.
Other things you can pre request from your hotel, microwave, mini fridge, high chairs, stair gates, pool guards, steriliser, they have it all you just need to ask. The chef will also be able to make you up baby food and if your lucky won’t charge. A bit of fruit in the blender is nothing for them, so just ask! When you arrive ask about an upgrade, if they have room they will do it, it also means more space and why the bloody hell not???
And lastly book your private transfer through your hotel. They are not much more expensive than just grabbing a taxi outside but this way you can request car seats so you don’t have to travel with one and your driver will be waiting for you to grab your bags and whisk you away. No hanging around with grumpy kids.
I got asked about sun cream, we use Nivea 30 for kids, coloured - you can see where you have put it, the kids enjoy rubbing the spray in, its not stickey and I once got told 30 is the same as 50 and less sticky so I have always just used 30 but make sure you reapply no matter what you use!!!
You will find most European countries especially are better equipped than U.K. for babies. Selling disposable sterilised water bottles with teats to keep baby hydrated or make up formula with has been my favourite find. Huge ranges of nappies, wipes, formula. Don’t feel like you have to take everything in your cases. Just go find your local when you arrive and it’s there if you need.
I hope this blog has helped you relax about your well deserved stress free break.