Written by Claire Zakks, aka Mama Zakss Picture this - you’re lying on your pineapple printed beach towel, best Love Islander swimsuit, feeling the warm sand trickling between your toes, the sound of the sea swishing calmly in the distance, ice cold Fanta lemon, the ultimate summer drink, quenching your thirst… that’s what holidays are about right?! Well that’s what they were about, until you throw a child or two into the equation and we have a very different scenario. Your towel is likely to be hotel issued to save on that essential packing space, you’ve gone for comfort over style on the one piece M&S swimsuit, grains of sand being kicked up all over you, on your towel and in your bag guaranteed to remain there forever, peace and tranquility has turned to ‘Mummy, Mummy’, tantrum, squeal, repeat and that Fanta lemon, well that has likely been kicked over, leaving a sticky mess attracting a line of the local Spanish ants.
Oh and the fun doesn’t stop there! Lifeguard mode on, forget that celeb autobiography you bought with you to read, resume meerkat position, poised watching little feet running around the pool, ready to launch into full on slow-mo Baywatch run at the first slip. And finally, romantic three course meals with carafes of local vineyard wine are now replaced with the evening’s ‘Mini Disco Time!’,dance floors packed with transfixed toddlers bopping to Chocolatte, waving hysterically at the adult dressed as a giant waistcoat-wearing monkey, while you feed your hunger with bar snacks and indulging in whichever luminous cocktail to help survive the evening. It’s not all bad though, we may have said goodbye to Club Tropicana but there are perks to children on holidays. Firstly, these little people are like VIP passes at airports! First for boarding, special security queues and extra luggage to hide more shoes for mummy! Secondly, siesta time or nanna naps as we call them are acceptable abroad for not only children but also adults. So make the most of that power hour, or two if you are lucky, and catch up on that much needed sleep. Lastly and most importantly, holidays are great family bonding time! There are likely to be only 18 opportunities to have a family summer breaks before holidaying with parents is uncool, so make life long memories, enjoy the moments and take lots of photos! Mama Zakss’ Top Tips for Family Holidays
- Start packing a week early, packing cubes are great space-savers and all the top organised mummy bloggers rave about these!
- Plan every outfit so you pack exactly what is needed and not 20 bikinis for 7 days.
- Arrive in plenty of time, preferably more than the 2 hours so you can sit and make sure everyone is fed, no one wants ‘hangry’ travellers.
- Put everything in the hold at the airport so you are hands-free walking around. Carriers are great for little ones.
- Most airlines let you travel with baby milk or formula, just be ready to take a shot of it at security.
- Pre-download all those cBeebies favourites on your kid’s tablets for flight entertainment.
- Write a shopping list of things to buy abroad for example nappies and local baby food
- Swimming nappies can be washed so reuse and save the planet.
- Remember Factor 50 suncream is great but look out for the 5* UV rating too for protecting that delicate skin!
- Have fun and relax…. If you can!