Let’s face it before we had kids we would sit on aeroplanes, trains etc and cringe at the poor parent who was dealing with the chair kicking, loudly screaming child who no matter what wouldn’t calm down. Then as parents that first time we left the house – even for a day trip seemed to involve so much planning, packing, stressing, re-packing and then fraught journeys about whether we would all get there in one piece or turn back defeated. Why does the thought of travelling with kids seem so scary?
Personally, I know making our journey to France when Addison was just 6 months old was a monumental planning campaign. We were driving from Birmingham to the Eurotunnel then across France for five hours to a remote farm cottage with lots of things for kids to do. Apart from having to pack an absolute shed load of provisions (because we had no idea what would be at the other end) there was the problem of bulky baby items, car seats, stair gates, baby baths and baby food (because of course they don’t have babies in France) as well as a million apparently essential travel items we could not do without.
Then how would we amuse her and keep her and us sane on the journey? Would we just drive like bats out of hell and hope she slept – only stopping if she woke up and daddy running on energy drinks so he didn’t have to stop at the services? Would mummy reach the end of her tether and reach for the strategically placed bottles of gin in the picnic hamper before we had even crossed the channel?
In three and a half years we’ve avoided airports and international travel choosing to holiday in England because it seemed easier; we’ve still not found the ultimate baby & toddler friendly cottage and this is a quest of ours for 2012. We want somewhere where we can go back to every year and build memories as I did with my parents in the New Forest as a kid.
However, this year I’ve bit the bullet (or maybe lost the plot). I’ve booked us two weeks in the fun filled world of Disney World Florida. A house with a pool on a private golf complex, with a minivan and oh yes an 8 hour flight from Manchester to Florida. As one mum on twitter has already put it “blimey you’re brave…”
So as a bit of a two sided challenge I have decided to create an e-book to demistify the stress of travelling with kids.
To do this I need your help…
- I would love to hear from parents who travel regularly with their kids from babies up to the age of 5 years on your top tips for travelling with kids. How do you do it? Are you a planner or a winger? What’s your ultimate must have accessory? Where do you go that is the perfect home from home?
- Are you a company or mumpreneur who specialises in making travelling with kids easy peasy rather than totally hair raising I would also like to hear from you. Maybe you have a wonder product that means we don’t have to take something away with us or you have a game or activity to make waiting at airports or on aeroplanes fun.
- Do you run a baby & toddler friendly holiday centre, a B&B or cottage in the UK? If so then tell me about it so that I can take a look and maybe feature you too.
I want to compile an e-book with all the tips, ideas, products and places to go in one place so that other parents like me can maybe be brave enough to take the plunge of travelling with their kids without the fear that they will be the parent everyone is pointing at on the plane this summer.