YOUTH IS ON YOUR SIDE There's a lot of fuss made about kids being too young to travel. Folk out there that will try and convince you that it's impossible to go further from home than the corner shop. I've decided this is baloney. I'd much rather go away with a tiny, portable newborn that the flailing, screaming ball of snot I have to accommodate now. Particularly when I was breast feeding travel was a doodle because I didn't have to think about taking or storing food. Stop focusing on the potential for disaster and think about the memories you will make.
LET GO OF YOUR OLD HOLIDAYS Before you go take a scroll through your old Facebook pictures and have a private farewell ceremony to the old holiday you. Awww mojitos and clubbing and sunbathing for five minutes without shouting 'Don't eat that!' Holidays with children are not holidays, they are holidays with children. You'll have a much more positive experience if you embrace that fact before you leave.
PROTECT THE INNOCENT Be prepared to shield those that have decided to travel in peace. If you're staying in a fancy pants hotel your offspring will be expected to be behave with decorum. If you can't handle the stress of containing them then rethink your location. I give two big thumbs up to Whinfell Forest CentreParcs. How your child behaves on a long car trip is how they will be on a plane multiplied by a million. Time the flight for the least offensive part of your routine. My son is a decent sleeper so we try and go for a late flight. Even still we give the passengers near us a little treat. It's harder to complain with a mouth full of chocolate.
LONGER IS BETTER Jet lag is bad enough when you understand what's going on. Now imagine someone put you in a crowded room for six hours and for no apparent reason, and when they let you out night had become day and day had become night. You know how the kid gets in a tizzy if bathtime is moved by fifteen minutes, a holiday is like chucking your routine into a meat grinder. You need a day to get settled, three days to reestablish a new schedule and then at least two days to enjoy the new schedule. With travel, that's a week minimum to reach optimum child acclimatisation.
SHORTER IS BETTER Day trips are cool.
THEY HAVE SHOPS THERE You don't need to take 700 nappies. Children in Spain also wee. Also how much fun is it going to source what you need in a new place? It's a mini adventure (and a pretty infallible excuse to go shopping). Take the essentials and if you really can't bring yourself to do that maybe you need to ask yourself, is taking the baby essential?
If you want to know what I get up to on my next holiday follow me on Instagram.