Everything but the Kitchen Sink- Holidaying with Kids and Pets!

Planning and going on a family holiday can be so stressful that by the end of it all you feel in need of a…holiday. Add a dog, an ageing relative or grumpy husband into the mix and you may be just about ready to throw the towel in before you even begin. Here are some tips on having a successful, relaxing and enjoyable trip to sunnier climes, whatever your family situation!

1- Destination choices
It’d be one thing if you were travelling solo, but because the more the merrier, choosing a destination that is fun for all is important. Picking a location and accommodation, which allows for kids and pets will save you from stressing over misunderstandings when you arrive to your destination, and help things run smoother. Don’t worry though, because of many travelling families, locations are now mostly understanding of certain necessities, so finding a holiday spot is not hard; just double check before you book!

2- Travelling with kids-
Travelling by plane is already stressful as it is, but adding children to the equation may make it that bit more intense. Don’t fret though, because you’re not alone; plane rides with your children can also go super smoothly. For example, if you’re worried about the aeroplane food, call before or check the website to see what the best option for your children is. Even bringing toys, extra clothes, and other objects can help keep your child occupied through the flight. Just keep in mind that as long as your children are happy on the flight, you and everybody around will be too.

3- Travelling with Pets
For the most stress free experience it’s probably wise to use a specialist company who know exactly how to transport animals in Europe. They can provide you with all the information you need, in terms of pet passports, vaccinations, travel arrangements etc… Also talk to your vet, put an item of your clothing into the pet carrier to let them have a familiar scent with them and be sure to pack their regular food to avoid any unpleasant accidents once in your accommodation.

4- Pre-airport preparation
Before your flight, make sure you print your boarding passes at home (or saved on your smart phone), have your passports at hand, and organise your carry-on with everything you might need while you’re on the plane. With children, having them bring a smaller backpack packed with their toys and belongings will have them feel part of the airport adventure, and help you deal with the various lines you’ll encounter; whether that be security, boarding and disembarking the plane, or waiting for your luggage.

5- Avoiding security/carry-on mishaps
Remember the liquid rule, and how the TSA sets certain limits for the amount of gel, liquid, or aerosols you bring in your carry-on. Along with the liquid rule, don’t forget that your carry-on also has to fit in the specific measurements, and that the last thing you need is to have your carry-on either searched through, or taken from as you’re boarding. Check on the rules before your flight, and you will avoid any possible mishaps!

6- Get your children excited for the trip
Over thinking the trip and what could go wrong is normal, but there’s no better feeling than the excitement before your departure. Sharing your excitement with your children makes it even better, and seeing their wonder and curiosity as they explore their new airport surroundings is a scene that you’ll remember for a while. Of course they’ll probably have quite a few questions of what is what, who is who, and where you’re going, but their lit up faces will make the extensive explanations definitely worth it. 

7- Enjoy it
Remember that you’re going on holiday, and that yes getting to your destination may be somewhat stressful, but you’re going there to relax. Think of all you’re going to do once you get there, all the new places you’re going to visit, all the new food you’ll get to taste. Just keep in mind that the airport struggle is limited to that moment, and that where you’re going is definitely worth it. 

Guest post by Mary D


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