By Natalie Moutafis

We recently returned from an overseas holiday with the kids. Call us crazy, but we did it.

Here are my top five tips for travelling with tiny humans:

Tip one: Lower your expectations

Remember those holidays you had when you were single, with friends, or in a couple? The kind where you would start your morning whenever suited, jump on a tour that might take 12 hours or so or spend the day by the pool, and then have a leisurely dinner long into the evening? Okay, take that memory and store it to reflect back on when you are in the trenches of something such as toilet training.

Now take your expectations and lower them, and lower them again. Now you are getting closer to the reality of a holiday with young children.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still amazing, and you will certainly make lifelong memories for you and your family but if you don’t have grandiose expectations around a holiday like you ‘used’ to do, then you are going to enjoy this one even more.

Tip two: It’s parenting – somewhere else

You don’t stop being a parent to those tiny humans when you are on holiday.  And those kids are still going to be kids – and maybe even act up a little more because they are too little to understand that this is a holiday and they will eventually go back to their normal routine and their own bed. So, you still have to deal with the current refusal to eat anything that’s not yoghurt out of a squeezy pouch (even when you can’t find the right squeezy pouch at your destination), and you still have to get up to your child calling out for you in the middle of the night because they’ve woken up in a strange place. But you might be doing so with a view that will remind you how lucky you are to be experiencing this with your little family.

Tip three: Pack light

We didn’t go anywhere that we couldn’t generally buy what we needed in the local supermarket. We needed nappies, so we bought them locally when our small supply from home ran out. We needed those yoghurt squeezy pouchs, so we hunted them down (for the most part). We also hired things – baby cribs and strollers – so we didn’t have to drag those through airports too (even though we could have if we’d chosen).  It made it that little bit easier to not have to worry about additional luggage on top of wrangling the tiny humans.

Tip four: See it from your child’s perspective

Sure, your child might not be into museums, art galleries and tours, but they are still experiencing this new place too. Let them choose which way to walk down the street or cute little alleyway. Let them pick a park or playground to stop off at for a rest. Then really look around. You’ll discover areas and places you might not have otherwise bothered with had it not been for that little person grabbing your hand to go in the other direction. You are also more likely to meet the locals and you’ll possibly get some hot tips on where to go that’s child-friendly in the area.

Tip five: Just go

So many people question if it’s worth travelling with kids. If travel is important to you and your family, then I say, just go! Kids will get sick, have tantrums, open your eyes to wonder, make you laugh and generally cope better than adults – so don’t put your travel on hold because of children.

Sure, a nice relaxing holiday it may not be (really depends on you and your children!), but there are places and ways to make even that possible, so work out what’s important, make some memories, take some photos, and even if your tiny humans are too young to remember, you will have some stories and photos to share with them as they get older.

Bonus tip

Tiny humans tend to wake up early, no matter if it’s a holiday or not. Use it to your advantage. Tourist destinations aren’t bustling with huge crowds early in the morning. Get your family out the door as early as you can and you’ll get to experience some of those locations before the masses get there. You may even get some pretty amazing photo opportunities and you’ll be able to pop back to your hotel for a rest in the middle of the day without feeling like you missed out.

Travelling, with my tiny humans I The Parents' Website - toddler running up the stairs

other posts you might be interested in:

My Little Human | Image of small child runningMy Little Human | Image of small child runningMy Little Human | Image of small child running
And Then There Were Two: My Tiny HumansMy Tiny Human: Toilet TalkMy Tiny Toddler: A Letter to you on your Birthday

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Posted by Independent Schools Victoria