Thursday, April 14, 2011

Guest Post: Traveling with Children

Thanks to mad networking skills, I've got another guest post to share with you today. This time about traveling with children. I love hanging out with my own kids. But I don't always love traveling with them. It's hard work to do my same job somewhere else without all of the usual comforts of home. I've taken them on a 12-hour car trip to TN, away for staycation over a holiday weekend, and even to Nicaragua. I won't pretend the trips were easy, but they were worth it. 

I'm not sure if there will be the time or the money for a family vacation this summer, but this post from Sarah sure makes me want to try!

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Can you still holiday with younger children? 

With a toddler or young child in tow, a lot of parents are dissuaded from holidaying because of the potential inconveniences that such a commitment might bring. Holidays are however an important part of any healthy lifestyle, an opportunity to relax from the stresses and strains of the everyday and a chance to spend some true quality time with your family.

Whatever kind of escape you are dreaming of don’t be put off by the potential strains of traveling with a child. Although a generalisation, family vacationing today is a completely different experience from even a few years ago. Obviously for very young babies who are still nursing, there will be some limitations to the kind of travel you can enjoy and perhaps it is worth waiting a couple of years until your child is more independent and can be more aware and appreciative of the trip they are on.

More and more airlines, operators, tours and hotels are moving towards offering child friendly services, from free cots and minders to kids clubs and dedicated menus, whether you want to go on a luxury holiday to a far flung location, perhaps even enjoy an African safari holiday (its hard to believe but it is becoming more and more frequent) or simply travel domestically if you are determined and enthusiastic enough, then there should be no stopping you. Honeymoons with infants are also becoming an increasingly regular feature as more children are born out of wedlock, but parents still want to celebrate their union. A holiday with a child can be exciting, stress free and even romantic with the right kind of preparation.

You can take several simple steps towards making travelling with your child much easier. Consider contacting the airline you intend to travel with and discuss the options available to child passengers including changing facilities, meals and seating regulations. For small toddlers and babies you should also enquire about booking a bassinet or ‘sky cot’. 

Make sure that you get to the airport in plenty of time so that you don’t feel rushed and bring with you all of the baby supplies that you might need. You could enquire at check-in whether or not the plane is fully booked and if not would it be possible to have the seat next to you left vacant, a cheaper alternative to booking another seat and very helpful if travelling with a toddler under two years who doesn’t need their own seat. If travelling with a partner consider booking seats away from one another so that whilst one has the baby the other can rest and when arriving at the airport look out for fast track customs and immigration points for those travelling with children. A great resource for parents travelling with children is flywithkids.com full of insights and info from other parents.

Most of all don’t forget to enjoy yourself. A holiday with a child can be a truly magical and rewarding experience.

Sarah Jenson is a freelance travel writer and owner of the honeymoonsblog.com. Whilst not travelling she enjoys helping couples and families plan their dream holidays.

This post was sponsored by honeymoonsblog.com, via Fiverr.

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