Winter Holiday Tips by Seasoned Travellers
Not to sound cliché but Christmas is around the corner, and for those of us with adventure in our souls this means trips galore planned. Whether it’s to sunny beaches or snowy slopes, we’re already making packing lists and buying up new holiday clothes because all of the kids have managed to outgrow every useful item from last year. Such is the eternal struggle and joy of the travel loving family.
Always being prepared and packing the right stuff for your holiday goes without saying, but packing can easily get out of hand, especially when it’s your 50th trip and you’re feeling a little overconfident. That’s when the Gods of Chaos tend to find you in your hotel room; the allergy sufferer finds something new to break out in hives over or the youngest eats something that makes them expel all liquids from their tiny body. But forget those Chaos Gods, instead of feeding them another holiday, let’s pack a kit to stave off illness and use preparedness to stave off chaos. Here are our Have Kids, Can Travel essentials.
Whether it’s a hot or cold climate you’re headed to, you can’t do without sun protection – hats, cover-ups, sunglasses, sun cream and after sun. Nothing is worse than a sore, dehydrated and grumpy child, but it’s also the easiest thing to avoid. All the clothing and accessories can be as cool or flamboyant as you like, but sun cream is where most mistakes are made and where seasoned travellers get it right –
- Always use the highest factor sun cream you can find and, if they’re in and out of the pool, get a water-resistant one.
- Try not to scrimp and save on sun cream, cheap ones tend to leave a chalky residue that can make you think their skin is protected when it’s not.
- Make sun cream fun – get colourful ones, roll-ons, sprays, whatever you can find and make applying it a silly ritual so the kids look forward to topping up.
Something to consider deeply for those headed to cooler climates; layering can be a blessing but packing them all is a challenge that takes enviable patience. The fact is, several thinner layers, when done right, can hold in more heat than one thick one, and it also offers more diversity for outfits over the holiday. Here are some layering essentials –
- Thermal everything – from socks to hats, thermals are your base layer. If it’s colder than anticipated, you can double up.
- Middle layers – these include fleeces, jumpers, t-shirts and trousers. If anyone is overheating, you should be able to make it to this layer and still be warm enough to adventure onwards.
- Top layers – coats, ski trousers or snowsuits. This layer that protects from the very worst cold and can be expensive, especially if you know kids will grow out of it after one year. However, snowsuits can be hired in most cold climates, such as Lapland, which means less to pack and money saved.
Yes, healthy food on holiday. It’s a difficult thought to process, isn’t it? Unfortunately, when it comes to eating, someone has to be the fun police. As easy as it might be to let kids fend for themselves at the buffet, adult supervision is a must so they don’t eat solely beige food and cake the entire holiday. Radical changes in diet can lead to bad stomachs, and your minute of supervision might also avoid dodgy looking barbeque meat or seafood. However, sometimes even a parent’s eagle-eyed supervision can’t prevent illness; if you or your family have suffered from sickness on holiday, Your Legal Friend can advise you about being compensated. Most people don’t think much beyond getting better, but taking it a step further might be the right choice for you.
All it takes is a few clicks, a few quid and you’re all set; travel insurance is easier than ever to buy, especially online. The issue is, making sure you’re covered correctly for the trip you’re taking and that you have the documentation you need should something happen that requires you to use it. A small folder with photocopies of passports and essential documents will make any emergency easier to deal with and the pre-holiday preparation will take all of five minutes.
Do you have any more tips to share? What are your secrets for a stress-free winter break?