We are all super excited (particularly Oliver who has his Trunki full of his favourite things already packed) for our upcoming summer holiday at the end of June to Portugal. Not able to fly when pregnant after an acute water infection at 18 weeks last year, due to needing regular tests and being someone uncomfortable flying when pregnant anyway, we holidayed in beautiful Wales rather than going abroad.
We’re going away for another long weekend by the Yorkshire coast in the half term then will spend two weeks in the Algarve.
I cannot wait to feel real sun on my skin, eat fresh fish by the beach and enjoy my baby Alexander’s first ever holiday!
I feel like I have so much to do before then and with the BritMums Live Conference happening a few days before we leave, I’ve already started shopping. I do need to buy lots more summer clothes for myself though (I’ve mostly splashed out on the boys as usual) but with the weather so manic for May, veering from snow to sunshine, I’ve not been motivated enough to make a start! This is about to change!
So, here is my checklist of things to do before we go (I hope it helps you to prepare for your family holiday too):
1. Make sure all the passports are kept together in a safe place and up to date of course so you know where to find them (you don’t need last minute passport panic). Before booking our holiday, I ensured we had applied and received baby Alexander’s first passport as it can take time to process and arrive.
I opted for the Check and Send passport service on application which although pricey, was worth the money as I discovered I needed to include the full birth certificate (not the shorter one) and had carelessly omitted some vital information, they discovered before I applied. Baby brain anyone?
2. Make sure travel insurance is bought. Debenhams annual holiday insurance is fantastic value with free kids’ travel insurance along with unlimited medical cover available and winter sports included amongst many other benefits. Medical cover is crucial too.
3. Don’t forget the baby car seat if you need it while abroad. You can check it in along with your buggy. Also easy to fold, low maintenance pushchairs are the best to take abroad and don’t forget a waterproof cover in case it *whispers rains.
4. Take cotton wool to place in babies and young children’s ears and breastfeed or feed babies bottle milk on take off and landing to help with the often painful pressure changes in their ears.
5. Pack books, portable DVD players, films, colouring in books and favourite toys for the plane and holiday in hand luggage and suitcases.
6. Pack enough nappies along with some baby food (packets of rice), baby milk and snacks. This was useful on a family holiday to Tenerife when Oliver was 15 months and we struggled to find food our fussy toddler liked over there (supermarkets often didn’t stock the same products he so loved).
7. Roll up dresses to help keep them crease free and keep kids’ clothes in one case, adults in another to make it easier to find things, once you arrive.
8. Don’t forget the sun cream-waterproof factor 50 for the kids, factor 30 for the adults minimum whatever your skin colour.
9. Research where you are going before you arrive so you can locate the best beaches, water parks, museums, galleries and other points of interest for yourself and your family with ease. Plan if you need a car and how far places you hope to visit, are from your accommodation.
10. If you have pets, arrange in advance for someone to feed and care for them whiles you are away and perhaps ask friends or family if they want to house sit to keep the house safe. Also make sure you have cancelled appointments and rearranged meetings for when you are away and change your email settings to show you are absent so people emailing you are aware you don’t have access to your emails when on holiday.
Now go enjoy yourself!