Why Travelling With Young Children Doesn't Have To Be Stressful!
We have all heard well meaning relatives declare that "No holiday with children will ever be relaxing" but this is simply not true if the correct measures are taken to ensure a stress free break.
That being said, there are certainly a number of issues to contend with when travelling with the little ones.. Warm temperatures, lengthy travel and unfamiliar food can all be quite unsettling at first - even for the most stoical of toddlers. But handled well, there is absolutely no reason to let these things prevent you from enjoying the holiday of a lifetime in Crete with your young family.
Here are three tips to help you achieve the holy grail of a peaceful break!
1) Ensure that your children have their own bedroom
In our experience, this is THE number one rule to follow. Not only will a seperate bedroom for the kids give your family more privacy, but it will allow you to put the little darlings to bed and still be able to enjoy time as a couple (or larger group) without disturbing them. Many families make the mistake of booking just one bedroom or family suite in a hotel. Even with a large room, the children's routine will still pretty much dicate your own bedtime, making it impossible to enjoy some much needed relaxation after 7pm! If possible, travel with black out blinds (these ones are fantastic!) so that you can create a lovely dark oasis for your little ones and prevent early morning risings if the sun is streaming into their bedroom.
Children will love the excitement of having their own little space and it will make the often chaotic morning/bath time/bedtime routine so much easier. We have some stunning villas for families which offer from two to five bedrooms as well as plenty of outdoor space and all the facilities to ensure that family time in the sun will be unforgettable.
2) Ensure that you pack the right suncream (and enough of it!)
Any mum will tell you that protecting their child's skin from the sun is a number one priority. This is why the right suncream will be your saviour on any foreign holiday! There are a huge number of creams, sprays and oils on the market and each of them claim to do different things. Recent evidence has shown that NO sun cream or spray will offer all day protection, even the leading brands on the market. Therefore, ensure that you apply your sun cream regularly (every few hours and more so after swimming) and always put it on in the morning before breakfast so that it has had a chance to sink in before sun exposure. If these simple steps are followed and plenty of fluids offered throughout the day, then there will be no reason at all to worry about your little ones in warm temperatures.
3) Bring a few home comforts along
Space within the family suitcase will always be a highly contested issue but why not pack a few familiar toys/books/puzzles to keep the kids entertained when you are making dinner or getting ready for the evening. After a tiring day at the beach, most kids just want to chill out before bedtime and many parents suddenly find themselves at a disadvantage if they haven't packed a favourite book or toy. Fortunately, the majority of our villas have reliable WiFi meaning that little ones can nestle down with their favourite film or TV show for a little "quiet time". Furthermore, due to fixed telephone lines and satellite connections, the WiFi connection in the majority of our villas is getting more and more reliable so great use can be made of Google to research walks, activities and local restaurants!
However, despite the obvious benefits of the ipad (!) there's really nothing as magical as relaxing with your little one after a wonderful day in the sun and having a story before bedtime. A little "home from home" will also facilitate a great night's sleep (in their lovely dark room!) meaning that the whole family can arise refreshed the next morning. After all, surely sleep is one of the most important things to get right when travelling with small children.
And there you have it! We do hope that some of these tips will be useful and help to ensure that your next family holiday is as relaxing as possible. If you are currently planning your holiday for 2017 then have a browse through our wide range of family friendly villas - availablilty for 2017 is now live so be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.