However entertained your family might be in London, Rome or Amsterdam, you will still run into situations that are guaranteed to bring you to the edge of a nervous breakdown. Our beloved family bloggers from the Top European Family Holiday Destinations have kindly provided us all with the answer to questions such as; How to avoid a toddler tantrum on holiday? How to avoid the crowds at tourist sites? and how to save money?
1. Plan a flexible itinerary
Plan, plan and plan some more but then get ready to be flexible once you arrive. I feel much more relaxed knowing I have an idea for where to go and where to eat but travel with kids rarely goes entirely according to plan. Besides, half the fun is being a bit spontaneous rather than sticking to an itinerary.– Cathy, www.mummytravels.com
England’s capital is enormous so it’s worth planning out your days in advance to make the most of the areas you are exploring. Each pocket of the city of fascinating from the hustle & bustle of the West End to the laid back hipster vibe of Shoreditch.
2. Book advance tickets for museums
For a stress-free visit, make sure you book skip-the-line tickets and choose a guided tour specific for Families.-Marta, www.learningescapes.net
If you are visiting London during UK school holidays, check in advance what special programmes are on at the museum. They often have interesting free talks and activities but you might need to book in advance.
3. Always keep an emergency stash in a bag
Traveling with a three-year-old, mine includes colouring/crayons, snacks, water, a change of clothes and wet wipes. There’s nothing worse than a hungry, bored, whiny preschooler when you’re trying to have fun!– Cathy, www.mummytravels.com
4. Inquire beforehand about public transport passes to save money
London’s public transport is relatively easy to navigate, especially ‘the Tube’. Under 11s travel for free. For 11-15-year-olds, it’s worth getting a ‘Visitor Oyster’, which will allow them to travel at half adult rate for up to 14 days.
5. Keep to routine as much as possible
For younger children routinely is key. Travelling long distances, staying in different beds and experiencing new things daily can be daunting for pre-schoolers. Talk to them about what’s going to happen along the way and try to give them some continuity by bringing favourite toys, keeping their bedtime routine the same and making sure meals happen roughly on time. If I’ve learnt anything from travelling with a baby and toddler it’s that they’re happier tourists when their bellies are full.– Claire, www.tinboxtraveller.co.uk
6. Don’t forget to be prepared for all weather!
London can experience variable weather so make sure you carry layers with you and an umbrella!
If you have any more tips, tricks or advice that you would like to share with us and families, please let us know in the comment below!
Catriona (known correctly as Ka-tri-na or mistakenly as Ka-tre-o-na, but has given up trying and adheres to both) grew up in Hannover, Germany to Northern Irish parents. Spends her time trying to be active either cycling, playing football, GAA or drums.