Packing and planning a family trip can be daunting for new moms and dads if they don’t know what they’re in for.  

Marion Smith is a single mom of four boys aged 20, 14, and 11-year-old twins. Raising four healthy young boys is no mean feat. When it comes to parenting, Marion has been there, and done that. In the piece below she offers advice to new parents on how to make their first family trip a success.

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Travelling for the first time as a new family can be daunting, it presents its own set of challenges but this doesn’t mean your holiday can’t be fun…

Most family holidays take place when the babies are around 6 to 8 months of age.

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Anxiety sets in when mom starts thinking about the combination of a strange environment, different beds, new faces and new sounds. Would this over stimulate the babies and possibly even affect their sleep routine?

There is no solid answer to this but what most moms will say after the trip is that they and their children had a blast and it all worked out.

Some tips to make the weekend getaway fun:

  1. Take camp cots, your babies should be used to them if you use them at home
  2. Stick to the same routine you use at home
  3. Take some familiar smells like their favourite teddy bear and same linen you use at home
  4. For road travel try and travel during nap time and take pit stops when they wake up
  5. If you are flying, give them a lolly or stick of droewors to suck on . Or else they can suck on a dummy or bottle during take-off and landing
  6. Feed them just before check-in so that they are content
  7. When flying its easier to carry them in a carrier and use a backpack for a nappy bag. This leaves you with free hands
  8. Carry an extra set of clothes for yourself when flying in case one of the babies throws up
  9. Try to avoid packing electronics into the nappy bag, you will need to take them out at security
  10. Don’t over think, there is only so much planning that you can do
  11. Bring enough food, you are allowed to carry on prepared formula once it has been checked
  12. Carry all documents like passports, birth certificates etc in one plastic folder that is easy to reach
  13. Give yourself loads of extra time, your children pick up on your stress and the unforeseen can happen. Check in can be delayed, they may need to have nappy changes, they could lose their favourite toy and so the list goes on
  14. Share the work load with whoever you are travelling with. You don’t need to be a super mom or super dad. Its the start of a holiday and everyone needs to enjoy it
  15. Don’t keep the children confined to sitting places, let them run around in the airport in play areas so that they can burn some energy
  16. Make use of the airport / airline strollers that are provided
  17. Request the front seats with extra leg room and where the carry cots fit for babies especially for long distance flights

Above all, remember that flexibility is key to a good holiday.

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