Posted by: MummyTravels | Apr 30, 2012

Travelling with children – tips from the expert

Would you pick somewhere like Marrakech as a great family destination? When it comes to choosing your holiday, the obvious suspects aren’t always the only options, according to Catherine Cooper.

Catherine, who’s written Travelling with Children: A Parent’s Guide, points out that the Moroccans’ love of children, combined with the chance to see performing moneys, snakes, and getting to go on a camel, could make it a trip to remember – for the right reasons.

And while you obviously need to consider your family’s needs, picking a holiday you’ll enjoy is often the secret to finding something your kids will love, at least when they’re young.

‘When children are asked what they enjoyed most about their holidays, almost all will say they enjoyed being with their families,’ she points out. ‘Children don’t generally mind if it rains every day or if the accommodation isn’t up to scratch. Chances are, if you enjoy your holiday, your children will too.’

It’s not just where you go, of course, but how you do it – and the books got helpful suggestions on everything from plane travel (from taking buggies on, feeding babies at take-off and landing, and checking what airlines really offer if you need a bassinet) to the paraphernalia you’re likely to need, plus the companies who’ll arrange this for you.

And while the book also gives tips on family-friendly favourites like package holidays, theme parks and camping, there’s also suggestions for city breaks and off-the-beaten track, which all appeal more to me (though I’ll let you know if that’s wishful thinking…).

Plus there’s some helpful unusual suggestions – cruises could be an unexpectedly easy option, or if you’re on a budget, how about trying a house swap.

A lot of it is common sense, although often the kind of thing you don’t think to ask until it’s a bit too late, but it’s great if you’re planning your first trips as a family and aren’t sure what to bear in mind – airline restrictions might be an obvious one, but if you’ve never had to worry about balcony and pool safety, it’s a useful reminder.

Best of all, a baby only needs to be seven days old before they can fly. Oh, OK, even that’s too optimistic for me!

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