Travelling with kids - all your questions answered
We are fortunate enough to be spending a week during the Easter holidays at Ikos Dassia in Corfu, Greece. I've been receiving lots of questions regarding our holiday and travelling with kids over on Instagram so I thought it would be helpful to pick my top 10 questions and answer them in a blog post!
1) Considering kids' holidays, would you recommend booking way in advance or get a last minute deal?
As we all know, rather unfairly, holiday prices sky rocket during school holidays. However prices also tend to fluctuate throughout the year so I think it's best to keep checking with your travel agent or booking websites. We tend to book our holidays between 4-8 months in advance so it is not too last minute nor is it well in advance. When our oldest Maya was still at nursery we avoided travelling during school holidays to keep costs low so I'd suggest if you have toddlers/babies to do the same.
2) What websites do you use to book your holidays?
We use booking.com; my husband Jude travels a lot for work and we get a good discount whenever we book through this website.
3) How can you afford to travel to such nice places with the whole family?
Every year we set a budget for our trips; we both work and going on holiday and spending time with our lovely girls is our favourite thing to do. We are making memories which they will remember for the rest of their lives and we get a well deserved break too. The nice thing about travelling is that anyone can do it- there are hotels and means of travel for almost any budget, it doesn't always have to be uber luxurious and 5*- it certainly wasn't this way for us all our lives but now that we can, we are making the most of it.
4) I can't even handle 1 kid on a plane, let alone 3. You make it look so easy- how do you manage them on? They seem so well behaved.
It's not easy and it takes a lot of team effort but we have travelled a lot with our girls and they seem to be used to it now. I make sure to pack activities for the journey, (play doh, colouring books, crayons), plenty of snacks, headphones and pyjamas. Us parents hardly get any sleep on the plane as we are juggling responsibilities like taking them to the toilet, changing nappies, feeding them etc. There have been tantrums and I wanted the ground to swallow me up in those moments-all I can say is, just ride it out. Those people giving you dirty looks are not in your shoes, trying to calm down a cranky toddler (or 2), which in itself is exhausting. My girls are kind and loving but of course they have their moments too, they are only human. Instagram is a highlight reel, don't forget that!
5) How do you prevent your kids from rolling off the bed whilst staying in a hotel?
We put pillows around our toddlers, Maya who is 7 is absolutely fine in a single bed.
6) What foundation do you use on holiday? You are glowing.
Thank you! I've not worn any foundation on this trip, I use the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer in the shade Caramel under my eyes and on blemishes and Mac Mineralise Skin Finish in Global Glow gives me a lovely glow. As I've mentioned before I've stopped wearing cc/bb creams and my skin is so much better for it.
7) How did you lose your tummy after babies? Do you even eat? You have no sign of having a belly at all. How?
This question made me chuckle- yes I eat! I haven't lost my tummy-far from it. I'm working on it and on my overall fitness- I work out 4-5 times a week, twice with my personal trainer and the rest I do by myself with the help of YouTube videos. I love my food too much to even try to get a washboard stomach, chocolate is my weakness. It's all about balance, I'd be miserable if I couldn't eat carbs and sweets so I try to make up for it by exercising. I also try to wear clothes that flatter my shape and hide that mummy tummy and when taking a picture it's all about the right angles.
8) Where did you buy your holiday clothes for this trip?
I only bought a few new pieces from Zara, the rest of my wardrobe is from previous summers/holidays. I like to re-wear my clothes. A lot.
9) What has been your easiest trip with the kids so far? What would you recommend for a family with a 5 month old?
Dubai and Greece were by far the easiest trips in terms of travel time. I'd recommend Dubai for families with babies, the weather is almost always guaranteed to be nice, there is a vast choice of child friendly resorts and the service is outstanding.
10) How do you keep your kids occupied during trips? Do you take a nanny with you or send them to kids club?
We plan our days with the girls and they tend to want to do the same things like swimming and playing by the beach. The older they get the more activities we can do with them- this time we got to rent bicycles to ride around the resort, we've hired a car to explore Corfu town and we hired a boat to see the coastline and caves (weather permitting).
No, we don't have a nanny or send them to kids' club by themselves. On previous holidays I have sat with them in kids' club whilst they did activities and played but I have never left them there to be looked after and to be honest I don't think I ever would. I understand that some parents need a break and use the babysitting services provided at hotels and that's fine but it wouldn't work for our family. The 5 of us don't get enough time together due to work and school so our holiday is precious family time for us.
Thanks so much for sending me your questions, sorry I couldn't answer them all but I will do another q&a on our next holiday.