Last week we booked what will be our first family holiday abroad. If it was purely up to me I probably would have opted for going somewhere in the UK like we did last year. This is because the thought of going abroad with James makes me anxious…
Flying – I have flown with James when he was 4 months old and it was probably one of our lowest points. James and I flew with my sister and two cats back home to the UK from Lithuania. They didn’t allow my sister and I to sit next to each other because they wanted the cats to be kept apart. I ended up with the noisy cat, and James kindly decided to cry for most of the flight too. I was sat next to an empty seat and then a business man. His face dropped when he saw us and I think he probably wanted to kill us by the end of the flight. The highlight of the flight was actually changing James’ nappy because it meant we were locked in the toilet where no one could hear him crying.
This experience has put me off going on a flight with James ever since. This time I won’t have the cats with me and I will be with my husband, but even so, I can’t help but worry. James isn’t one for sitting still for long periods of time. He is also quite heavy to be on my lap for 2 1/2 hours. Hopefully he will sleep, or be entertained by whatever I can download to the iPad.
Food – What will he eat?! What if he refuses to eat?! This is probably my biggest worry. We have opted for an apartment and an all-inclusive package. The hotel buffet even has a kids buffet, but will it do breaded chicken? We could look at it as a massive opportunity for him to try loads of different foods, but we know that he is unlikely to open his mouth to anything he doesn’t recognise. It also doesn’t start serving food until 7pm, his usual bedtime. A tired and hungry James is such good fun! If the hotel buffet fails, then at least we can make him something in the apartment. Maybe he will live on peanut butter on toast for a week?
Entertaining – How will we keep James entertained all day? The hotel has a kids pool, a splash pad / water park type thing and a play area. There is also a beach nearby. We know he loves the sea from when we took him to Bournemouth. He was less keen on the sand, but maybe he will get used to it. Will this be enough to entertain him all day for a week? I hope so!
Routine – Well that will just go out of the window! At home we have a lovely routine that works really well. I know this is going to be hard to keep abroad. Hopefully we will still be able to get him to nap after lunch, and hopefully he will be able to sleep not too much past his usual bedtime.
Unfamiliarity – I’ve watched James walk into hotel rooms before, and sometimes he looks scared because it is so unfamiliar to him. It’s like he misses all of his home comforts. I really feel for him in these situations because it always takes me a couple of days to get used to change.
One thing that is clear, is that this holiday is not going to be like the holidays we used to have before James. Our criteria when we were booking it was very different. It’s quite hard to find apartments that also have an all-inclusive option. We wanted an apartment so James could be in a separate room to us. There is no way he would go to sleep if he could see us in the same room. Instead of spending most of the day sunbathing, I think we will be spending most of our time in the pool with James. I just hope the water is warm.
Despite my worries, I do think that James will enjoy going on holiday. I have a husband that loves adventures and if it wasn’t for his encouragement there are many things that I wouldn’t do. I want James to grow up also loving adventures and having lots of wonderful memories of lovely experiences in his childhood.
I would love to hear if any of you have any tips on travelling with a toddler.
You need to try and relax, the last flight with James is over and done now, it was bound to be stressful as he was a baby then, you also had the cats with you and you were uprooting from a place you loved to come back to the Uk and without David. It was enough to drive the calmest of us to distraction.
James will pick up on your stress levels and this will worry him too, it causes a vicious circle of rising worry for both of you and that will mean that neither of you will be able to enjoy what should be a happy family time together.
The food issue will, again, be worsened if you are stressed. If he wants to live on peanut butter sandwiches for a week it certainly won’t hurt him and, if you feel confident and try new things he may well surprise you and, not wanting to be left out, he might try things too.
Children love playing in water so that should be Ok. Have you done some research to see what else is possible around the area of your hotel? There may be parks he can run in or places he can see animals.
If you start telling him about what a wonderful time you’re all going to have exploring new things and places and show him some pictures of the area too he will know what to expect. Make a game of the hotel room and as soon as you open the door take him on an exploration trip, .. let’s see what’s in here etc. That might help.
You will have an amazing time and it will be the first of many wonderful family memories for all of you.
At the end of the day there’s always Rescue Remedy!
My 14 month old grandson will be flying over from Oz with Gavin and Mel for Jo’s wedding in Oct, .. I call that brave, lol. 🙂 xx
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That is brave!
Some good tips, thank you. X