Holidays with children

Holidays with children can be a joy but they can also be a challenge! While it’s important to ensure your passports are up to date, you pack the right clothes and you don’t forget your flight tickets, this is just the start. Here are some ideas of what you can do to make sure your holiday is as safe and carefree as possible.

Before you go

  • Check if the country you plan to visit is safe, if there are any issues you need to be aware of and what documents you’ll need for entry. You can find out at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
  • Do you need any vaccinations or to start any course of medicine, such as malaria tablets, before you go? Find out from NHS Choices. If you’re travelling within the EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you as this entitles you to the same healthcare as people who live in the country you’re visiting.
  • Make sure you have adequate travel insurance especially if you’re going on an activity holiday.
  • Check your holiday accommodation is child-friendly and if you need items such as cots, high chairs and safety gates find out if these are provided.
  • Do you need to take or arrange for any special equipment? This could include car seats or safety equipment and appropriate clothing if you’re going on an activity holiday.
  • Don’t forget to take any medication you might need for yourself and your children as well as a first aid kit.

While you’re there

It’s a good idea when you first arrive to check if there are any potential safety hazards where you’re staying or in the surrounding area.

Where you’re staying

If you’re staying in a hotel check your own rooms and the communal areas such as the reception area, lifts, stairwells, glass doors and windows. The same goes for rented apartments and villas.

Pay particular attention to balconies and pool areas. Make sure you keep tables, chairs and anything else children can climb on well away from the edge of balconies. Also check for gaps in the structure and never leave small children unsupervised on balconies. With pool areas, as well as the risk of falling in, the surrounding areas are often slippery so children need to be supervised at all times.

The same goes for playgrounds some of which may only be suitable for older children.

The surrounding area

It’s also worth looking at the surrounding area. If you’re staying near a beach, it’s worth setting down some rules with your children on how to stay safe. The same goes for road safety especially if you’re in a country where people drive on the right and there’s a tendency for Brits to look the wrong way when crossing!

The climate is also something to remind children of. If you’re staying somewhere cold such as a ski resort then adequate clothing needs to be worn at all times. While in hot climates it’s important to have good sun protection.