|Mr A on one of our adventures this year|
Whenever we plan a holiday we always look at ways to make it as stress-free as possible because with kids excitement can quickly turn into frustration, especially when you’re flying, a tired and irritable child boarding a plan can be a recipe for disaster. So it's really good to hear that local airports now offer far more choice than before, and last year we had first-hand experience of that when we flew from Cardiff to Amsterdam with KLM. I can honestly say it was the easiest international trip we have done with the car park being right next to the terminal, a quick and easy check in and friendly local staff meant everything was a breeze and we boarded the plan feeling fresh, excited and most importantly not exhausted.
|Mr A on a canal cruise in Amsterdam|
I have lots of memories as a child travelling from South Africa to the UK to visit family in Wales and wow what a mammoth journey it would be and I don't just mean the 12 hour flight but everything else that goes with trips like that such as navigating Heathrow, waiting ages for our luggage, trying to find the car hire centre and then driving more than 3 hours to finally get to our destination - it was exhausting and would have been so much easier had we been able to fly to a smaller, more local airport. It's great to know that now you can do just that with KLM, by going through the central international hub at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam which is basically a gateway to the world as you can fly to pretty much any far flung destination from there. In fact that’s how my mother has gone back to Cape Town for her last four visits, as all she needs to do it a 30 minute trip to Cardiff and she is on her way. When we eventually go on our next holiday it's certainly how we will be doing it.
|Enjoying the vibrant city of Amsterdam|
I thought I would also share a few top tips on keeping the stress levels down when travelling with kids.
1. Always have snacks on you - tears and tantrums can often be avoided by simply making sure your kids are well fed and watered as moods can swing when they are hungry.
2. Try and keep waiting times to a minimum and make sure you have all your transfers sorted out in advance. Also look at what your local airports offer in terms of travel and destinations - KLM and Air France fly from smaller ones such as Norwich, Bristol and Birmingham to name a few, allowing you to avoid the larger airports.
3. Pack a few fun and interesting toys, I did a vlog about 5 cost effective ways to entertain kids while travelling, check it out.
4. Aim to get as much sleep before a big trip as possible as well as taking naps when you can along the way to make sure your energy levels are on the up.
5. Research family friendly hotels and attractions before you go as this will save you a lot of stress knowing where is good to go and where is not.
6. Don't leave packing to the last minute as not only does that cause stress but you usually pack things you don't actually need. The best thing to do is write a list of everything you need, lay it all out on a bed, tick everything off and then re-evaluated everything and ask yourself if you really need it as lugging heavy luggage around is not fun and neither is leaving something essential at home!
You can also get kids involved by getting them to pack their own bags; we recommend a Trunki as they are fun, colourful and just big enough to contain all of your kid’s things. By putting these simple tips in place you are on the road to a less stressful trip, meaning more time to relax and enjoy some much needed family time - just don't forget your camera to capture those happy moments.
In collaboration with KLM