Awell-known South African celebrity, Jo-Ann often travels abroad with her children – all under four years of age. Having recently returned from a trip to Mauritius and a week in the French Alps, she shares some great pointers. Her first point of advice though, is to try wherever possible to holiday at an all-inclusive (Club Med) resort, which offers the benefits of kids’ clubs. Her other top tips are:
Don’t expect your trip to be like your past trips. It will be different, but memorable in a different way.
Mentally prepare yourself and lower your expectations. If you expect not to sleep on a flight, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to catch an hour or four of shut-eye.
Get all your documentation ready and keep it in a plastic, waterproof folder. Accidents happen with bottles and leaks.
Plan your carry-on luggage very cleverly. You might have delays. Make sure you can handle your carry-on and kids and remember some airports are huge and might require running.
Take some dry snacks and some cheap new toys for distraction.
There are volume-limited earphones for kids and will help to protect their ears from over-zealous in-flight entertainment.
Kids cry. Adults snore. Don’t let a mean person stare you or your crying kid down. He or she was a baby once too.
Check your luggage limitations and plan accordingly.
Pack a smile and patience and remember – they are only small for a while.
Drink one glass of bubbles or wine if you need to calm your own nerves. Kids can sense your anxiety and will mirror it. Be as calm as possible.
(Jo-Ann and her family recently spent a week at the Club Med La Plantation d’Albion resort in Mauritius and another week between the family-friendly Club Med Les Arcs Panorama and Grand Massif Samoens Morillon snow resorts in the French Alps.)