05 Apr Parenting Bloggers Share Their Top Tips For Taking Children On A City Break
Preparing for any form of holiday becomes ten times more complex if you have to factor in children, let alone a busy city break. Cities aren’t always brilliant for activities that are geared towards children and it can take significant amounts of planning and preparation to have a low-stress break.
However, thanks to the brilliant parenting bloggers who collaborated to bring you this guide, we have some top tips that really can make your break as safe, organised, and educational as possible for your children.
Jhanis, The Missus V
If you’re taking the kids on a city break, there are so many things that you need to keep in mind to keep them safe and away from danger. However, despite all precautions, there are some instances when things can turn unpleasant, like losing your kid in a crowd. It can happen.
Take this from a mum who once lost her son in a festival attended by thousands of people.
As soon as they’re able to, help your kids memorise your full names and home address. Insert an emergency contact information card in their clothing or write it on a piece of cloth using a permanent marker and hand sew it on the insides of their shirt.
Lastly, if the kid is a little older, give them instructions on what to do in case they get lost. We have always reminded our kids to look for a uniformed policeman in case we get separated and that’s what he did. He was 3 years old when it happened and thankfully was able to keep his cool. He approached a police woman who kept him safe in a booth until we arrived.
- Plan breaks.
Make sure to schedule in some downtime in the afternoon where everyone can rest. Being on the go non-stop sightseeing can be exhausting.
- Food stops.
As part of your break schedule, plan meal and snack breaks. It’s also a great way to explore a city. My family likes to seek out gourmet ice cream places in every city that we visit.
- Read ahead.
Are there any books — picture books, middle grade, or historical fiction for kids — that can introduce your kids to the city that you are exploring? In Boston, we like Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McClosky for a picture book. Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes is a great historical fiction middle grade chapter book to learn about Boston’s role in the American Revolution. Vanished by Sheela Chari is a fun modern day mystery that takes place in Cambridge and Arlington in MA.
Fran, Back With A Bump
Holidays with children are far more complex than the old days of a last minute booking, lobbing a bikini and a couple of books in a case and jetting off to the sun. We recently decided to go to Barcelona for a city break with our girls during May half term and I must say I’m really looking forward to it. My top tips for a successful break are:
- Flight Times
We did our research on flight times and paid a little more to travel first thing in the morning and also to come back at a decent time rather than too late at night
Finding accommodation that works for us as a family is really key to having a good break. Three nights in one hotel room would be a disaster and we’ve opted for a three bed apartment instead. We also made sure that a cot would be available as well as the option to drop our bags off before check-in as we arrive late morning and want to be able to head straight out and explore.Researching the area was also important as we wanted somewhere which was central but that wouldn’t be too noisy. I also read lots of reviews.
- Plan The Days
To get the best out of our break I wanted to make sure we had a bit of an itinerary, rather than aimlessly wandering about and so we have a few things planned we want to do such as Tidibado Park, visiting the musical fountain show at night and going to Ciutadella park and zoo. Of course there will also be lots of eating tapas and sampling the wine!
- Go Prepared
As much as I’m aiming to travel light, I’ll also make sure I have books, colouring, stickers as well as essentials like Calpol and suncream.
My tip would be to research and find green spaces and parks. Most cities have incredible open parks which might even include a zoo, cafes, water play and play features. We found a great urban play area in Rotterdam last Summer. You still get to explore the city but shows the children a bit of space and freedom away from the hustle & bustle.
Whether you’re travelling to see family or you just fancied a few nights in a new city, these tips will do well in any situation. Make sure to check out the contributors for more!