Travelling with small children can feel overwhelming – but there are many practical ways to make things easier, and what’s more, greener!
Here are a few tips to get you started!
Make sure your baby or toddler has a very definitely watertight drinking bottle for the journey. His or her favourite bottle will be reassuring. And drink only water! Fruit juices etc. are sugar laden, and that’s the last thing you need on a trip!
Roll, don’t fold. It’s amazing how much space you can save! You’ll need to pack extra clothing for babies and toddlers since they can be messy, and you may not want to spend your holiday doing laundry. By rolling, you can fit in so much more. It’s also an idea to roll by outfit – so when you grab a roll of clothing, a complete outfit unfolds. Less luggage equals greener travel and it’s so much easier!
Don’t forget that your baby will be out of his or her familiar surroundings – so do pack the favourite blankie, stuffed toy, book, eating utensils etc.! Once you’ve reached your destination, try to stick to a routine as close to the one that you follow at home. On the flip side, you could also purchase something new and exciting for baby to unwrap on the trip – preferably something which will be useful on your holiday, eg books, puzzles, finger puppets. Faithful to Nature is an excellent online shop for finding novelties for the kids that are ‘green’!
A damp face cloth kept in a zip lock bag is just as effective as baby wipes – and goes a little way to saving the planet! You’ll probably use it a lot, and every bit helps!
Take your own snacks for the journey, and once you’ve arrived, eat local! Even in restaurants which don’t seem to offer anything suitable for baby, ask the waiter. Restaurants are usually very accommodating in adjusting what’s on offer for your baby or toddler. Don’t fall into the take out/junk food trap because it’s easier. We were thrilled to find these fab travel snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated!
Take a basic first aid kit so that you don’t have to source green products when you arrive. Also take your own sunscreen, mosquito spray etc., especially if you’re going to an exotic location where it may not be so easy to spot the good stuff. This is a handy baby first aid checklist.
Make sure your holiday does not become a consumer fest! It’s tempting to want to purchase souvenirs – kids especially like to shop! Consider carefully whether these trinkets are actually necessary. If you do decide to purchase a memento of some sort, make sure it’s something authentic, preferably from a local market or trader.
Travel green! Where possible, ditch motorised transport. Bicycles and walking are the ultimate way to see the world! And connecting with the outdoors is ideal for making memories with your children.
Consider your accommodation carefully. Make sure your hotel does recycle, and treat it like you would your own home – ie it’s not necessary to wash towels every day, or have the air con on constantly. House swapping is a great option (any self catering will be more economical food wise), and camping is always a wonderful outdoorsy way to enjoy your holiday. Kids love to camp!
Treat your surroundings with respect – your kids will notice. Simple things like not littering, or picking up any litter which may fall into your path, go a long way to setting a green example on holiday!
A handy tool for you if you are on the lookout for travel deals!