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  • Just as you can never be too rich or too thin, you can never have too many baby-wipes. 
  • Research, research, research! Check that there is enough to keep your kids occupied for two weeks in fair weather or foul. 
  • Surf before you go and check the internet for free museums and art galleries. Churches are usually free (although they might ask for a donation), and are often a great way of seeing amazing art and architecture in one brief visit.
  • If you are going to a resort, check on the baby-sitting and crèche facilities before you go. Many top-end resorts have Ofsted registered companies with English staff who will make your kids feel at home easily, but you may need to book well in advance. Before you are due to drop them off, have a look around and see what activities are on offer. Are they provided with drinks and snacks? Rest-times? Shade?
  • Make sure you take enough nappies with you for the whole holiday even if you are going to a European country where you wouldn’t imagine that their procurement would be problem. We ran out during a three day religious festival  and were told we would have to hire a taxi to the airport, where it was rumoured they might have some Pampers. In the end, I tracked down
  • a miraculously open one-euro shop that sold nappies with all the absorbency and comfort of a copy of the Sunday Times, but they just about did the job until the stores opened again! 
  • The extra space two weeks’ worth of nappies will occupy in your suitcase means you will have loads more room for shopping on the return journey.
  • No matter how young your children are, teach them a few words of the local language. Even just being able to say “Hello” and “Thankyou” will help them make friends with hotel staff and might just make your life easier. (On our last holiday our three year-old helped drive the hotel golf buggies, met the pilot of the plane and switched the cabin lights on and off for take-off and landing, just because he had learnt a few words).
  • Take a Pritt stick, crayons, safety scissors (in your hold baggage) and journal, then on rainy days your kids can cut out relevant images from the leaflets of attractions you have visited and glue them in, along with tickets and other bits and pieces.
  • Kids love to pack their own flight bags/rucksack; let them pick their own toys as then you cannot be held morally responsible when Sheepy Pillow /Judy the Monkey or the favourite MegaTrogolozoid is left behind. Do however check they have not packed a toy hand grenade, as this may be frowned upon by aiport authorities.
  • Pack a decent first aid kit as a first line of defence as it is better to use medicines from home where you are familiar with the doses rather than foreign treatments. Calpol , plasters, antiseptic wipes, arnica tablets and cream and a good sunburn remedy are all essential.
  • Check how long the transfer is to the hotel, and make sure you have enough supplies with you for the taxi/coach trip, rather than stowed away in the boot.
  • Give your child lots of new food to try without making a big song and dance about it and they might just surprise you. Following our last trip to Greece my son now has a penchant for halloumi, dolmades, calamari, sardines and olives by the Ocado bucketload. Not a cheap habit, I grant you, but better for his health than Monster Munch.
  • Children love a new routine, it’s all part of the travelling experience.  A siesta works really well if you can manage it, then you can enjoy eating out later than you would at home and really enjoy that holiday ambience.
  • Even if you think your toddler has outgrown a pushchair, it can be really handy to have one on holiday. The distances to gates at some airports can be exhausting for little legs, and it is much easier to run for your boarding flight if one of you is on wheels. They also come into the own in crowded markets, but most of all the evenings, when you can snuggle your child down with a blanket and favourite toy while you wander along the marina looking for your next Sangria stop…
  • Use local transport. It is invariably cheaper and more frequent, and in our experience often leads to one adventure after another! Think characterful bemos and buses rather than those touristy air-con coaches….

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