First Big Family Holiday To Europe? Here's What You Need To Know

Collaborative post by another author. For UK parents who've focused on family holidays within Britain thus far, expanding horizons with an inaugural holiday across Europe brings exciting new experiences alongside some additional steps ensuring the adventure goes smoothly. Whether it's sunny Mediterranean beaches, fascinating historic cities, or thrilling theme parks on the agenda this European summer, follow this helpful advice to guarantee a magical maiden family voyage abroad.

a baby holding a passport
What you need to know before first holiday abroad with kids

Check Passports Are Valid

Most countries within continental Europe allow entry for UK travellers on valid passports without requiring pre-approval visas. However double check expiry dates on both parents' and kids' passports ahead of booking, confirming all documents meet requirements extending at least 6 months beyond your scheduled return date. Renew any due to expire sooner to avoid problems later. Carry passports always when travelling abroad.

Collect Medical Documentation

Ensure you pack all family EHIC health cards covering emergency medical access across Europe alongside collecting prescription slips for any regular medications taken just in case local pharmacies require verification while away. Also pack plasters, rehydration salts, antihistamines and any other first aid or toiletry essentials sparing late-night chemist searches in unfamiliar spots!

Learn Key Words And Phrases

Have young kids help learn and practice basic words for key European travel vocabulary like greetings, bathroom, food, transport, and emergencies in the native tongues spoken at your holiday destination. Apps like Duolingo make learning fun. Older kids should manage well with English in most settings, but early language exposure still brings some cultural immersion.

Pack Both Sunscreen and Umbrellas

Europe's diverse climates demand versatile packing whether heading to sun-drenched Mediterranean shores or showery Atlantic coastlines renowned for changeable weather. Pack ample high SPF sunblock but also lightweight raincoats and fold-up umbrellas so your family stays comfortable exploring sights whatever the skies may bring. Check forecasts and pack accordingly.

Going To Disneyland? Make Sure You Plan Ahead

If your family adventure leads to beloved Disneyland Paris, research and book top family rides and character meet-and-greets you prioritise well in advance via online tools to skip long queues and wasted time deciding schedules on the day. Set alerts before magical FastPass times so you don't miss allocated slots. Arriving armed with a park strategy makes Disney dreams happen! Family holidays to Disneyland Paris can be even more wonderful with a package holiday. You can explore the magical city of Paris and still have plenty of time to hit the theme park. 

Take Comforts Of Home

Pack tried-and-true bedtime routines, blankets or cuddly comforting items providing familiarity adjusting to new overseas temporary homes. Kids embrace adventures better building holidays around a little slice of home assurances when far from usual surroundings. Carry favourite foods, books, or games too if space allows. Blending both novelty and stability keeps smiles wide.

Consider Driving Instead Of Flying

For family European holidays in neighbouring countries, driving by ferry or Eurotunnel provides cost-effective flexibility with kids compared to flights. You can pack snacks galore, stop conveniently when boredom strikes, and bring back tempting souvenirs discovered at airports. Just check for delays! You also need to build in ample rest stops and consider overnight stays avoiding parent fatigue at the wheel.

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