Renting a holiday home either in the UK or abroad, can be a great choice if you’re travelling with a young family, giving you greater flexibility, more space and making it easier to stick to your routine. There are a few things you can do to make sure that your holiday home is as safe as possible so the whole family can have a brilliant time whilst you’re away. A little caution can make a big difference to your peace of mind.
Be a baby proofing pro
Being away doesn’t mean you have to be constantly worrying about cupboard doors or plug sockets – this is a holiday after all! When you’re packing, simply include some child proofing tools in amongst your holiday gear.
Smaller items like plug socket covers and adhesive corner guards take up very little space in your luggage but can be invaluable for making sure you and your children can relax in your temporary home. Another great option is door and drawer guards with adhesive fastenings so they can be easily fitted and removed in seconds, leaving no trace on holiday home furnishings. These are compact enough to bring with you and can make a big difference, especially if your holiday home is laid out with more hazardous items in low cupboards.
Ask in advance if your property is equipped with stair guards and cots . Many rental companies will be able to organise for them to be waiting for you when you arrive. Alternatively, look for child friendly properties on sites like Airbnb and don’t be afraid to question hosts on what their houses are kitted out with.
Watch out for water babies
One of the most luxurious things about going away is having access to a pool or the beach. Long days spent by the water, be it sunbathing or making sandcastles, are what many of us dream of for our summer holidays. Make sure you can enjoy the freedom to the full by taking care of the safety aspects first, particularly if your holiday home has its own pool.
Before When you arrive (or even before you book), it’s a good idea to check if the pool is enclosed or fenced off so that you know in advance how much supervision you’ll need to give younger children. Pay attention to the pool depths as it may be different to what your child is used to at home and be clear about the areas that are shallow enough for them to play in safely. You should also take a buoyancy aid with you just in case, even if they are confident swimmers.
The same precautions apply for trips to the beach. Whilst paddling can be fun for the whole family, make sure that the beach surface is relatively level, with no steep drops hiding under the waves. Keep an eye on flag signals and check online if they are different in the country you are visiting. We also recommend looking at local news or asking a lifeguard for up-to-date information on hazards including jellyfish or Weever fish, which are becoming more prevalent in recent years around British shores. If you find a magical spot all to yourself with no-one to ask about rips and currents, take extra care – the middle of the beach will often be the safest place to paddle and bathe.
Food glorious food
Holidays can also be a great opportunity to try new foods and encourage your child to be more experimental too. At the same time, sometimes it’s nice to have the comforts of home. If your child has formula, for instance, make sure you take enough with you for the whole trip as it can be difficult to find your favourite brands in unknown supermarkets.
Your holiday home might also have a microwave which can be great if you want to heat something quickly. As models vary, double check the power and adjust times accordingly. Ensure that the food is piping hot before serving so any harmful bacteria is killed and allow it to cool down before giving to your children.
It can also be a good idea to take snacks with you on longer day trips as it can be hard to predict what eating options there will be. We find it’s the best way to ward off the “hanger” for children and for parents! If the water quality of the country you’re visiting isn’t great, make sure you always have bottles of water and/or water purifying tablets with you too.
Planning ahead means more time to relax later
Holiday safety ultimately begins before you leave home. To make sure you have all the bases covered, take a basic first aid kit with you as one might not be provided where you’re staying. This should include a thermometer, plasters and antiseptic wipes. Don’t forget to also pack any medications for you or your children as it may be difficult to find them in pharmacies abroad.
Stock up on your favourite suncream and always bring sun hats to protect little heads and faces. There are many child-safe natural insect repellants available nowadays that are also a good precaution for evenings and if you’re staying near water. It can be helpful to have long sleeved tops and trousers packed just in case you need them, for both sun and insect protection. This may seem like a long list of extras but when you’re finished you can take pride in your forward planning and know you are ready for anything the holiday can throw at you. Now you can relax and enjoy this quality time together.
If you have any holiday home safety tips of your own then please share them with us, we would love to hear from you! Find us on social media