Travelling with a little human

Archie is now 19 months old and has been travelling with us on our trips to Greece since the age of 6 months! Our little man has done several flights including one long haul and he really seems to be getting the hang of it now… as do we! Alex and I often get asked how we find travelling with a young baby/ toddler. So, I thought I would share with you some of our tips, including useful gadgets and good advice given to us along the way.

The Flight

  • Firstly, try not to over-fret! 90% of people on the flight have probably had children of their own or have children in their family so they know it isn’t easy travelling with little humans. Cut yourself some slack – if your baby starts crying don’t worry, try and stay calm – your baby will sense your anxiety and it will only make things worse.
  • Snacks, snacks and more snacks. Now Archie is a toddler we pack as many snacks as we can. We try and go low sugar so he doesn’t get too excited on the flight!
  • If your little one is walking, try and tire him/her out as much as possible in the airport. If they want to walk up and down the aisle on the flight – stay close but again don’t worry about the occasional passenger scowl – most people understand. A three hour flight to Greece is a long time for a child to sit still.
  • If your baby is on formula you can pre order this from Boots up to 5 working days before you fly and pick it up in the terminal … it’s really handy. You can also do this with baby food too!
  • To help with ear popping on the flight a friend told me to try to feed your baby their milk at take-off and landing. The sucking really helps regulate the pressure.
  • Fun pack … we always pack a little fun pack for Archie full of some of his favourite toys along with some new exciting ones to keep him busy on the flight and for the holiday. But don’t forget to hold some back for the flight home!

Our favourite holiday must-haves and gadgets

Our top toddler friendly villas

When choosing a holiday villa it can be hard to know which ones are toddler-friendly. Here are our Ionian island favourites ….

Paxos

Elissa sleeps 6. The property is all on one level with plenty of outside space and shade. Also within walking distance of Lakka bay which is great when you have a buggy.

Kefalonia

Artemissleeps 5. The villa is all on one level with lots of grass for burning off some toddler steam!

Ithaca

Limoniasleeps 8. A great location in the centre of Vathy port close to a children’s play-park. The villa also has an enclosed, fenced-off pool area.

Corfu

Kalami – sleeps 4. A spacious modern villa in large grounds with plenty of grass around the pool.

Lefkas

Nicholetta – sleeps 4. The villa has an enclosed lawn and swimming pool area. It is a 10 minute walk to Agios Ioannis beach which has a few tavernas and a sheltered swimming area at one end. Lefkas town is also only a 10 minute walk via a flat track.

If you would like any further advice you can always give us a call or email. We have been to all our villas and can help pick the best one for you and your family.

Catherine xx

Best 4 Tips for Parking at Airports at the Ionian

Top Tips for Airport Parking

Let’s face it: compared to the excitement, promise and glamour of almost all other aspects of preparing for a holiday, parking at the airport is probably the least attractive. But consider the problems that can arise when trying to park in any other situation. Unexpected difficulties can often arise and can result in serious delays. When you’re catching a booked flight those are delays you cannot afford. By taking a little time to undertake some research and make the right choices you can avoid stress, anxiety and possibly even missing your flight. Here are some Top Tips for Airport Parking to help:

  1. Don’t leave booking too late

With all of the other things to think about when planning a holiday, many people leave it to the last minute before they think about parking. This is going to cause not only stress and worry but it will also cost you hard cash. Peak holiday times not only mean increased costs of flights and accommodation, but filter through to pretty much everything else, including parking charges. As would be expected, parking charges increase as spaces become scarcer. Early booking can reduce charges and by tackling a booking several months before your flight you can relax and spend more time researching in order to find the best deal. Try to ensure that your booking can be cancelled, however, to reflect any unforeseen changes that may arise. The reason this is number one in these Top Tips for Airport Parking is that it is so important; failure to book early limits choice and forces you to accept what is available rather than what would be your first choice.

2. Choose a secure car park

Whether you are going to be leaving your vehicle for a day, weekend or a week or more, you want to know that it is going to be safe while you do so. Spend some time researching possible car parks that meet your needs. Has the one that appeals to you most been independently inspected? Does it have, for example, the ‘Park Mark’? This is a system whereby parks are assessed for both security and levels of maintenance. It is a Police crime prevention initiative and whilst absolute guarantees of security can never be given, choosing a park with the Park Mark accreditation offers some peace of mind.

3. Study different car parking packages

There are several different options available, so choose what suits you best:

-Park and Ride. This is just the same as the shopping scheme. Your car is parked in a location a short bus ride from the airport. This makes it cheaper as it is not on-site at the airport. Shuttles transfer you after parking. Both airports and independent operators offer this service.

– Parking at the airport. This is usually the most expensive option as you are very close to the terminal.

– Meet and greet. This is a medium-priced option. A driver meets you at the airport terminal, usually helps you with luggage, then drives your car to the car park and secures it. The process is reversed on your return. This option offers much convenience as you stop at the actual terminal but don’t pay the highest price and you don’t have to worry about the bus trip between the car park and terminal. Very useful for those with small children, busy business people and those with restricted mobility.

4. Best way of shopping around: use consolidators

Although this is listed last it is one of the most important. It is really important to shop around, but you can take a lot of the work out of doing so by using consolidators such as SkyParkSecure. Consolidators are similar to price-comparison websites: they gather information about different car parking products available for different airports and compare details and pricing, making it easy to identify the product that best suits your needs and budget without having to do the leg work yourself. SkyParkSecure’s map feature is particularly helpful if you’re concerned about how far away from the airport the car park you’re thinking about booking is.

Back-packing & Island Hopping Nostalgia in the Ionian Sea

We’ve just returned from a 12-day Ionian island-hopping trip. Comfy villas & apartments on 4 islands. An intriguing alternative to staying in one place.

Sky Express make it all possible. Difficult to arrange if you’re booking a more rigid

package holiday (1 or 2 week durations) but no problem with a more flexible Ionian Villas holiday.

We stayed 3 nights on Paxos at Eliana Cottage, 3 nights on Lefkas at Villa Fotini, 5 nights in Fiscardo, Kefalonia at Katy’s Apartment and the final night on Corfu at the Cavalieri Hotel.

All Sky Express flight departure times made for a comfortable trip – the 8am hydrofoil from Paxos to Corfu gave us time for an airport coffee before the 10am flight to Preveza (Lefkas).

The flight time between islands is just 15 minutes. The cost is around £45 per person for each island hop flight.

When is Best to Book a Greek Island Holiday

Understandably the Greeks are finding it hard to accept punitive austerity measures and their future still remains uncertain.

It might appear flippant to talk up tourism to Greece but visitors to Greece are needed this time more than any other. The opportunities to forgo our busy lifestyles for a relaxed escape on a beautiful Greek island are still there.

Athens no doubt will continue to be the central stage for Greeks to protest against these measures but on the islands, where there tends to be more self sufficiency in lifestyles, people are more philosophical. Here you will hear Greeks complain about price and taxation increases but most are self employed or dependent on tourism for income and they are therefore not all affected as seriously as the employed or unemployed on the mainland.

It would appear that most tour operators (companies selling package holidays) are suffering from a very slow start to the holiday booking season for Greece. For Ionian Villas , a new business, we have been busy with enquiries for all Ionian islands.

If you are thinking about a holiday on a Greek island this year but you reckon that it’s best to wait a while before booking – you might benefit from panic offers but you might also be faced with a limited supply and therefore increased cost of flights (caused by tour operators “consolidating” their programmes and charter flights being cancelled). Scheduled carriers like Easyjet watch the supply and demand of charter flights very carefully when pricing their own flights.

Naturally we would advise to book early to secure what is best for you and to take your money now rather than later! At Ionian Villas (we are booking agents for individual property owners and not a package holiday company), we are happy to help if a price is outside your budget. If a particular property appeals but the price is too high, let us know and we can speak to the owner to see if a reduction can be made. No guarantees but it’s always worth asking – and it might help you secure your flights before a possible price increase.

© 2018 Ionian Villas Limited

Call us on: +44 (0) 1243 820928    ..or email enquiries@ionian-villas.co.uk

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