The issue that becomes actual at the beginning of May and which is troubling many parents is how to find the easiest possible way of spending summer holiday if you have (small) children: at what time to take the route, which route to choose, where to fly, what to take with you and what to buy there, where to feed if you are in the apartment, what health insurance you get… The questions are numerous and it is important to organize yourself and ask about everything in time to make your family holiday really enjoyable.
First of all, you must not forget that if only one parent travels with children, you must bring with you the consent of another parent. You will be asked for this at the border. The consent is done with a notary and the price in Serbia is 350 RSD.
You must also think of travel health insurance because when you travel with children you never know, and it’s good to be prepared. There are, for example, the option that if you are in employment for more than a year, take out a green American express credit card along with a health insurance card for you and your whole family when traveling together. Keeping this account in Serbia is charged 200 RSD a month, and when you get a security card, you need to take passports to your nearest branch to enroll all family members on the policy.
Then, a very important item before you go is a travel pharmacy that should contain the following: mosquito spray, burning cream, sun cream, paracetamol, probiotics, enerophilus in the case of diarrhea, in case of eye infection a three-percent boric acid solution for flushing and chloramphenicol, wound powder, thermometer, activated carbon, vrosal in case of vomiting, and a cream to alleviate injuries such as artery that calms and cools shocks. These are, of course, only our proposals for first aid only, and in serious situations, visit a doctor. For this reason, before you leave, it would not be bad to ask and where is the nearest pediatrician in your resort.
It’s time to go on the road. Experience has shown that if you have very young children and ahead of you is the road to Greece of some 700 km or more, it would be best to start early in the morning. When we say early, we think at 4.00 in the morning that the children would still be sleepy and the path safe enough to drive. Put the stuff you’ve previously packed in the car before the road, and then put the children in a comfortable dressing, so when you move them asleep from the bed in the car, they are already ready to travel. If your children have a sensitive stomach, prepare the anti-nausea tablets that you can give them if you think it would be necessary. Do not forget that those that stop the nausea are a bit calmer and it’s not bad for those children who are more likely to stand the road.
So you started around 4.00 in the morning, the children have overslept half the road, and you have avoided the heat and save on consumption because your climate was not needed. We advise you to go to Halkidiki via Macedonia, because it is faster and better than via Bulgaria, and the cost is practically the same. You need roughly 3000 RSD for a green card through Macedonia against a vignette for Bulgaria, yet you arrive about an hour earlier (you can find a detailed guide to driving through Macedonia here). If you leave from Belgrade, after 4 hours driving you are close to Macedonia and you can take a break for breakfast.
After the border crossing for Macedonia, you arrive in the beautiful Thessaloniki for 2-3 hours drive. If you decide to skip the tour of Thessaloniki and leave it for return, you will expect another 100-200 km of ride, depending on which part of the Halkidiki you are going to. A detailed guide on what to visit in Thessaloniki for one day can be found here.
Whichever place you fly to Halkidiki, it is a big probability of being a couple of kilometers away from a sandy beach with an endless shallow water, which is the dream of every family with children.
If you go to the first finger, the beach in Kallithea is great for small children, the sea is clear blue, there is no sudden depth, the shallow is quite long and the sand is at the bottom. The beach is not very big, but it gives you the opportunity to bring your own equipement or to get a sunbed and umbrella at a price of 5 EUR for ordering frappe. Also in half an hour drive, 10 km south of Pefkohori, there is a Xenia beach, which is excellent for small children, it extends for several kilometers and is also sandy, deck chairs are free but you are required to order a drink.
In Sithonia, on the second leg of Halkidiki, the ideal beach for children is, for example, Klimataria where the shallow is very long and the water is transparent. This beach has a restaurant and bar so you do not have to worry about food and drink. Otherwise, in Sithonia, the beaches are mostly quite suitable for children, because the shallows are mostly long and the sand is at the bottom, and the only beaches that are not pleasant are the ones at the southest part of the finger, where the depth immediately begins.
Halkidiki is generally a very good place for family and peaceful holidays so you cannot get wrong with choosing a beach. The decks are mostly not paid, but you get them for use with the ordered drink. And since you are spending most of the time on the beach, it is very important to arm yourself with beach requisites. Lately, a mini tent is very popular that will keep your kids from sunbathing and is ideal for the afternoon sleep in the shade. Sinks, blades, water pistols, mattresses, basins, feathers, water glasses, masks and similar occupations are better to buy at home than to come to the situation where your child goes to other children so that you must buy the same at local prices. Jumbo Toy Shop is definitely on the way to Halkidiki, so you can equip yourself there and be carefree. It would not be bad either to get a suit of liquor that protects from the sun, so be sure that your child will not burn because we all know how difficult it is to get them out of the water and even if they are briefly away from the sun.
As far as food is concerned, we advise you not to carry anything from home because foods cost the same, if not cheaper. Of course, this applies to larger supermarkets such as Marinopulos and Lidl, where it’s not wrong to stop on the road from the beach and get yourself secured. On the beaches you cannot always find a meal, so it’s always smart to pack something for kids and if you go somewhere where there are no bars and shops nearby. In any case, the prices for the restaurants are decent, and the biggest cost can be the coffee that can cost up to 5 or 6 EUR in Greece on the beach (but at this price are included sunbeds and umbrella).
A good organization is half the job, and if you prepare yourself in time even a vacation with very young children can go without a headache. And if you find yourself a company with children of the same age, then you are real luckmakers and the holidays will be a real pleasure.
We wish you a happy trip!