Top 10 Travel Tips with Toddlers

We’ve flown three times with our youngest, Florence, now 2 ½, since she was born and I can safely say that going abroad with an immobile baby who mostly sleeps all day, is far easier than travelling with a restless, active toddler, so I wanted to share my top 10 travel tips with toddlers, garnered from experience. I hope you find them useful.

Do your research

Whilst searching for your next holiday, plan ahead for the best value breaks and ensure you extensively research your options. So for e.g. if you are staying at a resort, hotel or apartments, check ahead of time that they have the facilities you require for your toddler. Is the accommodation safe, the pool fenced off, the floors marble and thus dangerous? Search out places that are not isolated, are close to restaurants, shops, a chemist, doctors and a hospital. Check TripAdvisor for reviews of your accommodation too before booking and use travel search engines for the best deals. Ensure you pre book your flight seats so you know at least one parent is sat next to your toddler/ young children.

Be prepared

Pack wisely when it comes to your luggage taking at least two to three clothes changes per day for your toddler, and swimwear and a hat (they are likely to live in during the day) which cover sensitive areas to the sun such as shoulders and head. Even though you will be staying in the shade for the most part, full cover is crucial. I also like to take emergency toddler sachets of food, unopened and wrapped securely in my suitcase, as well as a full pack of nappies and two packs of wipes.

But not overprepared

I don’t take huge volumes of these items however, as I know I can buy them from a local supermarket once we’re abroad. When it comes to hand luggage, I take essentials such as wipes and nappies in there too, as well as a couple of books, an iPad, lightweight toys, my toddler’s favourite teddy, and once I’m through check-in I buy Calpol, snacks and drinks for the flight but also in case of flight delays. FYI, don’t forget to apply for compensation for flight delays you might experience either on your outward or return journey. AirHelp is a trusted site.

Easy options

We have personally found half board or all inclusive resorts are the easiest and least stressful with young children as you can eat on site and most resorts have child-friendly facilities; activities for the kids, family friendly shows in the early evenings and baby and toddler pools etc.

Pack meds

Make sure you have any medicine your toddler might need packed in your main case and weigh and measure all bags before boarding,  checking any restrictions, and the rules of your airline. Try and do an online check-in to save time and stress once you’re at the airport. Do try not to overpack as often buying items in the country of destination is cheaper than at the airport.

Do as the locals do

Try to stay out of the sun during peak hours which are from midday to 3pm if you’re heading to a hot country, and ensure your toddler’s head is covered at all times, and the swimwear they are wearing ideally has an in-built SPF factor too. Keep reapplying sunscreen throughout the day to ensure they are protected as this can wash off in water, and most do not last more than 2 hours regardless. Your toddler should spend most of the day in the shade if you are visiting a hot country and most locals only visit the beach at 6pm. Try it. Ditto when it comes to eating out. Observe where the locals eat as those will always be the finest restaurants!

Stay safe

Be vigilant as toddlers can wander off in seconds. Keep your toddler with you and safe at all times. If you’re using baby/ childcare facilities, check they are safe and secure. Different countries can have different regulations so ensure you are happy before leaving your child with childcare providers.

Don’t be too ambitious when it comes to day trips and excursions

Parenting on holiday is pretty similar to parenting at home, just usually with more sun (if you live in the UK at least). Keeping a toddler safe and happy is a full time job so try to keep activities local and as painless as possible. We love discovering local supermarkets, beaches we can walk to and playgrounds on our (new) doorstep. Everything feels special when you’re visiting for the first time.

Holiday mode means being more relaxed. We find we loosen our toddler’s schedule when we’re away so we can have a holiday too. That means later bedtimes and wake up calls and enjoying a more chilled way of life than when we’re home.

Make friends

We always make friends with other families on holiday and ideally with parents who have children of similar ages to our own so they make friends too. It makes the holiday more fun for all!

Take the grandparents

If you can, take the grandparents with you on vacation, for shared core memory making and some extra back-up. My folks love travelling with us on holiday and being together might give you 5 minutes peace as a couple or with your old kids if you have them like we do, if your own parents come along! Bliss!

What are your tips? I’d love to read them in the comments.

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