Holidays are back on, and half term is just around the corner, which means many of us are preparing to jet off for some sunshine in the coming weeks. However, if the thought of travelling with toddlers or young children fills you with apprehension, we’ve rounded up some tips to make the journey a little more smooth-sailing.
Even if your little one isn’t prone to accidents, travelling can often throw the unexpected at you. It’s a good idea to keep a spare outfit for your child (and yourself!) in your hand luggage just in case they’re sick or don’t warn you they need the loo in time.
Snacks, snacks and more snacks
Even if you think you’ve packed plenty of snacks, pack some more. Little ones can burn through a surprising amount of food, and the last thing you want is to be miles away from the nearest shop, especially when the inevitable delays hit and little tummies start rumbling.
If your budget allows, opt for convenience rather than cost savings. For example, a cheap flight with a layover might seem like the better option but when you’re stuck in a hot, busy departure lounge with a screaming toddler, you’ll probably be wishing you just went for the more expensive, direct flight. Although a very long 11-hour daytime flight might be better broken up into shorter legs, giving your toddler a chance to stretch their legs and let off some steam.
Flying at night is ideal when travelling with toddlers, especially if it’s a long-haul journey. If timed right, your child will be able to have their evening meal, change into their pyjamas and snuggle down for the night. Sure, they might not sleep for ten hours, but they’ll likely sleep long enough for you to sit back and relax and even get some shut-eye yourself. It also means that when you land, your child will be a little less grumpy and ready to take on the next part of the journey.
It’s a good idea to do some research ahead of your trip and plan (and book) a few things in advance. Seeking out the best child-friendly restaurants, beaches and activities, as well as taking a note of local taxi companies and the nearest pharmacy before you go will help keep stress levels low and allow you to find the best deals or hidden gems. Just remember not to book too much in one day – things have a habit of taking twice as long with toddlers in tow so allow yourself plenty of time.
Arguably our best tip…whether it’s locations, activities, routines or allocation of budgets, keep in mind that being on holiday is a chance to bend the rules. It’s your time to let loose and relax so try not to worry about your toddler only eating chips for breakfast every day or the fact it’s their bedtime and they’re still splashing in the pool!