Travelling is not quite the same once you have a baby or toddler along for the ride! Here are our top tips to make the experience as relaxing as possible
1 Get more space
Whereas once a bougie hotel room may have been just the ticket, with a little one in tow the last thing you want is to be stuck in the same room after their bedtime. Look into self-catering apartments or, if your budget allows, a hotel suite with a living room, so that once baby’s asleep, you can wind down in the other room (wild nights out slightly trickier!)
2Do your research
Many people only realise how restrictive needing smooth, step-free access to attractions is once they’re wielding a buggy (although it’s something we should all be aware of). Use websites such as Tripadvisor to find buggy-friendly stop-off points and restaurants that welcome families – no one wants to find themselves in a silent dining room with a shouty toddler.
3 Take all the kit
When considering what to pack for your holiday with a little one, there are some obvious things to throw in the suitcase: suitable clothing, swimwear and the right tog sleeping bag for the climate you’ll be in. Having snack boxes, plenty of sun protection and lots of little toys and books to keep them entertained on hand will also help your trip go more smoothly. Oh, and Calpol.
Although it’s good to maintain a slight go-with-the-flow attitude when travelling with a little one – you never know how long you’ll need to spend looking at a very interesting leaf – trying to retain the complete spontaneity of pre-child travelling may end up causing stress. Kids thrive on routine, so make sure you have a plan for each day – including when snack, nap and play times will be – to keep everyone relaxed.
5 Manage expectations
Anyone with little kids will know that life changes after their arrival (to put it mildly), but when it comes to holidays we can be inclined to enter into a fantasy world, imagining it will be just like the old days. It’s important to maintain realistic expectations – you will still be full-time carer and entertainer in whatever far-flung destination you reach, and you can still have a lovely time exploring the world with your new adventure buddy. Didn’t manage to book a trip away this year? Check out our guide to creating the holiday atmosphere at home.
Words: Sophie Hines