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Travelling with a baby or toddler is not quite the same as it was pre-children! Here are our top tips to make the experience as relaxing as possible.

Get more space

That bijou hotel room may have been just the ticket when it was just the two of you. But once you have a baby or toddler, the last thing you want is to be stuck in the same room after their 7pm bedtime. Look into self-catering apartments or, if your budget stretches far enough, a hotel suite with a living room, so that once your baby is asleep you can crack open a bottle of wine and get stuck into a book in the other room (wild nights out, slightly trickier!)

Do 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 all should be aware of). Look ahead at websites such as Tripadvisor for buggy-friendly stop-off points and restaurants that welcome families – no one wants to find themselves with a shouty toddler in a silent dining room.

Get the kit

When considering what to pack for your holiday with a little one, there are some obvious things to fill the suitcase with: 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.

Stay structured

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’re going to have to stop and look at an interesting leaf for – trying to retain the complete spontaneity of pre-child travelling may end up causing stress. Kids thrive on routine, so have a plan for each day – including snack, nap and play times – to keep everyone relaxed.

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 go into fantasy world, imagining it being just like the old days. Maintain realistic expectations – you will still be full-time carer and entertainer whatever far-flung destination you reach – and you can still have a lovely time exploring the world with your new adventure buddy. And if you didn’t manage to book a trip away this year, check out our guide to creating the holiday atmosphere at home.

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