Going on holiday with a baby or toddler can be daunting!   But, with a bit of careful planning and some self-belief you can have a lot of fun on holiday with your new addition. Jo Addison from Kiddieholidays shares her top tips on having a memorable family holiday:

1. Adjust your expectations! 

Going on holiday with a baby or toddler IS going to be different to going on holiday as a couple. Luxury hotels in the middle of a big city aren’t necessarily going to meet the needs of a young family, so you will have to make changes and compromise.  That doesn’t mean that you won’t have a good time though – accept the change and embrace the new adventures you will have as a family. 

2. Choose your accommodation carefully

There are loads of good quality baby friendly cottages out there with all the equipment to make going on holiday with a baby easier.  You don’t need to fill your car up with cots, highchairs, portable stair gates and plug socket protectors – find a baby friendly place to stay and take advantage of all the equipment they will provide. 

3. Pack using a list

There are loads of packing lists available on the Internet by other Mums who have gone away with babies and toddlers. Use these as a guide to help you pack for your holiday – some of them have really good advice on what you need / don’t need to take with you. 

4. Choose your destination carefully          

If your baby doesn’t travel well in a car seat, don’t pick a fantastic cottage 500 miles away from your house.  Choose something closer to home for your first holiday away with your baby and use it as a ‘test’ to make sure you have got everything you need for when you travel further afield.

5. Prepare for rainy days in advance

If you are holidaying in the UK, plan for things to do in the rain! There is nothing worse than being stuck inside on a rainy day trying to entertain a toddler who is desperate to let off steam! Plan a few activities and places to go in the event of rain beforehand.

6. Research local amenities

Find out about the location of local amenities such as supermarkets beforehand. Better still, arrange for an Internet supermarket shop to be delivered to your cottage soon after you arrive.

7. Find out about local events

A lot of local attractions have special events such as family days throughout the year. Do a bit of research and find out about these beforehand to make the most of your time on holiday.

8. Research child friendly restaurants

A baby who has a long lunchtime nap can mean a long leisurely lunch for you! Alternatively an active toddler who is too excited to have a sleep can mean that you need to find somewhere with a children’s menu to eat out at – speak to your accommodation owners to see if they have any recommendations on places to eat or do a bit of Internet research beforehand. 

9. Take an extra pair of hands 

Take grandparents or friends along with you to give you a bit of helping hand on holiday. Renting a larger cottage with extra bedrooms and bathrooms can mean you can take grandparents or friends along with you to help look after babies and toddlers.

10. Keep busy

Find somewhere to stay where there is plenty for little ones to do in the local area. Look for somewhere near a beach, a little petting farm or near a playground – toddlers might get bored in the middle of nowhere with long car journeys to get everywhere.  Remember happy kids means happy parents.

Do you have any tips for going on holiday with babies and toddlers?  If so, please let us know in the comments below.  

Two young children climbing a cargo net

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