As I have mentioned before, we haven’t been on many “holidays” as a family but will be going on lots more! We have however, done a lot of travelling around visiting friends and family and moving to new places. So, here are my top 5 tips for travelling with toddlers, based on lessons learnt with Arthur and Eirlys.
- Take snacks
All the snacks! Take healthy snacks, unhealthy snacks, literally whatever they will eat. Then take more. A pack of snacks will distract a child from pretty much anything and defuse almost any situation. A hungry, tired toddler stuck in a car or on a plane is likely to turn into an unrecognisable devil-child who holds you personally responsible for their pain – and they will seek revenge. Run out of snacks at your own risk. You have been warned.
- Be realistic
No small child would actually choose to wander through the historic centre of town looking at buildings or stroll leisurely around a gallery. Even seemingly child-friendly activities, like boat trips or zoo visits, can bore them suddenly. They are strange beings, toddlers! This can be frustrating especially if you had planned it specifically for them! Keep in mind that there is a good chance they will get fed up fast and don’t be disappointed if sight-seeing is a bit rushed. Just enjoy the time together. Keep trips short and prioritise the things you really want to see. Stop and have an ice-cream together overlooking whatever it is you wanted to see or plan in trips to local play areas in between the sights.
- Turn it into an adventure
If there are things you really want to do, and you’re not sure the children will play ball, turn it into something they will enjoy. So, if wandering around a castle is on the itinerary pretend to be knights, if you are going walking up a mountain turn it into a bear/dinosaur/fairy hunt. Fake it ‘til you make it!
- Make some space for yourself
Now, the point of going on the holiday is to have an adventure all together, right? That is true, but I have always been a big believer in also having some space. It makes it a lot easier to stick to tips 1-3 if you have enjoyed a bit of quiet time and a drink! We can’t all afford to book a suite but it is possible to book hotels/apartments with a balcony or extra space so that the kids can go to sleep and you can snatch some alone time.
- Enjoy the moments
Travelling with kids is different. Trips usually need to be shorter, you need to be a little more prepared, you can’t spend hours getting lost in new cities. It is also absolutely amazing! Watching them experience new things and react to new situations is priceless. Whilst travelling can admittedly bring out the worst (sweaty tantrums) in toddlers, it can also bring out the best in them and reveal their strength, curiosity and adventurous spirits. You make memories together that will last forever.
Agree with these? What is your top tip for travelling with children?!