Tips to make holidays and travel with your toddler stress-free
Here’s what other mums suggest when you’re travelling with your toddler, to make your family holiday as relaxing as possible…
“My tip is to send things ahead. We’ve sent a box of heavy things, such as food, formula and nappies, to the hotel so we don’t have to carry them in our luggage and as most of it will be used during the holiday, we won’t have to carry it back. On a trip to Bali we left behind things we wouldn’t need again – such as toys and clothes my son had grown out of – which really helped some local people.”
Natalie, 33, mum to Callum, 3, and Katie, 7 weeks
“I try to keep to the same routine on holiday as at home. Ethan is used to having his bath at 7pm, but we like to eat out while we’re away, so we pop him into his pyjamas after his bath, then put him in the buggy with his bottle. By the time we’ve walked to the restaurant he’s finished his milk and dozed off, so it works perfectly.”
Anna, 34, mum to Tom, 9, Ethan, 2, and Lee, 9 months
“We went away when Matilda was 6 months old and I found the easiest thing to do was to travel as close to her nap times as possible and to get her into her usual routine as soon as we landed. I also took her sleeping bag and a cuddly toy, so she had things that smelt of home.”
Rachel, 35, mum to Matilda, 3, and Asher, 6 months
“To help Julia settle to sleep in a new room we brought the sheets that had been on her bed at home.”
Sharon, 29, mum to Julia, 17 months
“I took Julia on holiday to Gran Canaria when she was 16 months. For the flight I brought her lots of new things to play with, such as crayons, fuzzy felts, stickers and building blocks, and I wrapped them up so it took her a while to open them.”
“Stick a strip of Micropore tape (available from chemists, for around £1.99) behind the bottom half of both ears. It works for us.”
Lucy, 35, mum to Darcy, 4, and Edward, 2
“We play games that keep them looking ahead out of the front window, rather than the side windows (which seem to make them sick). Try the game where you have to be the first one to spot a bridge, lorry, the sea, etc.”
Carrie, 32, mum to Oscar, 5, Natalie, 3, and Kyran, 2
“Always carry a packet of ginger biscuits on a journey. My children won’t take ginger in any other form, but they’ll never refuse a biscuit and it seems to help settle their tummies.”
Deborah, 29, mum to Kellie, 3, and Sam, 18 months
Whether it’s driving or flying, travel for your toddler can be pretty boring. While you want to keep your toddler entertained, you don’t want to buy a load of new toys just for travelling.
There’s a cheaper option to keep your toddler entertained on the journey that’s just as effective, says Thomas Lynch of Thomson/First Choice holidays. “Hide away a couple of popular toys a month before you go away, then bring them back out again on the day you’re travelling.”
But what if you have to travel light? “If you’re going by plane, just pack some crayons and ask for a sick bag for the kids to draw on – these tend to be made of white paper and I often use them to scribble notes on myself,” says Thomas.
If you’re travelling by car, the essential item to pack is a ball, according to Andy Taylor, the AA’s Patrol Man of the Year.
“Plan your stops so you park somewhere off the motorway where there’s a patch of green,” says Andy. “Then let the kids have a kick-about for 10 minutes or so, to let off steam and tire them out. If you’re travelling for more than three hours I’d advise stopping every two hours.”
“And if you’re travelling with a very young toddler, the key is not what to pack but when to travel,” says Andy.
“I have found that traveling with my two runs a lot smoother (although takes a lot longer) when you make a stop regularly. Once the kids start to winge, you know your time is limited. Let them knock themselves out for half an hour then you can have a peaceful ride for longer.”
Merissa, 34, mum to Megan and Madeline, both 4
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