Travels with your toddler

Author Catherine Cooper shares her toddler travel tips


Holidaying with an active toddler can be a challenge! But choose where you stay carefully and you can make life a lot easier on yourself. For this age, a holiday that caters to your little one’s needs means you’ll have a more relaxing break.


Do make it a home-from-home. The advantages of self-catering are generally that you have more space, your child can have her own room and you have all the facilities you need for preparing food, as and when you want to.

Do make it a family affair. Going with friends or extended family can add to the fun. Plus, you get to share cooking and cleaning, and can also babysit for each other.

Do pick a family-friendly hotel. However, your child will be sharing your room, so unless the hotel has a baby-listening service, you will have to go to bed at the same time as her.

Do book a place with a pool. If you are staying in a villa with a private pool, designate one adult as a ‘pool supervisor’. This avoids children being left unattended near the pool with everyone assuming that someone else is watching them.

Don’t bank on your child skipping off happily to an unfamiliar kids’ club.

Do keep your toddler well covered in the sun – use high-factor sunscreen and reapply it regularly. UV sun suits are ideal as they protect large parts of their bodies from the sun without the need to apply sunscreen everywhere, and don’t forget a hat. Keep children out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when it is at its strongest.

Do talk to your children about what they should do if they get lost. Identification wrist bands are a great idea – visit

More happy holiday tips

  • Even if you have to change time zones, stick to your routines around mealtimes, naps and bed time, and your toddler will soon adjust, says Emily Kaufman, an expert ‘Travel Mom’ from the US.
  • Often there is a pressure to keep your toddler busy, busy, busy. Schedule in some down-time.
  • If your toddler refuses to eat anything but chips on holiday, don’t panic. A few days won’t do any harm.
  • Don’t plan to eat out. If your toddler is in a good mood and you find yourself in a restaurant, so much the better. But plan to do it and you can guarantee it will go wrong!
  • She will be drinking lots and will need the loo more, so take a portable potty, pull-ups and plenty of spare underwear.

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