Mon 30 Jul 2018
Meltdowns, tears and tantrums can be common in your day-to-day when you’re living with toddlers, that’s why they often call it “the terrible twos”. And when the holiday season is upon you, and you’re finally taking a break from work to have a relaxed time off the usual routine, you might think to yourself: how can I have a stress-free family holiday when I have toddlers? While it can look impossible, it’s actually doable and it simply comes down to careful planning and thought beforehand. And we can help you in the process with 5 tips to enjoy a stress-free holiday with your children.
1. Choose the destination wisely
You could easily travel all the way to the other side of the world just because you want to, but when you have toddlers that might not be the best idea, as you have to keep their needs, routines and age in mind when choosing the destination. The shorter the flight or car ride the better. You also need to think about family-friendly destinations, with different entertainment options available, and as small a time-zone difference as possible to avoid jet lag tantrums.
2. Rent a holiday house
A resort or hotel might sound wonderful, but when you have children a self-catering property is definitely the better accommodation option. For short family breaks you can rent a holiday house or cottage, and enjoy the perks of privacy, which will come in handy when your children are having a loud meltdown, and when you have the opportunity to relax and just want some downtime without being bothered. Self-catering accommodation also gives you flexibility when it comes to meals, which is really important when you have toddlers in a fussy eating phase. Renting a house means no set meal times, the convenience of cooking your own food, plus the pleasure of feeding your children healthier options than they would probably have at a hotel buffet.
3. Plan and book activities in advance
In order to keep your holiday stress-free and your children less agitated, make sure you organize an itinerary. Make a list of children-friendly places, such as restaurants, attractions and activities and create a flexible plan for each day of your holiday. If you need to make any bookings, do those in advance to avoid the hassle of queuing to buy tickets. Plus, remember to have a backup plan for a rainy day indoors! Organising booking forms, itineraries and research on the destination in a folder is also a good idea to keep everything at hand when you travel.
4. Take things slow
Travelling with children requires patience. Toddlers are in a difficult phase, as they like throwing tantrums and making mealtimes a bit of a hassle, but even though this might make you anxious about taking them on holiday, if you take things slow the trip will definitely be easier for both parents and children alike. Try to make the travel time coincide with nap time, and if that’s not possible and you’re driving, make a few stops along the way. Also, don’t try to pack too much into one day as toddlers can’t handle a busy schedule, and too much activity might make them grumpy. If you plan any activities like museums or zoos, don’t rush the moment and slowly go through the experience with them.
5. Keep it fun
Entertainment is key when it comes to toddlers! Besides being focused on playing, which can avoid a few meltdowns, being active will make them tired at the end of the day, which means a good night of sleep for them and a peaceful evening for you. Take toys and games wherever you go, from the car to the plane, keep them at the holiday house, and even if you are out and about it’s a good idea to take some smaller entertainment items with you just in case. If you’re planning a quiet holiday exploring nature, remember to keep things fun in those woodland walks – toddlers can collect leaves and sticks to make a natural collage, gaze at the clouds and try to find shapes, or sit down by a river and draw what they see. It’s all down to creativity!
Here you go, now that you have these precious tips to make your family holiday less of a hassle, you can finally start planning and booking away!