There are far too many people across the UK today that share the opinion that travelling with toddlers is something that should ideally be avoided at all costs. They state that to try and make a getaway with young kids is a sure-fire recipe for holiday hell and that the best advice for all involved is to wait until they are a little older.
However, on the flipside of the argument there are thousands of families that take any number of toddlers with them on holiday every year and pretty much swear by it as the most wonderful experience imaginable. And what’s more, this rather more optimistic and positive group has collected over the years a veritable compendium of tried and tested tips geared toward not just surviving toddler travels, but making sure everyone has the time of their life.
Here are just a few of the examples to get you going in the right direction:
First and foremost, never forget that while toddlers and kids of most ages love being on exciting holidays, they absolutely hate being cooped up in cars, buses, trains, planes and so on. As such, the biggest favour you can do for the whole family is to limit how far you’re willing to take them all by way of travel time. This means ruling out anywhere that takes 14 hours to drive to and certainly anywhere demanding a 2-hour commute followed by a 4-hour flight and a subsequent 2-hour resort transfer. Keep travel time down and the chances of tantrums will plummet – guaranteed.
To say toddlers have short attention spans would be an understatement, so never underestimate the importance of entertainment and distractions. If you think their favourite toy or game will last the whole of the trip, you’re sorely mistaken. The basic rule of thumb is to load up with as many distractions and entertainment as you think you need, then add at least 50% more just in case…or even double it, if you can get away with it.
Go with the Flow
You might love the idea of walking six miles to get to the ruins of a church for a two-hour lecture, but for a toddler it’s the dead lobster on the beach that provides hours of entertainment and poking. If you really want to make sure everyone has a good time, put yourself in the position of the most fragile and volatile members of the family and see what’s happening from their perspective. You’re better off responding to what makes them tick than going your own way and dealing with an eruption or two.
Last up, if there’s one thing that can make the biggest difference from arrival to departure, it’s a truly family-friendly resort…or ideally, a toddler-friendly resort. Choosing a place that’s built for families can make the difference between drunken teenagers falling out of nightclubs at all hours and complete and total peace, tranquillity, safety and the promise of other kids to keep yours happy. It’s always worth checking in advance just how family-friendly a place really is, but generally speaking there’s really no better or safer choice.
About the Author
When not enjoying some Cuba holidays (learn more here on how to enjoy a vacation in Cuba), Lisa Morton is a dedicated blogger on all matters pertaining to family life, more especially on family travel. You may follow her in Google+.