I’m back sharing my tips to travelling with a toddler. In my previous blog post I spoke all about the logistics of how we plan our trips as a family, you can read that here.
In this post I’m getting down to the nitty gritty and sharing the tips & tricks we’ve learnt which allows us to actually enjoy our holidays with a toddler in tow…yes it can be done!
- Like the look of that cool coffee shop or pub but worried it’s not child friendly? It probably is! Most places will have a note on the door if they don’t allow children. If you’re still not sure, just ask!
- Don’t be put off by somewhere not having a kids menu. If there’s no specific meals for Wren we generally ask for a side plate and give Wren some of ours or just let him have a few snacks whilst we’re eating.
- And as a back up we make sure we’ve got some toddler ready meals at the apartment. We love the Ella’s Kitchen 1-3 year old meals.
- Have a rough schedule for your days. It’s much harder to just step out the front door and see where the day takes you when you’ve got children. Have an idea of areas, attractions, restaurants and cafes you want to visit.
- Plan some toddler friendly activities. Toddlers do get bored quickly so it’s nice to plan an activity that’s just for them. We usually make note of some nearby play parks for a quick run around.
- Make note of opening times & days for attractions, you don’t want to make the trip somewhere only to find out it’s not open!
- Fancy visiting a local museum or art gallery but worried your toddler will hate it? Lots of cultural attractions are aimed at families so often have interactive elements just for children. If not, just involve your children yourself, talk to them about what you’re looking at, ask them what they can see. Act as though they’ll love it and they probably will!
- Check pram access for museums etc. Whilst most places are pram & wheelchair friendly, some older buildings can’t allow prams due to winding stairs, uneven surfaces etc. You should be able to store the prams at the entrance but be prepared to carry/let your toddler walk around.
- Book an apartment instead of a hotel. If you’ve got young children who go to bed early you don’t want to be all crammed in one room come bedtime. An apartment allows some adult wind down whilst your little one(s) are in bed. Plus having more space and a kitchen area is a must for us!
- The luxury of having children under school ages means you can travel during off peak times. Avoid weekends and half term and most places are undeniably quieter making it easier maneuvering with a pram.
- Timing is everything! I’m not going to teach you how to suck eggs here, you’ll know what time your child needs to eat, have a nap etc. Be mindful of this when planning your day! We generally plan to have a mooch around the shops when Wren is napping, or take the opportunity to have a quiet drink when he’s asleep in his pram.
- Be flexible! We all know kids like routine and once you’re in a good routine I get that you don’t want to risk messing it up. However from our experience a weeks break from routine doesn’t make much difference in the grand scheme of things. You don’t want to miss out on all the world has to offer just so your kid can take a nap at home.
Basically our fail safe list of everything that makes travelling with Wren possible!
- Portable highchair. This is the one we use and we LOVE it. You’ll never be restricted by somewhere not having a highchair again!
- A lightweight buggy.
- We never leave without our little bag of tricks. We fill it with a couple of books, a few small toys, pencils & paper and some flash cards . It’s generally because of this that we’re able to stop off for a coffee and have a meal in a restaurant without Wren having a meltdown.
- A comforter. If Wren is getting a bit upset or tired it helps him to having something familiar he can snuggle up to. We always make sure we’ve got his bunny with us.
- Snacks snacks snacks. Here’s some of our favourite on the go snacks;
Dairylea cheese triangle
Breadsticks & peanut butter
Blueberries & grapes
Oat bars – we like these ones
Lentil crisps – we like these ones
In part 3 I’ll be filling you in on some home truths and a little Q&A about travelling with a toddler. Think Wren doesn’t have a tantrum just because we’re on holiday….think again!