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Holidays stressful!

(12 Posts)
Sunrise66 Tue 30-May-17 22:10:50

I currently have 2 little ones aged 6mths and 2yrs and am finding that travelling and holidays have become quite stressful - so much so that i don't want to go away! Just wondering if anyone feels the same or can offer any advice?!
Pre kids I loved holidays and have travelled widely but now even a weekend away can feel like climbing Everest.
Car journeys beyond 1-2 hrs are a nightmare and frequently involve either or both kids screaming in the back. Our toddler is unsettled sleeping in new places so the first night is usually very disturbed meaning we start off even more exhausted than usual as baby still feeding 2-3 x per night. We've had a couple of trips when toddler or baby became poorly which made things even worse.
Packing for everyone then unpacking / washing on return seems a mammoth task!
We haven't ventured abroad yet with kids as they're both very fair and I'm anxious about sun and also nervous being abroad with young baby (I know prob silly).
It feels like there is some pressure with social media and the like to have wonderful family holidays and most friends seem to be going abroad with their little ones or doing long drives to fun places but I can't face it!
Feel really negative saying all this and hopefully it will likely become easier to travel once kids are a bit older and we can get back to enjoying holidays again!

BackforGood Wed 31-May-17 00:55:26

I think this is pretty normal.
To me, the idea of going away for a weekend, when the dc were small was a bit of a nightmare. A week makes a lot more sense, as the 'pleasurable time' of 5 days or so in the middle, makes the hassle of packing and traveling and disturbed sleep worthwhile, but a shorter stay doesn't.

2014newme Wed 31-May-17 19:18:30

Go somewhere with nannies and childcare. Then it's a real holiday.

metalmum15 Thu 01-Jun-17 13:33:23

Try going somewhere that's only an hour or so away, less travelling time. When mine were little we had very chilled holidays, beach, pool, etc rather than traipsing around sightseeing. Don't be fooled by the pictures people put on social media, they're just a tiny snapshot of what the holiday is actually like. And it does get a whole lot easier as they get older and more independent. Also, if you fancy going abroad choose early or later in the year when it's not so hot, and find somewhere with a short flight time.

juneau Thu 01-Jun-17 16:15:49

Holidays with toddlers can be extremely stressful and unenjoyable, so I think you're right to keep things simple. Our first holiday as parents of two DC was a week in a SC cottage in Lyme Regis. It had a washing machine, parking space right outside and was perfect. I didn't feel up to much more than that with a 3-year-old and a 4-month-old, but we've been abroad many times since.

I think the main thing I would say is to still keep it simple. Go to places you know, or know of (via recommendations of people you trust), keep travel time to a minimum (local airport, short flight, short drive other end, or similar drive/ferry), and source places that have a lot of the baby/toddler stuff there for you when you arrive (cot, potty, high chair, microwave, washing machine, etc). The MN travel recommendations were a godsend when our DC were small and we got several really good tried-and-tested places off there. Sites like 'BabyFriendlyBoltholes' are excellent too for the kind of ultra thing you need right now (fenced pools with gates, step-free access and baby and child clobber provided).

Just accept that holidays with DC are never as relaxing and lovely as they were pre-DC, that many people LIE about how great their holidays with babies and toddlers are, or they take the GPs with them and get some babysitting thrown in. It is possible to have nice family holidays though with good planning and low expectations beforehand. And remember that it DOES get better. My two are now 6 & 9 and holidays are actually quite enjoyable again now. I even get an hour or so by the pool with my book on occasion grin

juneau Thu 01-Jun-17 16:21:41

And FGS make the most of being able to go away outside the school holidays. If you don't you'll kick yourselves that you didn't take advantage of the cheaper prices and quieter times of year when you had the chance. Once your oldest starts school you'll be shoe-horned into the same few weeks of the year as everyone else and hideous peak prices!

juneau Thu 01-Jun-17 16:24:35

MN Travel Reviews

TheSconeOfStone Thu 01-Jun-17 20:44:33

Our two were terrible travellers. Did first holiday abroad with both when they were just 4 and nearly 7, and that was only Brittany (we live 5 minutes from Brittany Ferries port). We have been a few times now and it's actually fun. They don't like heat so we have stuck to Netherlands, France and Belgium. They are 6 and 9 now and old enough for DVDs in the car. We live in Devon so don't feel the need to travel too far for beaches anyway. We might even try our first warm destination holiday next year (in October).

Adjust your expectations and keep it simple for now. It won't be long and the children will be able to tolerate more travelling. Remember Facebook is the edited highlights. I doubt if anyone takes pictures of travel sickness, heat rash, children refusing to sleep in hotel rooms etc.

Sunrise66 Sat 03-Jun-17 22:10:06

Thanks for your replies! That is helpful and encouraging. Will definitely keep it simple for now and looking at mumsnet recommendations is a great tip thanks.

Whathaveilost Sun 04-Jun-17 01:17:19

My first 'abroad' holiday was when the boys were 6 month and 3 years old to Mallorca.
We kept it simple and tried to keep them in routine as much as possible even if it meant being back at the apartment early and eating and having a half bottle of wine when they went to bed.

It mustn't have been that stressful as we went on holiday every half term and for two weeks in the summer right up until they left secondary school and often I took them alone.

The boys are now 17 and 20 and have got the travelling bug themselves and have passed it on to their girlfriends as well

Hang in there OP. Accept ' family holidays' can mean a caravan in France or a hostel in Slovenia or a cottage on a Scottish Island and prepare for some great adventures! It does get easier and great fun. Be creative with the countries you go to. Mine have never asked for Disneyland and the like but have learned to ski from a young age, back packed on a train across Europe at 6and 9 years old. Have fun.

LePetitPont Tue 27-Jun-17 15:00:13

Totally get where you are coming from - I've just posted asking for ideas for what might be a relaxing holiday with a toddler and small baby.

We've done center parcs already and that was a success but it's completely not my idea of the perfect holiday pre children by any stretch. I've had to accept what's needed for us to relax, for my husband to manage his stress levels and for the toddler to be on form is something very simple for now. So no travelling around, sight seeing etc.

We are planning on all inclusive for September. With a transfer bus and everything!!

A1Sharon Tue 27-Jun-17 17:01:31

My ideal holiday is a city break, wandering around a beautiful old city, poking in to the shops,restaurants and museums...and spending hours quietly watching the tide roll in and out in the sunshine...
I have 3 kids and my actual holidays involve noisy hotels, swimming pools, inflatables,-you get the drift!grin
We certainly didn't do abroad holidays when they were small,nightmare!
Days out are the way to go OP.

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