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Holidays with toddlers..

(20 Posts)
ohthegoats Sun 25-Oct-15 22:33:04

.. how do you actually make it fun for all of you?

We've just had another disastrous weekend away - she just doesn't sleep properly anywhere but home. Means we don't sleep, means we have a shit time.

I want to go away next year properly, for a week.. for 2 weeks. How on earth can that happen?

What sort of holiday do we need to go on? apart from one with all day childcare

jeavcike Mon 26-Oct-15 20:38:49

What are you considering staying in? We went on a family holiday in a 3 bedroom caravan when our dc were 2.1yrs & 9 mths and they were fine. We took loads of stuff, incl. a travel cot for the baby, a couple of strap-on booster seats for around the dining table and the double buggy so we could stay out later than normal and the dc could nap in there; all this equipment was a nightmare to pack but made the actual holiday easier.

We just carried on our usual routine of naps and bedtimes etc there, which was helped by the fact that they could actually go to bed into a room on their own, as at home, rather than all of us being in the same room together in a hotel.

Could you look into booking a cottage/caravan/chalet? Some of them are surprisingly big and spacious and sometimes even have an enclosed terrace or garden area so the dc can play outside in safety without the fear of them running away. They also have a washer and sometimes a dryer so you're not having to wash a huge pile of clothes when you get home and you don't have to pack half your wardrobe either.

trilbydoll Mon 26-Oct-15 20:45:00

We used to book a place with two double beds. One for me and dd, one for dh. She's a bit older now so sleeps in a single bed or bottom bunk.

Cottages work well if you don't want to all go to bed at the same time, easier to recreate home routine.

All incl is good, if you can stay in an apartment that has a kitchenette for bottles etc. Apartment is difficult to have separate bedtime though, that tends to work better with her having a late nap then we all go to bed at the same time.

Not like holidays used to be but still fun smile

lornathewizzard Mon 26-Oct-15 20:45:54

We've not long come back from a family holiday in the Lake District with 15mo DD. Took travel cot and buggy for reasonably normal sleeping patterns. However, there were 15 of us and she was the youngest by 9 years or something, so lots of doting GPs, Aunties, Uncles and cousins to help. And let me sleep after the first unsettled night.

Artandco Mon 26-Oct-15 20:46:21

Depends on child I think. We went to Vietnam with a newborn and 1 year old and it worked great. However both just co slept, slept quite well, and we just put in slings and took where we wanted.

How old are they? We have found the pick and area/ city and sightsee with children in sling has worked well. With kids stuff thrown in.its only now they are 4 and 5 we had had to slow down day more as too big for slings and too young to walk too far. We break up the day though so would be times throughout day for them to explore/ walk/ beach etc

Croatia was great. I think they were 2 and 3? Lots of boat trips around islands, cities small enough to explore at toddler speed, food great, lovely little beaches and coves to play in. We started in the north and worked down to Dubrovnik over 10 days.

lornathewizzard Mon 26-Oct-15 20:46:42

Sorry meant to mention that we stayed in a cottage

Artandco Mon 26-Oct-15 20:50:56

Personally we have always found hotels far better than own house. Hotel means all cleaning done, food can be eaten in hotel restaurants, local restaurants or room service if needed. Laundry service option if needed, staff to help in emergency/ book taxis/ help with hire cars and excursions, pool has lifeguards, etc. As long as you don't stick with the ' 7pm on the dot bedtime' you have at home.

VeryPunny Mon 26-Oct-15 20:57:23

Some kids just don't travel well.

Our best holiday was a week SC on the Norfolk coast - a couple of hours in the car, so no nightmare journey,and self catering means you can suit yourself food wise. We're usually potter about in the morning and then head out for the afternoon - a couple of hours on the beach, steam railway trip etc.

Wolfiefan Mon 26-Oct-15 20:59:51

Every year it gets easier.
We love Bluestone.
Try and keep to regular routine and take familiar toys and books.
Tire out (haha) small ones and feed well.
Blackout windows and take own bedding.

ffffffedup Mon 26-Oct-15 21:22:03

Next year she'll be completely different than she is now. If your looking to go abroad I'd say maybe go at the early or late season when it's not too hot or busy. First choice family hotels have lots going on that you can take part in or not. I'd also say if you can go away with others (grandparents aunties uncle's or friends with similar age dc ) helps as there's always someone else to entertain your dc for a bit to give you a break.

ohthegoats Mon 26-Oct-15 23:18:48

Thanks for responses.

Another issue into the deal - I'm a teacher, so ridiculously expensive holidays are the only ones available. I always went on backpacking type trips to Asia or Africa when I was single, and with my partner we've been on either long weekend type city breaks, or backpacking in Asia. I'm happy that neither of these options suit an infant.

We've just spent the evening looking at options for May half term - cooler in Europe. Aagh... Eurocamp just makes me want to cry looking at the pictures. Ended up phoning a friend to ask if they want to come with us - they've got a 2 year old and a 10 month old (now), so would be looking for the same things. I think we'll aim for a villa with a pool - even booking our flights and accommodation separately, a villa and self catering is cheaper. Bloody partner is practically vegan, and an ex chef - so precise about his food - hotels just don't really work for him (but Asia does - hence why we'll end up back there again as soon as our daughter is old enough). I can't face carrying her around, all sweaty and squirming in Thailand for example.

Year after next I'm going away alone to a nice hotel. Ha.

blahblahblah2000 Mon 26-Oct-15 23:25:34

Holidays with small kids are just "same shit, different location". Hard work and more packing / logistics than usual!

ZenNudist Mon 26-Oct-15 23:33:46

We have had lots of holidays with toddlers. Mainly Spain in May. I like the fact it isn't roasting. You still have to be vvv careful about sun but not quite so bad as august.

In august we go somewhere cooler . Thinking Prague this year, or italian lakes.

You def need your own room. When ds1 was about 2.5 we went to croatia in September it was lovely great food and cheap compared to other European destinations. We balanced toys and books around his cot and in the morning got a lie in whilst he played! Sadly now ds2 (1.5) shares a room with ds1 (5) so we won't be able to pull the same trick again!

ZenNudist Mon 26-Oct-15 23:37:37

Oh and Yy to same shit different place. I used to be sad about having to do tea time even if previously be having a sundowner and catching last bit if sun. I quite enjoyed a more sightseeing type holiday where we all ate lovely lunch together sightseeing then traipsed home knackered in time to give kids tea, didn't feel I has missed out as much on my relaxing late afternoon early eve holiday routine.

ODog Tue 27-Oct-15 11:19:05

Since DS was born we have done eurocamp holidays in France. You hire the tent/caravan (already set up) and they provide pretty much everything you need. You can hire high chairs/travel cots/baby baths at a really small cost. The sites have plenty of toddler friendly activities eg soft play, swimming pools, bikes, play parks, beach nearby etc. lots of other kids to play with and language barriers don't exist for toddlers. We took DS this summer for a week when he was 13mo and he LOVED it and despite being a challenging sleeper was so tired he pretty much slept through every night. We will be doing something similar this summer with a 2yo and a newborn!

Boosiehs Tue 27-Oct-15 11:27:36

Mark Warner with childcare thrown in. Literally the only way DH and I had any sort of holiday. Oh and a fair amount of co-sleeping.

HJBeans Tue 27-Oct-15 21:24:17

One thing from our experience: the child-friendliness of the destination makes a huge difference to whether childcare in a different location feels like a holiday or not. By far our happiest post-child holiday was in an all-inclusive hotel on Tinos - booked by our Greek friend who said it was known to Greeks as 'the family friendly island'. Quite cheap, it was also outstandingly easy and enjoyable due to the cultural attitude toward kids. We had romantic meals out with our 1 year old and when he acted up waiters and other diners smiled and took turns playing with him. Utter bliss. Similar good experience in Amsterdam, which is littered with playparks and very child friendly in cafés, etc.

ohthegoats Tue 27-Oct-15 23:17:58

We've both worked for mark warner, so they were our first choice. Problem is the school holiday need - for next summer a term time week is £1100, a school holiday week is £3400. Laughable. We could go to Thailand for a month on that!

Artandco Wed 28-Oct-15 08:21:02

Go to Spain. Little private rental with pool near beach. Use the local restaurants int he evening. Spanish culture is so child friendly that they assume a child will be out with you until late at night either playing nearby or sleeping or just generally around.

Beach resorts or those in a town square are great as they can toddle around near restaurant or play with toys on floor nearby as all car free .
mine often take a bag of small play figures and sit on the square close to our table in restaurant after we have eaten and play games between them. Other kids attract to the toys so they meet other kids also. Meanwhile we can sit and continue wine and just keep and eye of them whilst also having time to chat between us.

Pick a non touristy resort to make it cheaper and quieter. Just locals around so you get full atmosphere. Look on holiday lettings for a place to stay. You can filter by requirements.

ohthegoats Wed 28-Oct-15 10:33:53

Yep, I think this is the way we are going. Currently the favourite option is a villa in Malaga at June half term - should hopefully be warm enough, but not too warm. A ground floor only villa with private fenced pool, shared with some other friends with children. Think we can get it for about £600 each, which is alright for school hols.

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