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Planning a family holiday with babies and toddlers

You've officially taken the plunge and decided to go on holiday with your baby or toddler. Cue elevated heart rate. But fear not! Mumsnetters have been there, done that and have shared their tips with Thomas Cook. Here's how to have a holiday to remember, for all of the right reasons

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Mar 23, 2022

Family on holiday

You might want to leave it to the experts

holiday kid pool

''We definitely prefer a package holiday so that everything is organised for us, including pick up from the airport to take us to the resort. We opt for all inclusive, too, and look for a kids' club, so that the children are occupied and there's food on hand at all times.''

If resorts aren't your thing, how about a villa?

Summer holiday

''We found having our own villa and swimming pool was great. We could chill around the pool and when the kids went to bed, we could still sit outside."

Go hands-free, baby

Baby carrier

''Wear a younger baby in a sling/baby carrier at the airport. It frees up your hands and is less equipment to worry about.''

And make sure you travel light

toddler airport

''Pick somewhere to stay that has baby equipment available. For our next holiday we're going for a package holiday where you can hire bits such as cots, sterilisers and high chairs. Travelling light makes the travelling easier, so even if you have to pay to rent those bits, it's worth it.''

''Make sure you have pre-ordered anything you might need, as it might not be available if you haven't.''

Here's to a peaceful flight

Toddler sleeping

''If you're going long-haul, book a flight through the night so the majority of the journey can be done while they are (hopefully) asleep.''

But expect an accident or two…

packing clothes

''I always pack a change of clothes when travelling with a baby or toddler. They will probably be sick/spill/have an accident at some point.''

Remember your box of tricks

toddler with tablet

''For the flight, bring an iPad with child-friendly games and shows on it, as well as things to colour with, finger puppets and other travel games.''

And don't forget to cover all the bases

Baby car seat

''We travelled when our baby was 11 weeks old and found it useful bringing one of those prams with a car seat attachment. It made life so much easier when we hired a car.''

ALL of them

toddler sleeping

''We bought a small, cheap folding pushchair for the holiday so it wouldn't take up much room. It was good because we used it in the evenings so he could rest if we ate dinner late.''

Keep travelling to the bare minimum

Thomas Cook Bus

''Choose resorts with short airport transfers. Most families will want to avoid a long coach journey after an early flight with small kids.''

And remember the essentials

toddler suncream

''Lots of sun cream and a variety of hats to keep everyone happy.''

Beware of burnout

toddler sleeping

''I always take the kids back to the hotel room for a couple of hours rest in the afternoons. They get very excited and burn their energy out so fast on holidays.''

And above all else, don't forget who you're holidaying with…

baby on beach

''Don't attempt to do too much sightseeing. Try and maintain at least some of the usual routine for naps etc – baby pace is totally different to adult pace!''

Find out more about travelling with babies and toddlers here.

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