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Holidays

TODDLERS & CARAVANS, do they go?

10 replies

Dixie · 02/08/2001 10:35

My Husband & I booked 2 Family breaks for ourselves at the beginning of the year...at the time it seemed like a good idea. A weekend Half-board at Butlins as a trial run and a week away in a caravan self catering later on in the year.

We had the weekend at Butlins Last Month and it was horrid, we were worried how WE would cope with our 1 year old on our 1st family holiday but the problem was not us or even our son it was the resort and accomadation, for something apparently so family friendly we were appalled, but thats another story....we coped.

But now were are drawing near to the WEEK away and it's in a caravan! We feel more at ease as it will be self catering so we will be able to store he's milk in a fridge and make him his breakfast etc but have we done the right thing...a caravan its going to be a nightmare! It seemed like a good idea at the time. But we've realised a big mistake, the brochure confused us about cots and we thought cots were not allowed in the bedrooms only in the lounge so we booked a one bedroom caravan and planned to put our son in the lounge....but then we will be resticted as to what we can do in the evening when he is a sleep! In hindsight we should have booked a 2 bed and got some bed guards or something but its too late now. Has anyone been on a caravan holiday and had a GOOD experience with a little 'un. I'm sure there are loads or negatives but I don't think I could bear to hear them.

We were so looking forward to our 1st holidays away as a family, the 1st break was a disaster and now the weeks break looks to go the same way....ANY ADVICE!! Our son will be 18 months, he's walking all be it clumsy and he's a real climber and into everything!

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Harrysmum · 02/08/2001 11:00

No experience of hols with baby yet (but September fast approaches - hooray!!) but we quite often go to friends for dinner and take ds with us. He is 10 months and goes to bed at 7. We arrive at whoever's house with ds already in jammies and give him his sleepytime bottle then put him on top of a double bed wrapped up in his own sheet and blanket. He goes to sleep, we have a nice time and pick him up still sleeping to transfer him to car and then his cot. Has worked every time so far... but maybe it'll be harder with an older child to keep him on the bed. Could be worth a try though! Or you could have early nights....

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Joe · 02/08/2001 11:14

Dixie - We went on holiday in June when our son was just coming up to 9 months, my sister came too and her dogs. We had a 2 bedroom caravan at a Haven park (going back in September won a free holiday at bingo). We had a great time. Our son slept with us, my sister had the second room and dogs in lounge. They are quite small but they are only intended for a holiday. We spent alot of time in and out. We had most of our meals in the caravan, very quick easy ones. Could you put your son in your bed until you are ready to go and then transfer him to the cot? You will have a great time, enjoy it.
PS our cousins came too, in the same size caravan with 4 adults and 3 children with the youngest 19 months at the time, they had no problems either.

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Debsb · 02/08/2001 11:26

Yep, been there. We 'acquired' a caravan when eldest dd was 9 months old. youngest dd was born 13 months later, so we have had all ages in ours. It can be a problem with the sleeping, it does depend on how easy your little one is to move when settled. The best bet is to put him to sleep on your bed (take extra pillows or bedguards) and then put the travel cot up in the lounge and move him into it when you're ready for bed. Another alternative, every static caravan has some sort of bed in the lounge (varying degrees of comfort) so you could let him sleep on the big bed & you could sleep in the lounge (or vice versa). The only other problem you may get with a toddler is if he falls. Our first caravan had a couple of hard edges just at head height - you shouldn't find these with the newer ones. The best thing was that grey insulating stuff for pipes which is slit down one side, this can then just be slipped over the edge & cushios the kids when they fall against it.
On a positive note, our kids LOVE the caravan. They like the fact that we are never too far away, we like the fact that it doesn't take long to tidy up (or mess up either), and now they are 4 & 6 they can go off on their bikes to the park etc. leaving us to read the paper in peace.
Other things, take a plastic table/floor cloth so you don't get too much trodden into carpets, and think about whether you can cope without the highchair - they won't have one, but they can get in the way. We used the travel highchair (TomY??) that comes with its own chair, & just put it on the bench seat.
Sorry this is such a long note, but I don't want you to worry too much. BTW, I don't like 'roughing' it so if I like it, most people will. We've also booked to go Eurocamping this August - in a caravan.

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Debsb · 02/08/2001 11:26

That should, of course, be travel highchair with its own tray!

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Joe · 02/08/2001 11:34

Dixie - you dont say if you are going to a holiday camp, if you are you can hire a highchair for the time you are there. We didnt, just say our son on the seats with us.

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Rhiannon · 02/08/2001 18:46

We went in April last year (Clacton, wet, freezing) there were 17 of us in 4 caravans! Picture the scene.

My little girl was 17 months, as we have an older child the door was left open a lot and I was constantly worried that she would fall down the steps. Also the only form of effective heating was an unguarded gas fire which meant our little one spent a lot of time in her high chair.

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Jodee · 02/08/2001 20:42

Dixie, we have just returned from our first family holiday - 2 weeks in a caravan in France with our 16 month old son, who started walking just before the holiday. We were also under the impression that we would have to put the travel cot up in the lounge area, but we found there was just enough room to squeeze it into our bedroom (are you taking your own? The holiday company provided one at the site, plus high chair, which saved us the hassle of taking ours and using up luggage space).
It might not be too late to call them and see if they can upgrade you to a bigger caravan - just an idea (obviously would cost a bit more though)?
Our main worry was that ds would fall out of the caravan down the metal steps, but there was a mesh guard that fitted across the door, so there wasn't a problem.
Don't worry too much though, our ds was falling over occasionally but never got into any real mischief; we just moved all the breakables out of reach, and we all had a great time (not too relaxing though, but then it never is with a toddler!)
Have a good holiday.

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Dixie · 08/08/2001 12:59

THANX ALL,

I was worrying so much about the sleeping arrangements and working myself up into a state that I didn't see the wood for the trees as they say!

HOW OBVIOUS....Put him to sleep in our bed and then move him when we retire! Simple!

Not long to go now...and the safety tips were very much appreciated too!

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Dixie · 29/08/2001 15:15

Just an update really.....We got back from our holiday a few days ago and it WAS BRILLIANT!!

The holiday park we stayed at was so geared up for families & toddlers it was amazing!
MUCH BETTER THAN BUTLINS! (well hubby & I thought so).

My son seemed to enjoy every minute & we had fun too!

All my fears of staying in a caravan were soooo unjustified, it was as easy as any where else!
So to anyone else thinking of it, go for it!!

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Joe · 29/08/2001 16:23

Dixie so glad you ejoyed yourself, we are off for another caravan holiday in 4 weeks, and counting, and cant wait.

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