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Holidays with a toddler and a baby, is it more hassle than it's worth?

35 replies

oliveoil · 31/05/2005 13:46

Am thinking of going away this year with dh, dd1 who is 2 and a half and dd2, 9 months.

dd1 is currently a PITA big time, strops, tantrums, etc etc which is normal for her age, no biggy there. BUT - on holiday, with a different routine and sleeping area she may be even more hard work so what is the point of going away?

dd2 is no problem and would sleep on a washing line so am not so worried about her.

Thoughts please.


OP posts:
puddle · 31/05/2005 14:01

I'd say yes to your question. We went away with our two at this age and it was exhausting - tired grumpy children (out of routine/ different rooms and beds), constant cleaning (in cottage with CARPET under dining room table - enough said), stress of being in a different house filled with stuff my oldest wanted to fiddle with and youngest wanted to eat.....dp and I collapsed with a glass of wine most nights and were in bed by 9.30.

If I had my time again I'd take the time off but stay at home, do some nice day trips and spend the money on babysitters and going out with dp instead.

ladymuck · 31/05/2005 14:04

What's the budget, and would you consider going somewhere with some childcare? It's only a holiday for me (mainly SAHM) if I have a break from the dss, but we have been away twice a year since ds1 was born. Mine are now a lttle bigger (2 and 4) but have just returned from 2 weeks in Greece (M\rk Warner) which was bliss.

motherinferior · 31/05/2005 14:06

Might be worth saving the money this year

handlemecarefully · 31/05/2005 14:09

Went to Disney Land Paris in Feb with dd (the 2.7) and ds (then 10 months)

Stayed in the Disneyland Hotel. We had one room for all of us which was toughest bit (me and dh had to pretend to go to sleep at same time as dd and wait until she started snoring before we turned on the light in our room again). DD did get hyper and behave badly with tantrum quota going up whilst we were away - might have been due to over excitement, or due to too much sugar and chocolate / junk food (as normal dietary requirements were relaxed whilst on holiday) - nevertheless we still enjoyed it.

I enjoyed the vacation from the cooking and cleaning - none of which I had to do whilst away.

handlemecarefully · 31/05/2005 14:10

I think the answer is of course it's worth going on holiday - but you have to pick and choose your holiday selectively to suit your family circumstances and avoid angst

oliveoil · 31/05/2005 14:10

Hmmmm! I thought as much. Envisaged dd1 on the plane shouting at the air hostess "I DON'T LIIIIIIIIIIKE YOUUUUUUUUUUUU". Shudder.

We weren't thinking of somewhere with childcare tbh, don't want to palm them off on someone else.

We were considering a driving holiday to Ireland, staying in one place (self catering) and then doing day trips from there.


OP posts:
desperatehousewife · 31/05/2005 14:14

Highly HIGHLY reccommend simply travel - just done a 2 week holiday to turkey which had a creche/kids club. Most amazing holiday. Me and DH relaxed (remember that word?!) by the pool, read books and actually finished conversations between 9.30am and 1pm every single day (for 2 weeks). DS had the best time ever being totally entertained and taken out on really cool trips at the creche. They went to pick lemons, visited a local mosque, local market etc.

Everyone was happy. Go for it. Not expensive either.

elliott · 31/05/2005 14:21

I've just come back from the first holiday with kids which I would describe as such. they are 18 months and 3.5 and I think age has a lot to do with it - first time we could actually sit on a sunbed and read while they pottered around on the beach happily. We were also able to take them out to eat with us virtually every evening - so none of that feeling of constant cooking you can get on a self catering holiday. It pays to think through what you all want and to choose carefully. We had a beach and several tavernas within walking distance, and a QUIET location. Those were the essential elements for success!
Must admit I think a UK self catering holiday, unless you've got friends for company, is too much like the daily grind but in an unfamiliar/inconvenient place.

elliott · 31/05/2005 14:24

desperate housewife, what was the name of the place in turkey? What was the journey like?

Oliveoil, in July we're going to the Bulstone Hotel in Devon which I think also looks like it will be a proper holiday - no cooking involved! And accommodation in family suites so no room sharing either....

desperatehousewife · 31/05/2005 14:29

Journey was fine - 4 hours on the plane (we borrowed a friend's portable dvd player - lifesaver!) My DS is nearly 3 by the way.

Place was called Akyaka.

allatsea · 31/05/2005 14:41

We've just go back from Mallorca (Puerto Pollensa) 2 hour flight from Gatwick, 1 hour transfer by car. The flight was short enough not to be problematic, and all the toddlers and babies were seated together on the plane were very understanding of noise etc etc The resort was great - full of british toddlers, easy going restaurants and easy going people. Definetly to be recommended. Try here for more info

handlemecarefully · 31/05/2005 15:44

I lurrrve the sound of a kids club desperatehousewife...(and thus mornings off!),my only concern would be whether my two would settle in a creche with unfamiliar people or whether they would be miserable....They are similar ages to Oliveoils

handlemecarefully · 31/05/2005 15:45


Hello allatsea - remember me?

oliveoil · 31/05/2005 15:47

Yes HMC, my two go to granny when i work so they have not been away from family so think would freak if we left them with anyone.

Sigh. Will have to think on this one. Oh for the memories of travelling with a backpack grumble grumble...

OP posts:
puddle · 31/05/2005 15:51

Mine (5 and 2) would hate being left in a kids club. We took grandparents away with us last year - that was a good alternative (if you all get on!)

cerys · 31/05/2005 15:55

we stayed in a static caravan on a site in West Wales when DD1 was 2yrs3 months and DD2 12 weeks. We had one or two little scenes but on the whole it was very successful and we all enjoyed it. I think DH and I relaxed because we were on holiday and there was always someone else's child who was more badly behaved!
We always have caravan holidays now and are off to one soon with DD1, DD2 and baby DS. One of the hardest things is all the baby kit we seem to need. We are toying with the idea of abroad next year...

GeorginaA · 31/05/2005 15:55

Have to say we went away last year (ds1 was 3 and ds2 was 4 months) and it was not fun. Ds2 wouldn't sleep in the strange surroundings, ds1 had to share a room with us (as we were in a villa with friends and their little girl and ds2 liked to sleep in pitch dark, whereas dark scared ds1 stupid). We were much more tied to the villa and stresses about eating out etc felt much larger than when we'd previously gone there with just one.

It's one of the reasons we've decided not to go on holiday this year - we'll go away again as a family once ds2 is 2 years old, think that will be more of an actual holiday!

desperatehousewife · 31/05/2005 15:57

i didn't think my ds would be happy about being left in a creche - but within an hour he'd made a best friend and he had THE BEST time ever!

Toothache · 31/05/2005 15:57

OO - We're just back from a week in a holiday cottage on Isle of Arran. We all had a FANTASTIC time and it was just what I needed! Don't know if I could be bothered with the hassle of going abroad. But it was only 1'5 hrs drive to the ferry port, then 55mins on the ferry. More than worth it.

ladymuck · 31/05/2005 16:06

I guess only you know your children, but somewhere like Bedruthan Steps is wonderful for the very young - loads of activities for kids to do with parents, and also has a creche on site which you could use for the odd hour or two (or I think we even had a one to one nanny booked for a day there). Baby listening service at night so at least you get a grown up meal. My recollection of the creche at Bedruthan is that it was very good - treated children as individuals rather than just little packages IYSWIM.

Centreparcs has also worked for us at this age. Again there is a creche facility for the odd hour, but plenty to do if you don't need that.

Possibly if you work outside of the home then having the kids with you will be fine. For me, merely a change of scene would not make a holiday!

Length of holiday is also a factor. As far as ds2 (age 2) is concerned, "home" is wherever I am. I used to only ever go away for a week (in case it all went hideously wrong), but have just had our first fortnight away and wish I'd done it sooner.

What sort of holiday did you have in mind?

Mum2girls · 31/05/2005 16:18

OO, we went to Italy with a 5month old and a nearly-two-and-a-half yo. We had a really good time and I remember the holiday with real fondness. Even the flights were ok - not fantastic, but ok!

You have to be realistic, in that it will be hard work, but children can also behave much better in unfamiliar surroundings which is certainly what we found with DD1 at that time.

lapsedrunner · 31/05/2005 19:27

This place is great for kids, , however I still dream of going on a Mark Warner holiday or similar!

swedishmum · 31/05/2005 19:28

Have always been abroad with my children and personally I love it. But because of dh's job and parents living abroad for a few years, travel is part of what we do to be together, and maybe I therefore have lower expectations! I just accept it will be a different type of holiday. My one rule - I never do self-catering even if we stay somewhere with a kitchen, and only go somewhere I don't have to clean or make beds. Try to get adjoining rooms in a hotel - I recognise the one about pretending to go to sleep!!

Magscat · 31/05/2005 19:34

Hi Oliveoil. We've just come back from a week self catering on Norfolk coast with ds (nearly 4) and dd (5 months). DD was a nightmare re. sleeping - I was feeding every couple of hours almost every night but even so I would say it was worth it (dh & I took turns to have a lie in so at least one of us was fit to drive each day).

We booked a cottage with an enclosed garden -it's a category you can search on at Country Holidays so we didn't have to worry about ds running round and we just took it easy (easy for us but plenty of fresh air for kids) - trips to the beach, rides on steam trains, boat trips etc... Ds was so knackered every night he slept like a log and so long as he was out and about the tantrums were kept minimal.

Magscat · 31/05/2005 19:36

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