Travelling with Toddlers: a How To Guide
The bad news is that kids aged 1–3 can be the most difficult to travel with, partly because they absolutely detest sitting still and are generally not yet able to entertain themselves for extended periods of time, especially by reading books. Gadgets help, with older toddlers, but you don't want them to become over-reliant on portable DVD players, hand-held gizmos and apps just to buy yourself a bit of peace and quiet.
In the hope of making your holiday or break with toddlers as stress-free as possible, we've shared our tips for travelling with very young children.
• Avoid long journeys and try to time car or train trips with nap-times where feasible (many children nap up to about the age of 3).
• When they're not asleep, classic I-Spy type games and sing-songs are brilliant at passing the time and keeping everyone jolly.
• Plan your route, seeking out places to stop off so the kids can run off some excess energy.
• Invest in some mini-backpacks and kit them out with colouring and sticker/activity books and small toys – a mix of favourites and new treats. Cars, hand-held figures and plasticine are all tried-and-tested bets.
• Try to avoid going away while your child is toilet training – it can make travelling can be very stressful for everyone.
• Even if you're planning to spend a lot of time in your hotel and to take advantage of childcare, spend a bit of time researching your destination in advance for great family attractions and events on your doorstep.
• If in doubt, choose somewhere close to a beach – even in the UK out of season. Children of this age love the sand whatever the weather - if you find one that's not crowded it's easy to keep an eye on them as they dodge waves and dig and dig and dig… For more inspiration, see our recent blog for Seasalt on enjoying the beach with kids in winter.