How To Holiday Abroad With A Toddler

How to holiday abroad with a toddler

You might have read my last post on how to prepare for a holiday with toddler? Well here’s how to go holiday with them. Toad Hall Nursery are focused on providing loving, fun and enjoyable education for children, and they’ve put together some tips to help you on your travels…


Do not attempt to pack with said toddler running around your ankles trying to climb in your suitcase,
because this will happen if you do it when they’re awake. Wait until nap time or bedtime before you

Write a list of everything you could possibly need. Here are some of the basics:

  • Clothes – one outfit per day, with plenty of spares. Pack appropriately for the climate, but
    don’t forget something warm in case the weather changes.
  • Swimwear – UV protective swim suits save you applying sun cream everywhere, make sure
    to also get a swimming hat to protect their head, neck and face.
  • Nappies – you can usually buy nappies where you’re staying, but packing a healthy stash
    means you won’t get caught out on day one.
  • Food – depending on how old little one is, you’ll need to bring a supply of formula, puree
    pouches etc. If your toddler is old enough for real food then just bring familiar snacks in case
    they go on foreign food strike.
  • Medication – don’t forget the calpol, or any other medication you depend on.
  • Toiletries – some child-friendly hotels provide children’s soap etc. but always a good idea to
    bring your own, particularly if your little one has sensitive skin. Chlorine and prolonged
    water exposure can be harsh on delicate skin. Also, pack lots of sun cream!

How To Holiday Abroad With A Toddler

The journey

This is probably the part most parents dread but it isn’t as scary as you are imagining. Good planning
and the art of distraction are all you need!

If you’re flying long haul look at a night flight. Hopefully your sleeping angel will go to bed after take-off and be out for most of the journey. If they’re over two they will have their own seat, if not, prepare to be used as a human bed.

If you’re staying in Europe and on a shorter flight, bring books, a fully loaded iPad, new toys, snacks, and more snacks! If possible, make sure the little one has been fed prior to boarding and is not flying over naptime. Trying to get a toddler to nap on a crowded, bright and loud flight is not easy! Similarly, attempting to feed an Ella’s pouch with no elbow room is pretty messy.

Little ears can be especially sensitive to take-off and landing; have a dummy or milk bottle to m hand in case they’re in pain. Sucking will ease the pressure.


Thankfully there are a million and one child-friendly options for holidays these days. There are a number of dedicated, family-friendly, villa hire websites – these companies will provide everything you would need at home, including cots, highchairs, feeding equipment and even sterilisers. This will cut down your luggage dramatically and take away a lot of the packing stress. They will also consider safety aspects such as pool fences and stair gates.

Most hotels offer baby and toddler equipment. If you’re going to a toddler-friendly resort they will likely go above and beyond the basics – email before you go and see what they can provide. You can often hire strollers and pay for a babysitting service. Your hotel may also offer a kids club, and although this often starts at 3 or 4 years, some places do take younger children.

How To Holiday Abroad With A Toddler

While you’re there

Let’s face it, holidays will never be the same as they were pre-children. Of course you wouldn’t change them for the world, but the days of lazy reading and poolside cocktails are gone. There’s a whole different kind of fun to be had with a toddler. Expect to spend a lot of time splashing in the pool, collecting shells, and trying to stop your child eating sand all day long. It might be hard work, but seeing the joy on their faces as they experience new things makes it all worthwhile.

Try as much as possible to keep to your routine for nap times, meal times and bed time – it will make life much easier when you return home. Having said that, rules were made to be broken on holiday, so don’t be too strict and enjoy as much family time as you can.

Claire x

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