Travelling With Toddlers

Travelling With Toddlers.

Travelling is always and adventure, but travelling with toddlers is a challenge. There are several points to take into account. The following list is not exhaustive but will help to plan a family vacation.

  • Decide on the place. When you are travelling with toddlers you can take liberties on your destination. You do not need to choose Disneyland or theme parks as they are too young to enjoy all the attractions. It is a good time to choose "easy destinations" . For example, a beach holiday can be a good option, especially to a club that includes activities for young children and a crèche service. Mountain trips are also fun for toddlers and parents. Cities are more difficult, especially the crowded ones. However, if you choose a city, include in your itinerary plenty of parks and the zoo. We visited Rome with our 2 year old daughter and we all had a great time visiting outdoor attractions like the Roman Foro; we also visited the Roman zoo and plenty of lovely parks. It is the perfect opportunity to mix with the local parents and learn about the culture.

  • Book nonstop flights whenever you can. Most airlines are very helpful if you let them know in advance that you are travelling with toddlers. You can get special seats and extra space to accommodate your angels. You can also request when booking your ticket special "baby meals". If you are having a long flight, is better to choose a night flight, that way your children will sleep for most of the trip.

  • When travelling by plane Make sure one of your seats is an aisle seat. Your little one may like to see what’s out the window, but you’ll be happy you choose an aisle seat when you realize how many times your restless toddler wants to get up and walk or run around, asks for yet another item that’s stored in the overhead bin, or needs a trip to the bathroom.

  • Pack light on nappies, baby food and toys. You do not need to pack loads of nappies and baby food. In most places (yes, even in third world countries!) you will find an equivalent of the nappies and baby food that your children eat at home.

  • Pack plenty of clothes for your children, they will get dirty and you do not want to be doing any washing up when you are on holiday.

  • If you are travelling by car, invest in a car video player for the children. Last year we travel the whole of Italy from North to South with our 5 and 2 year old children and they did not mind at all the long journeys as they were entertained watching their favourites DVDs.

  • Meal times can be a problem, but this does not mean that you need to eat Mac Donalds every night! For me the best part of travelling is to taste the regional cuisine. Unfortunate with young children this is difficult. In France, Spain and Italy most restaurants do not even have baby sits, so it would be a good idea to travel with your own. We bought a portable baby sit from Mothercare -it doubles as a handbag- and it has been great. Also, children's menus in Europe can be very different to the food your child is used to -i.e. children in France are use to eating green beans instead of chips- but most restaurants will make allowances and prepare a small baby dish if you request it.

Travelling with toddlers and young children can be as stressful or enjoyable as you make it. A little bit of planning and knowing your child can make a world of difference.

Rough Guide to Travel with Babies & Young Children

Travel-Related Stress In Children

Remember that unfamiliar situations and moreover, a change in routine may be the cause for stress in children, especially those who have never travelled before. Whenever possible, it is a good idea to familiarize your toddler -in advance- with the food and language of the destination.

Do not forget your toddler's favorite toy and his special snack as it will help to calm him and to adjust to a new environment.

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Comments 17 comments

kango profile image

kango 9 years ago from Palo Alto

Princessa. thank you for the tips on planning family trips with toddlers. I like the beach idea which both the parents and kids can have a great time.

Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 9 years ago from Chennai

Great advice. When my children were toddlers, we didn't venture far from home fearing so many things!

Princessa profile image

Princessa 9 years ago from France Author

Hi Kenny, we have gone to the other extreme and taken our children around Europe and America... they are already on their second passport and they are only 6 and 3 !

seamus profile image

seamus 8 years ago

Love this. Thanks! Traveling with a little one can be a challenge. I'm also enjoying your hubs on France.

NateRider profile image

NateRider 8 years ago from Missouri

Good hub! I also have an article about traveling with children, but it's about a specific place I traveled to. Yours is actual tips. Nice job!

WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area

Great hub Princessa! Hey, have you taught your kids any new languages these days?

Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

Seamus: You are right, travelling with children can be a challenge to say the least!

NateRider: I read your hub, it has some great places to visit with children.

WeddingConsultant: thanks for the comment. I am not teaching the children any new languages. I think they have enough for the moment coping with 3. However, they keep picking up some Italian from our trips to Italy. So who knows... maybe they will teach themselves Italian!

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momonline 8 years ago

Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

momonline: You are welcome, the tips on your link are also very good for preparing and helping children with changes.

Apartments in Valencia 8 years ago

Nice job Princess, you've given me some great ideas for blogging about travelling with toddlers abroad. thanks again.

Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

Apartments in valencia: I am sure that there are a lot of places to keep children busy in Valencia and lots to blog about. Any special offers?

Moon Daisy profile image

Moon Daisy 8 years ago from London

That's a great hub, and will be useful as we're just about to travel with our soon-to-be three year old.  When we went to Italy last year we assumed that our daughter would just eat with us in restaurants as she normally loves Italian food such as pizza and pasta.  However, once in the restaurant, of course she didn't want to stay sitting down for long enough to eat anything, she just wanted to run around and explore!

In the end we went to the local supermarked and bought some great local produce that we could cook in our apartment and we made sure that she had always already eaten by the time we went out.  That way there we felt no pressure to "get some food down her" when we ate out, and we found it much more relaxing.

Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France Author

Moon Daisy: That is a very good idea, it works out very well. We have done that sometimes and then at the restaurant just asked for a dessert for the children. I always bring along plenty of paper and coloring pens so they have something to do while we are eating. Enjoy your time in Italy!

tati128 profile image

tati128 8 years ago from West Babylon

that is a good idea because your kids always want something 2 do and they are constantly being busy-bodies.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 8 years ago from Free and running....

I always thought I would take a video of travelling with kids, I thought it would be good to show to teenagers, to show them what happens when you don't wear protection.

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TheDisneyVacation 6 years ago

Nice resource on packing light when travelling for toddlers. It's really best to plan ahead than to risk going on a road trip!

Pinkchic18 profile image

Pinkchic18 6 years ago from Minnesota

These are WONDERFUL tips and advice. Thank you for sharing! I featured you on my hub titled "What to Pack For An Overnight Trip with Baby".

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