In amongst her hectic schedule, Sky Sports, presenter, Vicky Gomersall, always makes time for her four year old daughter, but there is a bit of a knack to going on holiday with a toddler. Here she offers her experience and advice!
Having just returned from potentially one of the most relaxing holidays I’ve ever had I wanted to share my experience of holidaying with a toddler….
I think holidays can have a tendency to be a bit fraught at times when travelling with little ones when perhaps they needn’t be. For me it’s all about choosing the right place for your child. That may sound a little prescriptive but prior to having Maya my holidays were all about what my partner and I wanted. Of course we still get to chose our destination it’s just that we make sure there are plenty of activities and places of interest to go to for toddlers. If you’re travelling with a little one, carefully considering what they enjoy doing on a daily basis is vital if you all want to have a good time.
For me selecting the right flight time is essential so that your child isn’t exhausted and fractious from the outset. What’s important, I think, is choosing a flight time around your child’s sleep pattern – a day flight may sound like a great idea but keeping a little one occupied in a confined space for four or five hours isn’t easy. Equally if your child doesn’t enjoy sleeping anywhere but their own bed, a later flight might not be right for you either. I feel its better to spend a little extra money, if necessary, to get the exact flight that suits your routine. We tend to chose a flight that ensures we arrive somewhere late in the evening, that way our daughter is ready for sleep (if not already asleep!) when we get to our accommodation. We can then unpack as she sleeps and be ready to start the holiday properly first thing in the morning.
Accommodation since I’ve had Maya has always been a villa. That’s not to say I wouldn’t ever chose a hotel, it’s just I enjoy the freedom of having space to move around once she’s gone to bed. With a hotel it feels like you’ve either got to have a late night with your potentially exhausted child or sit in your now darkened room/ balcony once they’ve nodded off. A villa for us is perfect, and it also helps that you have your own fridge, oven, microwave etc so that making those all important drinks, snacks and meals can still be adhered to whilst abroad. I, like so many parents, work really hard to get my daughter into a good routine throughout the year so to throw all that up in the air for two weeks seems crazy, especially when I want to have a relaxing time and we all know that an over tired child is anything but relaxing!
A final point would be to think carefully about what you take with you; favourite toys, of course, are a must but, (and especially when you are in a villa,) favourite cereals and snack bars are great, even a favourite beaker/plate/cutlery set. Things that will make being abroad a little bit more like home for your little one are important. Remember we might love getting away from it all for a bit of R&R but home comforts for toddlers and familiar surrounds are largely what helps them to thrive, so the more they have on holiday the better for them and ultimately you!