How to Travel with a Toddler

So my last post was all about my recent holiday to Disneyland Paris.

We had a lovely time and I like to think I was fairly prepared.

Here are my top tips for travelling away, especially if you have children:

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Pack outfits not clothes. I packed us an outfit for each day and night we were away and then an extra one too.  This way I can save time in the mornings whilst I am on holiday and I pack less than if I were just throwing clothes in as I don’t need to worry about what goes with what, I am all prepared.

Check what your hotel has to offer. Swimming towels or hair dryers are rarely needed to be packed. My sister used to take a travel kettle with her (for babies milk to be warmed) as some hotels do not offer one of these in your room, but I found our hotel offered free warm milk instead.

Save your empty bottles. On our first day away I found I was spending a huge amount on soft drinks. I saved all of these empty bottles and took them to breakfast with me the next day. Our breakfast was included as part of our trip and offered a large selection of drinks including bottled water and juice, so I filled up all of my bottles and I was set for the day!

Take snacks. There’s nothing worse than a hungry toddler so pouches of fruit for on the go (Molly loves the Ella’s Kitchen ones still) are a healthy snack as well as some other treats to make the wait to meal times more bearable, as your eating habits may change on holiday. Our breakfast was cooked each day but they did have a selection of cheese, ham, bread, croissants, and yoghurts out too so I took some of these to make up our lunch (I’m not sure if you are allowed to do that but nobody stopped me!).

Travel toys. I always worry when I go away that if I were to pack lots of Molly’s favourite toys to comfort her through the journey then she may loose them. Instead I let her bring one of her favourite toys and then I chose the rest. I picked a drawing pad with a pencil attached to it with string so I didn’t even have to worry about loosing a pencil! and a mini box of books so they were small to fit in our bags but still gave her a variety to read. I admittedly took the iPad too for those stressful moments on long journeys! I didn’t take many others as I knew we would be busy most of the day and she would pick new toys from the resort so I didn’t want to go overboard as there wouldn’t have been enough time for her to play with them all.

Take an extension lead. This only applies if you are going out of the country. My brother thought of this genius idea and it still amazes me! Normally when I leave the country I always pack a couple of adapter plugs so I can charge my phone/ plug in my hair straighteners/ charge the camera etc. The amount of plugs increases with the number of people in a room so it can get expensive. Well just buy one adapter plug and carry an extension lead so everyone can charge everything and you don’t have to fork out for multiple plugs!

Organise. Kids can find new and busy places overwhelming so it’s important to find our site information before you arrive to plan your days. Children don’t want to be waiting around whilst you decide what to do. Plus you can really make use of all that’s on offer this way. Inform the children of your plans so they know what’s ahead and can also be comforted if they know they are getting to do what they want and when it will be happening.

Check your mobile phone provider. I do use my phone far too often and have a habit of checking Facebook/Twitter/Instagram 100s of times a day. I knew I would want to keep in touch with people whilst I was away and also use the internet to find out more information of what was on offer or in the case of my holiday, I needed to use the Internet on my phone to try and find a way home! I always thought that it cost a huge amount to use your phone abroad but it really doesn’t. I am on Vodafone and others on different networks got a similar deal to me – for just £2 a day you could use your phone abroad and the minutes/texts/internet use would just come out of your package as normal at no additional charge other than the one off daily fee. This was perfect for me. It meant I could call my family if we split off around the park at very little cost.

List what you do in a day. At some point everybody has forgotten to take their toothbrush or another item with them when they have been going away. To try and avoid this, I list what I do in my day. I start with my morning: shower, get dressed, clean teeth,make up, hair etc and pack all of the things I would need so nothing is forgotten. If I can’t pack something straight away because I will be needing it again then I write a list to do it nearer the time to leaving for the holiday so I am less scattered and can remember everything. If you wait to pack it, you are more likely to forget it!

Don’t overpack. Don’t pack something ‘just in case’, be realistic, and if you have been organised enough then you should be sorted. Don’t take up room in the suitcase, save any extra room to bring home souvenirs and gifts.

Let your toddler help. Sounds hard I know! But packing can be stressful and something you just want to get done but getting the little one involved may actually help. Whilst you are busy packing all of the important things make up a game, such as asking your child to ‘run and find the toothpaste’! They will feel like they are helping and you can do less pacing around the house! They could pick out a t-shirt they would like to take and you can quickly grab the trousers to match. They are only trying to help!

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So this is how I pack for my holiday. What tips would you suggest?

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