Taking your toddler on holiday: The dos, the don’ts and the must haves

Most people can’t wait to go on holiday: the chance to relax, unwind and escape the stresses of everyday life. Unfortunately toddlers don’t necessarily share your vision of a chilled-out week or two away.

Taking a toddler on holiday can seem like such a daunting prospect it may be tempting to simply stay at home but the good news is that with a little bit of preparation, you can all have a great time wherever you decide to go.

Here’s our guide to the dos, the don’ts and the must haves for a peaceful holiday with your toddler.



Do remember to take snacks. A hungry toddler is a grumpy toddler and it’s better to keep their energy levels topped up rather than relying on meals to be served up. Food that won’t melt in the heat, and preferably nothing too sugary to avoid a spike in activity and then a rapid crash, will help your toddler to enjoy all of the activities you have planned.


sun cream

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Don’t forget the sun cream.

Invest in long-lasting sun cream. High factor sun cream preparations which last all day may be more expensive but you’ll not only save money in the longer term, but it’s infinitely less hassle too. Sun creams which only need to be applied once a day means less chance of a toddler getting burnt, but you won’t have to deal with the stress of having to pin down a small child at regular intervals.

While we’re on the subject of sun cream; don’t wait until you reach the beach to slather it on. You’ll end up grinding it an uncomfortable mixture of sand and lotion no matter how careful you are. And as your toddler inevitably tries to wipe it off their face, you’ll also be saved the pain of trying to deal with sand which has been rubbed into their eyes as a result!



Don’t abandon your routine. It can be difficult when you’re on holiday but try and stick to bed times, naps and meal times as much as you can. Your toddler will already be overwrought with the excitement of being in a different place so providing them with a bit of familiarity and stability will help them settle much more quickly.

It’s also not just important for the purposes of your holiday either. If you abandon your routine entirely when you’re away you could have problems when you get home and will have to go through the pain of reintroducing your toddler to their regular pattern.


Don’t plan too much. Small legs can’t walk so quickly and will get tired more easily. Toddlers also don’t tend to fit into tight deadlines too well. Plan to take things a bit more slowly to give them the time to explore without having to rush around.


Must haves…

Nice bright clothing will ensure your toddler can be seen.

bright dress

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Bright clothing. You might normally like to dress your toddler in sophisticated colours such as gentle blues or soft pinks, but when you’re on holiday you want to be able to see them in an instant, especially in a busy place such as an airport.

Put them in something which is as bright as you can find so you will immediately be able to spot them in a crowd. Not only will it help you if they start to wander off but you’ll be able to see them more clearly out of the corner of your eye when you’re engrossed in a task such as exchanging money or checking in.


Baby wipes. The panacea for parents everywhere, don’t be tempted to make do without a healthy supply of baby wipes. From cooling down overwrought toddlers in the heat to wiping sticky fingers, baby wipes are an essential when you’re travelling and don’t know what facilities will be available.



A relaxing holiday with toddlers may sound like a contradiction in terms but if you plan your activities carefully and get organised before you set off, a fun time can be had by all.

Written by Carly Garrett

Image Credits: Digital Mums and Amy Hunter