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My 11 Tips for Holidaying Abroad with Your Toddler

Now let’s be frank. I don’t tend to beat about the bush anyway but still. Holidaying with kids is just not the same compared to pre-kids. You try to re-capture that same feeling you got on holiday when you were childless and it doesn’t materialise. (That may be the screaming in the background).

pool and holiday scene

Your mojito in the sun is replaced by a strong espresso (you think your child is going to sleep just because it’s 25 degrees outside?) and your leisurely swims are replaced by handstands on the bottom and seeing if you can shove your husband off an inflatable crocodile.Your romantic sessions are replaced by a sneaky fumble in the bathroom, whilst your little one snoozes in the centre of your bed and your hotel room resembles a compact version of your house (you have to take everything!)

We have had 2 holidays abroad since my gremlin was born and we are off again in a few weeks (yay). From my vast experience (!) here is my guide to going abroad with your offspring:

1) Take someone with you. Anyone. That nice lady in the shop down the road will do. Seriously, holidaying with family can be a godsend. As well as more lovely company, you get a break, time with your partner and it feels a little more like a holiday. We will be holidaying with my parents for the second time this year.

2) Try and relax the routine a bit. I was a bit anal about this last year and granted we got our evenings as our gremlin slept in the buggy all night when we went out. She was 9 months. At 21 months this is NOT going to happen, She would stay up for 24hrs straight if she could, as long as she doesn’t miss out. To avoid stress I will be chilling out and letting her sleep at different times.

3) Take the iPad, iPhone, tablet, DVD player – anything that will play Peppa Pig on loop. So helpful for the plane, airport or during “one of those moments”.

4) Screw the miserable people on the plane. Your baby/toddler will probably cry at some point. Their ears will hurt, they are bored, tired, hot, hungry. It’s inevitable. I know people who have had dirty looks, had people close to them ask to be moved. You have every right to go on holiday too and have paid for that right.

5) Pack plenty for the plane. As above, visual entertainment, new books, a new toy, snacks, Calpol sachets, wipes, teething gel, water, wine (oh no that’s for me!)

6) Take a LOT of suncream. We were worried last year, we didn’t have enough. My gremlin may have resembled a snowman but at least we were sure she was protected. Those all in one suits are also fabulous and you feel less panicky when a teeny bit of sun hits their milk bottle skin.


7) Let them drink out of anything. I lost my bottle of water on numerous occasions to my small one. If you are going somewhere hot, it is so easy to become dehydrated. If you have to give in and let them have some juice, do it. Fluid is important (not mojitos though, they are mine).

8) Seal EVERYTHING in your bag. I made the mistake of not sealing the gremlin’s formula properly and it exploded in my suitcase so it looked like a drug smuggle gone wrong, I ended up with milky trainers and formula down my bra… the heat. I was LIVID.

9) Ice-cream will suddenly become an appropriate food for breakfast dinner and tea (according to my Mum, that is). Chill out a bit about food. Last time I worried too much and ultimately my gremlin was fine. She ate all her Ella’s Kitchen meals and a shed-load of yoghurt. 

10) Dress appropriately. Don’t wear your sexy white jeans when your child is eating some baclava – they will look like a used hanky.

11) Above all try and relax. If you trash the hotel room (within reason) this is not too bad. You don’t have to wash up, prepare meals or wash your clothes. It may feel a bit like a busman’s holiday but if it’s warm and a change of scenery it’s still a holiday!!

And there you have it. It may not be the same as your alcohol-fuelled dancing to crap music in the open air disco at 1am from past holidays. You may have to be in the restaurant as soon as it opens. You may burn off more calories than you eat running after an excitable toddler but really it will be awesome (a different type of awesome!).



  1. May 18, 2015 / 6:29 am

    This was fab, really reminds me of our first family holiday last year when Indiana was 6 months. Definitely felt like we packed our whole house and still didn't have enough! I couldn't imagine going on a plan with her now at 17 months though, I think I'd have a breakdown haha xx

  2. Kellie Kearney
    May 18, 2015 / 9:09 am

    I won't be holidaying any time soon but these are great tips. Will bookmark to keep just incase something pops up!

  3. May 18, 2015 / 8:09 am

    Glad I read this, OH was talking about going abroad next year, our youngest will be almost 2. I didn't take my eldest abroad until he was 7 as I just thought he'd be too bored and much prefer somewhere more exciting like Butlins etc. lol

  4. Alice & Amelia New Young Mum
    May 18, 2015 / 9:16 am

    Sorry if something similar comes up twice! Love this post and the tips. All very useful. I've never gone abroad with Amelia but think these tips would be fab if we were. I definitely think relaxing a little routine and food wise is a must when away as it just makes the trip better for everyone. Hope you have a brilliant holiday and look forward to seeing how it goes 🙂 Thanks for linking up #MummyMonday x

  5. May 18, 2015 / 8:32 am

    Great tips. I don't think I'm ready to bring my in laws yet. The lady in the shop maybe!

  6. May 18, 2015 / 9:13 am

    Great tips. We will be doing this soon I hope #mummymonday x

  7. May 18, 2015 / 9:41 am

    We've taken Alfie on holiday (abroad) since 16 weeks old and our next holiday with 2 of them is coming up soon and I'm a little anxious I have to admit, I fear we might also be a little mad haha. Always handy to hear other people's advice too, thanks lovely 😀

    #maternitymonday #mummymonday

  8. May 18, 2015 / 12:37 pm

    Ha ha, yes, yes and yes! Totally agree with all your tips, especially taking a family member with you (babysitter!) and the tablet with Peppa Pig. Lifesavers on holiday! And of course the charger for the tablet! #mummymonday
    Sabrina xx

  9. May 18, 2015 / 8:29 pm

    I'll have to remember this for next year. We're not brave enough to attempt going abroad this year and don't think we could find a big enough suitcase if we were!

  10. May 18, 2015 / 8:56 pm

    Holidays with a little person certainly are a different type a awesome. Great tips and your first one is spot on. We often holiday with our parents and it makes a massive difference to our enjoyment of the break. We actually get some time to ourselves #maternitymondays

  11. May 19, 2015 / 5:44 am

    Haha great list hon! Although when I suggested to my in-laws that we go away together they told me point blank no! I'll def be needing some of your list for Greece next week xx #thetruthabout

  12. May 19, 2015 / 6:46 am

    Lol! I absolutely LOVE this! It's hilarious and so true! We've been on three holidays with Arj and every single one of those apply. Next time I definitely want to take another family member!! X

  13. May 19, 2015 / 9:11 am

    Great tips!we're off on holiday to majorca next month…Leo will be 22months ..absolutely dreading the flight!I'm a bit of a freak about his routine & what he eats but I'm going to try and relax about it while we're is a holiday after all!xx #TwinklyTuesday

  14. May 19, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    Great tips, I think it takes me a while to chill out about the food part but I get there! #TwinklyTuesday

  15. May 19, 2015 / 2:51 pm

    Love this! And so so true! We have holidayed with just the one and then the two and it was lovely but my god stressful!! great points #thetruthabout xx

  16. May 19, 2015 / 7:17 pm

    Fab post! We had one holiday with the other half's family a couple of years ago and it's so mice to have other eyes there watching him! We are off on our trip to Eurocamp in a couple of weeks so I might print this post out! Although I should imagine Zach's dreams of going on a boat coming true will keep him nicely entertained on the 90 minute ferry crossing! Then it's a holiday with his family again in July…aaaah, babysitters! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  17. May 21, 2015 / 2:46 am

    It IS awesome. And you know what? You can't hear the background screaming/whining in the pictures.

  18. May 24, 2015 / 9:32 am

    Great tips – thank you. We're heading off to Mexico next year for a wedding. Thankfully, at last count there were 35 family members going so hopefully we should have lots of helping hands. But, with 4 children 5 and under, I can't imagine we'll be too popular on the plane or in the hotel!

  19. May 24, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    This is fab and really good advice that I will be looking back at in the next 12 months when we hopefully take Sam away for the first time abroad #sundaystars xx

  20. Katie Humphrey
    May 26, 2015 / 11:42 pm

    We don't travel abroad but still totally agree with going away with others. We have brought childless family members but much prefer to go with family who also have children around the same ages as ours. Thanks for linking up with #SundayStars xxx

  21. Adventures of a Novice Mum
    May 28, 2015 / 3:32 am

    Holidaying with children is not for the fainthearted but it can still be a lot of fun. Good idea to holiday with others to share the childcare; and so important to relax and enjoy it, even on the plane inspite of other peopel's reactions. Good tips. #SundayStars