Now before you even read this post, don’t get me wrong. I always have an amazing holiday with the family. Brilliant! But it is always harder with kids and always harder with a toddler. I love remembering how mad my gremlin was as a toddler and this post says it all. I remember writing this after our holiday to Fuerteventura. I jested before going on holiday about the challenges that going away with just a small baby or holidaying with a toddler can bring. I had even written some tips. These were helpful. iPad I love you. Parents I love you more. Despite this, a lot changes in 12 months. Your child changes a LOT. They have grown, are likely walking and if any thing like my gremlin, as independent as they come.
Holidaying with a Toddler
Some of these points may not apply to your child. You may have it a bit easier. Lucky you! But these were my realities when holidaying with a small, toddler gremlin:
– Fast forward 3 hours and you have your child’s new bedtime. My youngest was not sleeping until 10pm every night. At 6pm she was falling asleep in her pretty dress over Spanish TV so hubby and I thought fab! She’ll crash after food. No the second wind appears!!! If you stay in a hotel, it is more likely they will stay up until you do. We have always gone all inclusive but are definitely thinking about a villa for the future.This may help us also get the kids to bed a little earlier as no strict routine in a villa. Clickstay are one company we are considering. There are plenty of destinations were are looking at but as we love Greece, a Clickstay villa in Greece would be amazing. Clickstay offer villas all over the world, including the USA, Spain, Italy and Turkey. There is so much choice and Clickstay provide excellent support, with 12 years being in business.
– Applying sun cream becomes a wrestling match and a full blown workout. When we went to Turkey the previous year, the gremlin was 9 months old. She wasn’t crawling and sun cream application was a doddle. At 20 months it’s a game of pin the toddler down!
– Naps are pathetic. I watched in awe and with rampant envy at a young lad sleep over 2 hours in his buggy by the pool. Forty-five minutes was a stretch for us all day, if we were lucky.
-Reading 2-3 books on holiday are a thing of the past. My gremlin’s attention span with anything is about 60 seconds so I would read a page. Put book down. Get up. Entertain/chase the gremlin. Pick book up. Repeat. On loop.
– Have you seen a toddler with PMT? I hadn’t either until this holiday. Excitement, chronically less sleep, the heat, you name it. It could have contributed to my gremlin’s crankiness. Her moods were legendary, her tears were endless and we had a couple of very challenging days. ANYTHING would have set her off.
– They may survive on a limited diet. Fruit and veg wasn’t eaten for days. Even her staples were refused. She survived on cheese toasties, egg, raisins, Weetabix (we brought from home), yoghurt, ice cream and milk. I think she is a secret dairy comfort eater!! Nothing you can do apart from ride it until home.
– They may be a wuss when it comes to swimming. It took my girl a good few days to get comfy with the water, despite a few swimming trips before we left. She would put one toe in at a time, shiver and repeat x10. We were very patient though and didn’t yank her in; tempted.
– You have to endure enjoy the “mini disco” every night. The hotel party for the minis. Same music every night, same songs, including my personal favourite of the Hokey Cokey, concluding with a giant stuffed parrot my daughter had a love/hate relationship with. Seriously though, her confidence increased massively as the week went on and I found myself blubbing away as she danced along, with the right moves (soppy).
– Shots should be the alcoholic beverage of choice. Not to get drunk but because it’s about as much time as you will have sat down in the evening before your darling is legging it, about to dive bomb down some stairs. That second wind is a force that can’t be reckoned with.
We had a blast!! Honestly and truly. I didn’t want to leave and would go away again in a heartbeat. No two years will ever be the same as your children grow and change. They will bring new challenges but also new surprises and amazing moments.
Have you got any toddler holiday memories to share?
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.