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The Realities of Holidaying with a Toddler

holidaying with a toddler

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.

holidaying with a toddler


  1. July 7, 2015 / 6:20 am

    This is so true – I wouldn't change it for the world but totally not like old holidays! We went abroad last year and I don't I sunbathed once lol #twinklytuesday xx

  2. ellie mulligan
    July 7, 2015 / 7:27 am

    my goodness this sounds like my Jack! he didnt eat great either, and new naptime was 10pm too! He did wake at 8 though, and hes normally a 5am-er! So I was pleased with that! xx

  3. July 7, 2015 / 10:23 am

    Glad you had such a fun, toddler centric holiday! 😉 My two always change their eating habits on holiday, one stops eating and the other eats shed loads!

  4. July 7, 2015 / 10:31 am

    Oh yes, it all changes once the kidlets come along and holidays are no longer the R&R they used to be 😉 My eldest came down with chicken pox on our first family holiday when she was just under two, didn't sleep for more than two hours at a time and was a grump for half of it, but I still remember those seven days in Portugal so fondly!

    Glad you had a lovely time and wouldn't change any of it xx

  5. Baby Isabella
    July 7, 2015 / 1:53 pm

    My mummy feels your pain! We recently went to a music festival and my bedtime routine went out the window!! Thanks for sharing #TwinklyTuesday

  6. July 7, 2015 / 3:01 pm

    This is a great honest post!
    I can agree with some of what you've written :)! xxxx

  7. July 7, 2015 / 3:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing the reality of traveling with a toddler! We've been through that adventure too. #TwinklyTuesday

  8. July 7, 2015 / 8:57 pm

    Hah hah, I am holidaying with a toddler and these definitely ring a bell! I never knew her so difficult, but at least we have been having fun so that's alright. Glad your holiday went well, even with a bit of gremlin time 😀

  9. Kristen Smith
    July 8, 2015 / 6:03 am

    The wresling, the child envy over naps, no healthy food,…..the classic holiday!! The joys of toddlers…good to share xxx

  10. Janine Woods - Unhinged Mummy
    July 8, 2015 / 7:07 am

    We haven't been lucky enough to go away since having the kids but to be honest I'm not that bothered. Hu by is desperate to get away for some 'relaxation'. Of course I pointed out to him that I doubt he's missing much. I mean just how relaxing would it be with a 3 yr old and 18 month old. I'm guessing not that much 😉

  11. Jemma Chambers
    July 8, 2015 / 7:40 am

    Reading this just made me so excited to go on holiday…. just the little issue of the house eating all our spare pennies…. sounds like you had a blast #bestandworst

  12. Wander Mum
    July 8, 2015 / 7:42 am

    The reading does get less and less as they get older. My daughter – nearly 3 – is now a huge fan of the swimming pool. It's all she talks about from the first thing in the morning! The sun cream situation is getting a bit better now… It's different every time we go! #bestandworst

  13. July 8, 2015 / 7:27 am

    It's always the same with holidays isn't it! We've just returned from ours and can relate to so much of this! #bestandworst

  14. Mrs Tubbs
    July 8, 2015 / 11:50 am

    Remember those days! We were so chuffed the Tubblet turned out to be a good little traveller as flying can be challenging. (Challenging is one of those wonderful words that covers a multiple of situations!)

    Thank you for hosting and have a lovely week


  15. July 8, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    Ha ha this makes me laugh, we just got back from a holiday park with our 4 and 2 years old girls and were subjected to the kids' disco most nights. I actually loved watching them bop about but was less keen when they were told to drag their parents onto the dance floor – the shame! Such fun though and I feel your pain with the suncream…. I was actually glad to have a rainy day so I didn't need to put it on! Becky xx #bestandworst

  16. July 8, 2015 / 12:29 pm

    There is something about holidays which sends my daughter's diet haywire – even when she was younger and a great eater, we'd go away and she'd live on grapes, yoghurt and mini Babybel (and maybe some bread). She seems to have survived. I did have one amazing holiday when she was about 2 1/2 and we'd finally got a regular long post lunchtime nap (mostly) and I got to sunbathe with a book for almost an hour – before then, she never slept reliably, now she's dropped it completely. Ah well. #bestandworst

  17. July 8, 2015 / 1:14 pm

    shots are key. The lack of sleep was the biggest problem we had when my daughter was younger. I can't tell you how much easier it is now that she doesn't fight going to sleep in different places

  18. July 8, 2015 / 2:13 pm

    Doesn't sound very relaxing for the parents! Still you have to do all those things at home too, so may as well do them in a nice place with sun sea and sangria lol Thanks for hosting #bestandworst

  19. Silly Mummy
    July 8, 2015 / 3:30 pm

    Haha! Sounds hard work but fun! #bestandworst

  20. July 8, 2015 / 3:37 pm

    I'm not sure where my comment went but just in case: I think family vacays are great memories…but I'm dying for one with just hubby! Been nearly 4 years! I'm a bad mum haha!

  21. July 8, 2015 / 3:37 pm

    Woops #bestandworst

  22. July 8, 2015 / 4:17 pm

    I remember when my first was 2 (now 16) first saw an outdoor pool in Majorca he was so fascinated he just leapt fully clothed into the deep end.There was a collective gasp and my brother (who hates water) jumped in and dragged him out!We just didn't expect it lol x #bestandworst

  23. July 8, 2015 / 7:50 pm

    It's not an easy thing to do at all holidaying with toddlers! It might be hard but alot of fun at the same time, although I do not know what they run on…..#bestandworst

  24. July 9, 2015 / 8:31 am

    Ha, this made me laugh. We went to Centreparcs this year, and had a brilliant time, but I found myself wistfully thinking about the holidays were I could just sit by the pool reading a book. Not this time (except for one day when I managed to sneak away on my own) — every minute we were being dragged to go on another slide. The 15 foot vertical drop was a particular favourite of hers, and because she's not a strong swimmer we needed one of us at the top and one at the bottom. Knackering. But yeah, a massive amount of fun. #bestandworst

  25. July 9, 2015 / 2:07 pm

    Totally agree, in fact I find holidaying with kids reallys stressful and I feel like I need a holiday by the time we get back

  26. July 10, 2015 / 6:10 pm

    Oh gosh the suncream!! Why is it so difficult for them to just sit still?!?!!? #bestandworst x

  27. Nigel Higgins
    July 12, 2015 / 3:33 pm

    The girls didn't eat well on holiday meal times quite stressed brilliant post as usual x