The Realities of 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 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.

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.

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31 Comments

  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. 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 / 8:27 am

    Haha this made me laugh so much!! I totally agree that all types of routine whether it's naps, food, whatever totally blow out the window and as long as you're okay with that everything will be fine (with alcohol to help obvs!!)
    Sounds like a busy but really fun holiday, and as you're already thinking about next years you've obviously not been scared off….yay!! X

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. July 7, 2015 / 1:28 pm

    Excellent! We have not braved going away abroad with the kids since my eldest was one (it was our honeymoon – fools!!). So right about things changing every single year – you really do have to just live it and learn it – then forget it! (Unless you're going to have more of course – in which case, definitely make notes!!). We're not going away this year either but we are going to brave a two night camping trip which should be equally as exhausting and interesting but at least we are going with my sister-in-law and her husband and their two boys so there's strength in numbers! Then we've got another caravan park booked for the October half term in the New Forest and I think we might actually have to go with the (then) three year old's insistence on staying up til gone 10pm and get our first taste of a 'mini disco' – joy! 🙂 Thanks for linking up Sarah Xx #thetruthabout

  7. 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

  8. July 7, 2015 / 3:01 pm

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

  9. July 7, 2015 / 3:51 pm

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

  10. 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 😀

  11. 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

  12. 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 😉
    #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. 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

  15. 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

  16. July 8, 2015 / 9:01 am

    Toddlers certainly do make holidays interesting don't they? We went away when monkey was 13mths and walking a lot. We had an amazing time and thankfully as a lover of routine we kept him on his routine (just shifted by an hr for time zone) but then felt limited as one of us had to spend a couple of hours on the balcony of our room while he napped every night while the other got some free time. I was in awe of babies that were napping on pool loungers, not our monkey! Food was a nightmare tho and almost every mealtime was accompanied by postman pat, boy did we feel like model parents! Will be interesting to see what our holiday with 2 of them will be like in September!! :S xx

  17. 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

    #bestandworst

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. July 8, 2015 / 3:30 pm

    Haha! Sounds hard work but fun! #bestandworst

  22. 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!

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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
    #twinklytuesday

  27. July 9, 2015 / 6:52 pm

    This reminds me of something one of my best friends said about holidays — now she's got kids — 'same shit, different location' LOL!

    She said, she still has to get up at the crack of dawn and do everything she would be doing at home with her babies… just cos she's ON holiday doesn't necessarily make it FEEL like a holiday!! Great post!! I cannot WAIT to go abroad with my littles for the first time!! 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday Sarah — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

  28. July 10, 2015 / 6:10 pm

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

  29. July 12, 2015 / 3:33 pm

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

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