The terrors of holiday trips with your tot

Culled from comments and personal experiences, these are things you should watch out for when attempting to travel with junior…

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Getting there

1) Like giving birth, airports are a means to an end
Travelling now involves a sense of dread that you’ve left something behind, endless demands for juice, or a pee (yep, they are related), combined with panic that you’ll miss your flight.

2) Getting dirty looks
Junior keeps kicking the chair in front of him on the plane, or is running around the cabin. Look, people, the world needs us to reproduce, and we refuse to get cabin fever!

3) Long-haul flights
Twenty-one hours on a plane, you say? Pack an arsenal of snacks, stickers and screens (now is the moment to embrace the iPad) with power cords and extra batteries. And book yourself another holiday to recover.

4) Prep your new skill
You’re stuck in the car/plane. The snacks were eaten two hours ago, the CBeebies magazine has been shredded, but at least learning the duet from Frozen or the Thomas the Tank Engine song buys you exactly 23 happy toddler minutes.

So what can you expect once you get there?

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Once you’re there

1) Great things about the beach — space
Let the little ones run in circles, let off steam and take in the sea air on the beach (hopefully they’ll sleep for 12 hours straight after that).

2) Embrace blackout curtains everywhere you go
Even if the sun doesn’t set at your destination until after 9pm — regardless of what 9pm should be according to your bodies — don’t let your children know. Making sure your hotel room has these helps you maintain the illusion that after 7.30pm, the entire world floats off to sleepy land. And so should theyyyyy…

3) Pack your emergency kit
Seemingly simple outdoor activities (kite-flying, crabbing) turn into extreme sports when there’s a toddler involved. Travel with a first-aid kit and a tube of Smarties to distract them from grazed knees.

4) Sunscreen. Everywhere, all the time
Your toddler may look like a badly painted snowman, but at least they’re protected.

5) Repellent is your second-best friend.
Bees, wasps, mozzies — they’re everywhere. So, cue lots of screaming, running and repellent spray (and that's just you!).

6) The world and her mother (plus kids) are all at the theme park
The queues will be long, but your children love this park — so here you are. Once inside, the ratio of time you spend waiting (bribing little ones with food, toys, whatever it takes) to the time spent on a ride is questionable. It makes you ponder the big question, “What am I doing here?”

You’ll be so glad to get back home, right? Click load more…

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Back home

1) Don’t count the cost
For the school holidays, tour operators think it’s reasonable to double the price of, er, just about everything. You’re tempted to sneak off a few weeks before nursery and school’s out, but fear the wrath of teachers and jealous parents of classmates.

2) Consider a staycation instead of travelling further
Although you allow yourself moments of envy when you hear your friends’ plans for assorted beach-resort holidays or trips to fantastic cities, you ultimately appreciate that, with toddlers, your best chance of a stress-free holiday is to remain within easy reach of your washing machine, the toys, the Nespresso machine and your mother.

3) Was it worth the stress?
Sunny days with small people equals so much joy. Their faces light up when they reach the beach/parks or you explore the new city. Yep, life doesn’t get better than this!

Photo: iStock

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