This summer we took our first ever family holiday abroad with our two year old toddler. It was unforeseen, unplanned and incredibly last minute but we (mostly I) were deliriously happy and grateful that we were able to take one. A fortuitous series of events meant that we could actually take a holiday for the first time in three years, and it was, hands down the most exciting thing that had happened to us since we moved house this spring. With only a week between booking and actually going on holiday (very uncharacteristic of us), we very quickly got ourselves organised and packed, and before we knew it we were jetting off to warmer, sunnier climes. We decided to only go for a short four day jaunt, but anyone with a toddler will know what a military operation going on a holiday is, regardless of how long you go for. Here are 5 things I learnt about going on holiday with a toddler:
- Flying with a toddler is unpredictable. We had a morning flight out of the UK and a night flight on the way back in. The logical expectation therefore would be that your toddler would probably be awake during the morning flight and sleep on the night flight back in. The reality was the opposite. Our little lady was catching z’s on the morning flight before we even took off from Heathrow and on our return refused to go to sleep until well into our flight, some two to three hours later. Completely and totally unpredictable.
- Your toddler will not acclimatise to the new time zone as quickly as you. Despite our best efforts to keep our toddler awake till dinner, she inevitably fell asleep each evening just before we got to a restaurant, and woke up just as we were finishing our meal. It was uncanny and slightly annoying, although we made the most of the opportunity and had a few faux “date nights” with our snoozing toddler in tow.
- There is a toddler version of the holiday diet. Whilst most of us adults liberally throw caution to the wind and our diets out the window the moment those plane tyres hit the tarmac, toddlers seem to do the opposite and go on a very strange, very restrictive holiday diet. For example, regardless of the wonderful wide range and dare I mention, fully inclusive buffet breakfast on offer each morning, our toddler decided that each breakfast would consist of grapes, and grapes only. For four days. Some may call it dedication. I call it craziness.
- You probably wont pack enough clothes for your toddler. We packed two outfits per day and a few “back up” outfits for good measure, and still managed to run out of clothes by day two. The next time we go away I’ll probably pack half of her wardrobe to be on the safe side. Taking some washing detergent with us would probably be even smarter.
- If it’s the first time you are taking your toddler on a beach holiday, they probably wont like the beach. The husband and I were both so excited to take the little lady to a beach for the first time, only to discover to our disappointment that she hated it. She refused to touch the sand and was not impressed by being dipped into the sea. Suffice to say that our fleeting 15 minute stay on the beach made it officially our shortest “beach” holiday ever.
Despite all of that, we had the loveliest holiday, a much needed break and made lots of new memories. We’re already counting down to next summer and our next family holiday to Mauritius, so roll on 2016!
Did you go on holiday this year with your toddler? What did you learn and discover? Share it with us on the blog!