After not long returning from my honeymoon (blog coming soon), I am already dreaming of my next holiday. Our honeymoon was absolutely amazing but was for just the husband and I. Although we had the best time we naturally missed our little guy not being with us (although he didn’t seem to miss us!). Probably the most difficult thing for me was looking at kids things at the hotel and thinking, Reid would love that. Even though I knew he was having the time of his life on a mini holiday with his grandparents it was hard seeing things that I knew he would like and wishing he was there to see them.
Since it is the last year before Reid properly starts school (I can’t bare to even think about that right now) we are thinking about a trip away next year. We might as well make the most of being able to go on holiday outside of the school hols while we can. Plus we haven’t taken Reid abroad since he was about 1.5 years old and let’s face it he probably won’t even remember it. With him turning 4 this year I think it will be nice to take him on his first proper holiday where he isn’t pushed around in a pushchair and napping half the time.
Trying to find the perfect stress-free place to go with a toddler/young child can be tough. I remember it well from the last holiday we went on with him. He is a very well behaved little man I have to admit. However trying to choose somewhere to go on holiday that is relaxing and enjoyable for all involved is very difficult with a child. It’s usually finding the perfect accommodation that can be the chore. There are so many out there that claim to be child friendly but what exactly does that mean? Does it mean that there is lots there for the kids to do or does that mean that it is well equipped for children of all ages? You don’t necessarily find that both are what you get when booking accommodation.
One thing you find a bit disappointing when looking for accommodation that is ‘child friendly’ is that quality can be compromised. You also struggle to find somewhere that is still a bit of luxury for the parents and sometimes you can actually feel like you are just putting up with something because it suits the kids. Sometimes a villa is your best bet as they can give you a bit more space and also privacy! But villas aren’t always totally set up safety wise for young children so that can then be difficult when you get there as you can’t take your eyes off them for even a minute.
The most stressful thing for me when on holiday with my little man has got to be worrying about his safety. Now he is a bit older it is definitely not as bad as the last holiday I went on when he was just a baby still but it is still a big worry. I remember being near a pool and unless he was strapped in his buggy fast asleep or in the pool with me holding on to him with his arm bands on I was constantly having heart palpitations watching him try run around next to the water. I was forever up and down, chasing him around trying to keep him away and hold on to his hand (which he wasn’t happy about). So although he is older I still have the same kind of panic and it is usually because he doesn’t look where he is going. I also hugely worry about someone grabbing him as he is so easily distracted. Unless I am holding his hand I am on red alert and definitely not relaxed!
There is a website called Tots To Travel and this site actually sources holidays that helps get rid of or at least makes a huge difference with the things mentioned above. Especially when it comes to the safety side of things! They have done a 30 point child safety check on any of the holidays listed on their site and list all the great child friendly and safety features to save you having to ask the questions yourself. From private pools with barriers to providing extensive kit of 20+ items for under 5 year olds at no extra cost so you can travel light. Such simple things that make the biggest difference to parents and help reduce some of the stress of travelling abroad with a little one. I can’t believe I didn’t actually know this site existed! Plus it has such a big range of holiday options including luxury family holidays to best for families with babies and best for families with pre-schoolers and so on.
For our next holiday I will definitely be definitely looking in to the villa option as I never really thought about it to be honest and was just focusing on hotels. I like the idea of having our own private place and private pool where we can just focus on us. Who cares if we don’t look great or if we just sit and stuff our faces all day! No one will see us anyway! I like the idea of Reid having a proper place to sleep when he needs a nap from the heat rather than having to find some chairs or a buggy or return to the room. It means you can safely leave your child to chill or nap whilst you still enjoy your holiday!
Have you been on holiday with a little one? Was it stressful or easy? What did you do to try and make the experience stress-free and how child friendly was the accommodation?
This is a collaborative post with Tots to Travel.