Top 10 best tips for taking a baby or toddler on holiday
1. Change your expectations. If this is your first time on holiday with a baby/toddler you are probably not going to have lie-ins, long lunches or wild nights out.
2. Choose your accommodation carefully. With a small baby, self-catering is usually easier than hotel accommodation. Often meaning you can put the children safely in bed at night and then sit out with a glass of wine.
3. Pack carefully. Check what baby equipment is available at your destination and think about what you need to take. Liat Hughes Joshi, author of What to Buy for Your Baby says: "There's no such thing as packing light when you're travelling with a baby. The key is to get organised and think through what you need for the key areas of baby care - so feeding, sleeping, changing and playing. This will make working out what you need to take less overwhelming."
4. Some mineral waters are specifically suitable for babies. It is best to use bottled mineral water in general, particularly on the coast, water is very high in Calcium and not suitable for drinking. Those suitable for babies are low in 'sodium' and some of these have pictures of babies on the labels so are easy for you to recognise.
5. Seasonal fruit and veg is excellent. You can find great tasting locally grown produce in the markets to make up baby purees and snacks for younger children.
6. Airports. Remember how much longer it takes you to achieve anything with kids in tow and apply the same formula to travel plans. Smile sweetly and helplessly at everyone and you may get help jumping queues. Ask if your flight is full when checking in. Some assistants will offer you the option of seating next to a vacant seat.
7. Ears. We as grown-ups can usually pop our ears to adjust to changes in air pressure but babies and children really struggle. Try to feed babies to coincide with take-off and landing, whether breast or bottle, the sucking action helps. For older kids, try giving them boiled sweets to suck on.
8. Nappies. Airplane bathrooms are small. So you need to be prepared before entering with a squirmy smelly baby. Pack a small bag with one nappy, travel pack of wipes, a nappy sack and rash cream and store it in the pocket in front of you. You can re-stock after the baby is changed.
9. Destination and Route. If you have chosen to drive at any stage of your journey, plan a scenic route for lots of stopping-off options so the holiday can start as soon as you get into the car.
10. Finally, prepare for every situation (this means snacks, water and sick bags!). If you want to run stress-testing on both yourself and your car seat restraints then feel free to ply the kids with sugary snacks throughout the journey, otherwise, fruit and crackers are a good option. Bring lots of water and make sure you know where the toilet stops are en-route. Baby wipes and sick bags will never be without their uses on a long journey!
EuroParcs offer young families outstanding holidays on campsites such as Le Ruisseau, Pays Basque, La Garangeoire, Vendee and Vilanova, Costa Dorada at recession-beating prices. The baby packs offered include a Cot / Playpen, a Baby Bath and a High Chair.