Are you planning a trip away in the UK this summer? Whether you've booked a beach bolthole, a rural retreat or a couple of nights under canvas, for your little one, it is more than likely that staying somewhere that isn't their own home will be quite an alien concept after the last 15 months of you know what. To minimise the chances of them being totally overwhelmed on your holiday this year (and hopefully make your break as relaxing as possible), here are a few things to think about ...
Choosing where to go ...
How will you travel? Car? Train? Fly? Sail? - If you are not taking your car then obviously how much you can take with you will be limited so your choice of accommodation needs particular consideration in terms of what equipment will be there for you to use.
How long a journey do you want? Generally, young children and babies shouldn't be in their car seats for very long periods so consider the distance and how practical it will be to stop for breaks.
If your child sleeps well in the car you can probably go further with just one stop for nappy change/feed etc.
If your little one doesn't like the car, maybe go closer to home or find somewhere you can check into late so you can travel after bedtime.
If your child is at the stage where 'danger naps' are a thing, avoid a destination which means you will be in the car at the crucial time when you don't want them to sleep.
If your baby is over 12 months or so, and likes to be busy exploring new places, look for destinations which offer options for all weathers such as indoor pools, soft play etc as well as outdoor attractions and spaces.
Sounds obvious but pick somewhere YOU want to go - holidays should be fun for everyone and you definitely deserve to have some adult treats as well as making it fun for your little one.
What sort of accommodation?
Hotels and B&Bs will give you a complete break from boring stuff like cooking etc and, with a small baby who sleeps beside you, are a great option for a bit of a treat. However, with toddlers, you might struggle having them in a room with you the whole time, especially once bedtime arrives and you have to sit in darkness/silence! Some hotels offer adjoining rooms which may be a good compromise. It's also worth considering whether the hotel offers babysitting or a listening service if that's something you might use. If it's a small hotel you might also be able to use your baby monitor from home if you want to pop down to the restaurant once your little one is asleep. Mealtimes may also be restricted to specific times and it is worth also checking the menu to see if they offer a good range of foods your child will actually eat!
Self catering accommodation like cottages, apartments etc give you the freedom to follow a similar routine as at home and many will provide things like high chairs, cots, stair gates, child-friendly cups plates etc, even toys. Most places will state if they