Take a look at some of our top tips for holidaying in Europe with young children!
Book a trip for a decent amount of time (ideally 10-14 days)
Travel with little ones does require a lot of planning, and the journey itself can really take it out of you all. Factor this into your holiday plans; it can take a day or two to adjust to new surroundings, and even longer to really relax. If you’re going to go the distance, make it worthwhile by booking a stay that doesn’t feel rushed or frantic, and gives you a chance to properly unwind before it’s time think about going back home.
Don’t max yourself out
Holidays BC (before children!) might have entailed exciting and jam-packed itineraries and excursions, but that’s just not going to work as well when you have tiny tots! Be realistic about the number/kind of activities you choose for your holiday, keeping in mind that you’ll have a lot more stuff to bring with you and little travellers who’ll need food and sleep much more frequently.
Be as flexible as possible
Give yourself room to enjoy the holiday, whilst also meeting the needs of your little one. Don’t worry about ruthlessly sticking to usual routines, the odd late night or ice cream dinner won’t do them any harm and it’s important to enjoy yourself on your travels!
On the flip side, don’t plan too many activities or let yourself get caught in a remote sightseeing location with a sobbing child who is hungry and tired. Embark on your holiday with an open mind and fit the holiday around your family’s needs.
Choose the right kind of accommodation for your family
This is absolutely key when choosing your perfect holiday destination. To start with, think about a sleeping set-up that is practical (Is a 1 bed resort room suitable for you and baby? Yes. For you and a toddler? Forget about sleeping for the rest of the holiday…) and think about whether you’re going to need access to a kitchen, for warming milk etc.
If you’ve got very young children then you may want to choose a destination that has everything, such as beaches, activities and restaurants, within walking distance so you don’t need to think about public transport and getting about. Look for a home-from-home set up by choosing somewhere that has everything you need and plenty of space for your kids to play. If you’re opting for a villa with a private pool, make sure this is properly fenced so that your children are kept safe. Every private pool on our website has a safety barrier, for parent peace of mind.
If you’re choosing a resort, select one that is truly family friendly, from the attitude of the staff through to the resort set up. Every property on our website has been hand selected, inspected and perfected by a family travel expert PLUS we guarantee that our families with only stay in the best, most family friendly accommodation options that resorts have to offer, so if you book with us then you’ll know you’re choosing a genuinely family friendly holiday.
Think about your food and drink
It’s important to think about where your family is going to eat! This may not be so much of an issue when staying on a family resort that offers kids’ menus, but staying in a private villa may leave you feeling concerned.
Luckily, many European destinations do offer family friendly restaurant options- check out some our family friendly destination guides, such as our family guide to Mallorca, for ideas. Many restaurants also cater to tourists, offering family friendly mealtimes and flexible dining options. For more tips about eating out with little ones in Europe, take a look at our article here.
When it comes to drinking water in Europe, most tap water is safe to drink but can cause tummy upsets, due to containing differing mineral counts to those at home. As a result, although you may get away with brushing your teeth with tap water, it’s a good idea to buy bottled water for drinking. For more information about drinking water in Europe, plus using it for sterilising etc. view our Drinking Water Abroad guide.
Be a smart packer
Be ruthless with what you bring with you to avoid over-packing. Essentials like baby wipes and nappies are a must, but you can probably leave behind that extra pair of baby shoes, even if they are cute! It can be worth bringing some of your own baby food as well, as elsewhere in Europe this can often be quite high in salt or sugar.
Remember that when you book with Tots you’ll get our exclusive Essential Kit Guarantee, which provides 20+ key baby and toddler items that you won’t have to worry about packing, which can really help lighten the load. From personal experience we know that carting all that baby stuff on holiday is a nightmare, so do try and avoid it if you can!
If you forget something, you can get hold of most family household supplies in other European countries. You’ll be able to find some familiar brands although these may be expensive, so avoid buying them unless you really have to.
Think about car seats
Some car hire or taxi companies abroad do offer child seats when you pre-book, however there is no guarantee of the quality or variety that will be available. It can be a good idea to bring your own car seat, so you’ll have peace of mind that you’ve got what you need. Car seat laws across Europe do vary, so double check this before you leave.
Other blogs you might like:
Visit www.totstotravel.co.uk to see what baby and toddler friendly options we can offer your family!
Tots to Travel offer baby friendly holidays and child friendly holidays both in the UK and abroad. Our range includes child friendly villas, including perfect villas for kids, baby friendly cottages, baby friendly villas and more…