Step 1: Chose your location wisely
You want to be far enough away that it feels like a holiday but close enough so if it all goes tits up you can be home within 2 hours. Don’t be a hero.
A sandy beach would be a nice, toddlers love to eat sand after all – and whatever you do, make sure there is a soft play near by. Yes, you do soft play all the time at home, but when there is a rainy day and your toddler is confined to your seasonal self-catering accommodation, you will be first in line for the nearest Whacky Warehouse. Don’t forget the anti-bacterial hand gel.
Step 2: PACK ALL THE STUFF
Now that you have two children, you will never travel light again. You basically need to recreate your entire house, 100 miles away from home. You must take everything. Especially if the holiday park is attempting to wangle you out of £20 to hire a travel cot for five nights – no thanks, we will bring our own. Enjoy it digging in to your legs for the duration of your journey there. (Here’s how to survive the car journey)
You will inevitably forget something essential and it is probably your husband’s fault. Don’t kill him, you’re on holiday. Smile and say “Never mind dear, I am sure it will be fine” and then spend the first part of your holiday in Tesco buying nappies.
You know, like you do at home.
Of course you need to be prepared for all kinds of weather – sun hats and shorts will be mixed in with welly boots and waterproof jackets. We all know which ones out of that list you will actually be using.
Step 3: Take reinforcements
…and by this I mean Grandparents. There is nothing like an extra pair of hands than an extra pair of hands. Someone to hold the baby while you pack the bag for a day trip (also containing ALL THE STUFF) and generally keep the toddler entertained. Grandparents seem to be excellent at dealing with toddler type rage. You may get to have a shower that takes longer than 6 minutes and blow-dry your hair with them there.
(Thanks Mum and Dad!)
Step 4: Manage Expectations
Make sure your child knows that even though when Peppa Pig goes on holiday she goes in an aeroplane, not everyone is that lucky. Some of us just go in the car, Kiddo. That was a hard lesson to learn on the morning of our much anticipated break to Devon for a 22 month old. You also will not play in a rabbit warren, buy whatever you want from Mr. Fox’s shop or sleepover at Suzy Sheep’s house. Sorry.
Manage your expectations too – if you manage to go swimming at least once and don’t have a trip to A and E, it’s a bloody good holiday. You can’t do it all, so give yourself some slack. Maybe a little trip to the local Gnome Reserve.
Step 5: Enjoy yourself!
The baby may or not sleep, the toddler may or may not freak out at the giant holiday club mascot, but hey – you’re on holiday. Holiday You is super laid back and doesn’t even care that the toddler has decided to only eat ‘puffs’ for 3 days in a row. Here, have some more.
They sell gin there…. it will be fine Xx