As many new parents know, it can be extremely difficult to enjoy time together as a family on top of work and busy schedules. So, as the holiday season is just around the corner, you should try and make the most of it! But what are the best destinations for babies and tots? In this article, we’ve discovered the top child-friendly Christmas getaways for you to choose from, as well as provide a selection of tips for travelling with youngsters.
Portugal: The Algarve
The popular Algarve region can be reached in around two-and-a-half to three hours by plane. So, if you think your little one can handle the journey, treat yourself to a holiday abroad. Here, you can enjoy a warmer climate without having to worry about keeping your baby totally covered from the sun.
Another popular holiday destination for Brits, the Algarve region has plenty of child-friendly resorts, hotels and activities that will suit kids from newborn to toddler. Since the autumn and winter season is a quieter time of year, it’s recommended that you travel to the larger resort towns such as Albufeira or Praia de Rocha, where not as many restaurants and activity centres will be closed.
All the youngsters love Disney, don’t they? Especially around Christmas time! Although this destination may be best suited to kids around three years old and over, all children will enjoy the colours, lights and characters of Disneyland Paris. Plus, you have a collection of great, family-friendly Disney hotels to stay in, which will make travelling to and from the park much less stressful!
Disneyland Paris is a fantastic holiday choice if you’re travelling with babies or excitable toddlers. At Disneyland Paris, you have a wide selection of shows, rides and attractions designed to captivate and entertain babies, toddlers and adults. Over Christmas, you can expect to see Disney’s Christmas Parade where everyone’s favourite characters make their way through the streets of the park. The ‘World’s Biggest Mouse Party’ also takes place, where children can meet and greet Santa and the Disney characters.
Probably the best destination to take your children for a white Christmas. This is more a destination for parents with infants, but if you do take your newborn, make sure they’re wrapped up warm. Here, you can visit the spectacular snow villages, meet the reindeers and say hello to Santa himself. Think of your children waking up to snow-covered trees outside on Christmas Day!
Remember though, it can get extremely cold at this time of year though. Make sure that you do your research and pack what’s necessary to make sure that your tots stay warm in the outdoors with their cosytoes and footmuffs. There are many activities to do when you arrive in Lapland — from riding a snowmobile to taking a trip in a reindeer sleigh, it’ll certainly get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
Although it’s a lot colder up north, Edinburgh is a stunning place to enjoy Christmas getaways. Visit here and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to family hotels and accommodation.
Have you got infants as well as older kids? Then the city is perfect. As part of the spectacular Christmas markets, there are rides for children to enjoy and situated in the lower half of East Princes Street Gardens is Santa Land! Here, let your little ones be dazzled by the decorations and Christmas Tree Maze and let them ride on the Santa Train.
Christmas getaways in the UK are always a safe bet when looking for child-friendly destinations, as this cuts down your travelling times — beneficial if your little one is fussy or easily aggravated. So, how about Cornwall? The Cornish coast in south-west England is one of the country’s most beautiful, peaceful and exciting spots.
Cornwall also has a large choice of relatively-secluded cottages available to book in Cornwall, which is ideal for young families that have crying babies or playful and loud toddlers! Try to go for accommodation that offers you and your family space but is still within walking distance to activities to keep children entertained. At Christmas time, you can see Cornwall’s Christmas lights which children would enjoy, as the streets are illuminated with colour. Down by the harbour offers the perfect view.
Alongside secluded cottages, there is also the Santa by Steam train, where children and adults can go on a journey with the railway elves to visit Santa’s grotto. Under 1s ride free and the journey only lasts an hour — not too long for fidgety little ones!
Essential travel tips
Simple things, like getting to and from the car can be a challenge when you have a baby or toddler in tow. So, what can you do to make travelling on holiday less of an ordeal? Here are a few tips:
Give yourself plenty of time
If you’re late, you’ll stress yourself out and a fussy child will only add to the anxiety. So, start your holiday on a positive note by setting off early.
Have plenty of toys on hand
From the car ride to the airport to the plane journey itself, make sure you pack your child’s essentials — toys and games. Preferably, opt for quiet games that are best suited for public transport.
Packing all the essentials for a baby or toddler can add a lot of extra weight to your luggage, so cut down where you can by opting for a lightweight buggy and travel-sized toys and sanitary products.
Check your booking
Make sure you verify that the hotel is child-friendly with plenty of amenities for kids.
Don’t forget the little things that soothe your baby, like their favourite soft toy, blanket or even type of food. They may just help calm them down during long car rides.
Be careful with baby food and milk
You can carry baby milk and baby food through airport security in containers over 100ml, so make sure you prepare this before setting off.
Minimise the airport hassle by checking in over your laptop or phone prior to your day of travel.
Discuss the journey
If this is the first time your child is taking a long-distance journey, make the event seem positive and exciting by chatting them through what will happen — this may make them less apprehensive, especially if you’re flying.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to take that family holiday you’ve always wanted to go on this year! Bear the above tips in mind to help make the journey just as good as the destination, too.