The holidays are all about fun and relaxation. This is when you just want to get away from your normal daily life, job, house, and all the pressure.
Planning a holiday with toddlers can change the dynamics of the entire holiday break. Sometimes, all you get out of a holiday are tantrums from the kids!
Many hotels and resorts claim to be kid-friendly but if you are a mother with multiple little ones in tow, you’ve probably learned to take that “baby-friendly” message with a pinch of salt. We know the struggle.
So to help you out, we’ve put together a list of the five best holiday destinations with toddlers including:
- Smugglers’ Notch, Jefferson, Vermont
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Florida
- Lapita Dubai Parks and Resorts, United Arab Emirates
- Puente Romano Marbella Resort, Spain
- Olympic Lagoon Hotel, Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Let’s take a closer look at each and why we love these family-friendly destinations.
Smugglers’ Notch, Jeffersonville, Vermont
If you and your family are looking for a snow adventure, then Smuggler’s Notch is the place for you. They have a learn-to-ski program for kids as young as two and a half years old and if your child is four, he or she can get on a snowboard. It’s a wonderful way to ensure everyone has fun.
If your kids are younger and not ready to test the snow out, there is a state of the art childcare center taken care of by a team of nannies who lead the kids in interactive playtime activities.
Children are divided into age brackets: 6 to 16 months, 17 months to 30 months and 30 months to 3 years. Each has their own dedicated room.
These playrooms have tiny toilets and bathrooms, a giant fish tank, little cots, age-appropriate toys, and playhouses to ensure that the kids have lots and lots of fun.
With such kinds of arrangements available, it’s easy to see why Smugglers’ Notch was voted the number one family holiday destination by Ski magazine in 2019.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Disney’s Grand Floridian is by far one of the most amazing family holiday destinations. There are plenty of dining options to keep both you and the kids happy. The hotel is close to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios.
If you’re looking to enjoy some fine dining without the kids, the resort can organize in-room babysitters through their ‘Kids Nite Out’ service. The babysitters play games, read, do arts and crafts with the children as mom and dad spend some quality time together.
Lapita Dubai Parks and Resorts
Experience the beauty and hospitality of the Middle East by taking a family trip to Lapita Hotel. The hotel is found inside Dubai Parks and Resort which conveniently houses three world-class theme parks and a water park. The kids will definitely be thrilled by the experience of staying at Lapita.
It’s a Polynesian themed resort offering spacious suites and guest rooms that have private balconies, a spa boutique, swimming pools, a fitness center, five restaurants and bars, and its own ‘slow river.’
Puente Romano Marbella Resort, Spain
Puente Romano Marbella in Spain’s Costa Del Sol offers sunshine, good vibes, and a laid-back feel. Plus, the weather in Costa Del Sol makes it the perfect choice for a much-needed family summer break. The resort has three outdoor pools and another pool near the waterfront that is dedicated to families.
Pony lessons for toddlers ready to experience an exciting equestrian adventure are a uniquely Andalusian selling point. We also like that extra cots and beds are free for kids under 12.
If you would like to spend a day out alone with the family, you can book a yacht for the day. High season runs from May to September so if you make it around that time, you will also get kids clubs to keep the little ones occupied.
Olympic Lagoon Hotel, Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Ayia Napa in Cyprus is a great escape for the whole family. Once a small fisherman’s village, it has now become a popular tourist hot-spot with visitors from across the globe. The weather there is perfect during summer and you’re guaranteed lots of afternoon fun whether you’re exploring the town or building sandcastles on the beach.
Olympic Lagoon’s freshwater pool features slides that kids will love. For the smallest family members, babies over the age of six months can give their parents a quick break at the creche, a toy and play wonderland. There are dedicated caregivers to ensure your kids are well taken care of as they play.
There are plenty of sites where you can experience the culture of Cyprus with the family while at the Olympic Lagoon such as the Thalassa, a maritime museum or the Cape Greco, a park where rare plants such as orchids and irises can be found growing naturally.
Tips for Traveling With a Toddler on Holiday
Don’t let concerns about toddler travel considerations stop you from hitting the road next holiday season. Here are our top tips for negotiating family travel with a little one in tow.
Have Your Toddler in Mind
Ever watched the movie ‘Home Alone’ and wondered how two parents managed to travel and forget about Kevin? Us too, but perhaps we shouldn’t judge the parents too harshly. After all, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the myriad details involved in planning a family holiday that some can slip out of your mind.
Avoid your own holiday oversights and consider the following: does the hotel have a kid-friendly menu? Are there enough child-friendly activities at your destination?
You know your child best so think of possible situations that may cause issues and try to mitigate those before you leave the house. Oh, and don’t leave little Kevin behind!
Involve the Kids
Once you’ve decided on the travel details, let the kids be part of the plan. Mentally prepare them for the plane ride and make sure they know what they should expect about the holiday destination beforehand. Engage them as you do their packing and find out what their expectations are.
Bring on the Snacks
Even if you get on a plane with excellent food service (here’s looking at you, Emirates) it’s always a good idea to have your own supply of snacks when a toddler is around.
Transit may take too long or one of the kids may not like the food on the plane. You want to have a hassle-free holiday so trying to reduce minimal issues from the get-go is a good way to start. Have some water with you to curb travel thirst.
Traveling with toddlers is manageable if you research the final destination and make sure it really is child-friendly.
Create a packing list with the kids long before you travel so that when it’s time to pack, you won’t leave out the essentials.
Don’t forget to throw in your child’s favorite comfort item for the trip and if you’ve space in your carry-on, an extra pillow is a great idea for better plane sleeps, there’s nothing worse than a grumpy kid on arrival!
Otherwise, kick back, relax and enjoy discovering new places with your family.
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