Toddler Holidays with treasured memories
When planning toddler holidays, all sorts of complications can rush into your mind, the clobber you have to pack or essentials needed as well as the nagging concern over messing up sleeping routines, or if there’ll be enough to entertain your cherubs especially on those early mornings?
Recently I saw an advert which was claiming to offer all you need for your perfect toddler holiday. Changing facilities, constant entertainment and activities scheduled, fun parks to play in, food on tap. It all sounded easy – just like being at home with a theme park attached.
So it got me thinking – what is the stressful bit of going away with little ones, and what makes a get away really special. I’m a mum and I’ve done a lot of different types of holidays. Camping, self catering, hotel, long haul, all-inclusive’s, activity holidays and ventured into the odd theme park.
Now it all depends on what you enjoy- which is personal. But if we’re looking at what makes a toddler holiday easy and enjoyable for all the slide on enjoyment measurement may be more influenced by getting the simple stuff right. Rather than wall to wall entertainment.
Get the simple stuff right
Having all the right stuff on arrival is definitely on the list for making life easy: cots, highchairs, child friendly crockery and cutlery, night lights, changing mats, toilet seats. All the basics covered saves hours of planning and packing. At UpSticks we certainly try to tick those boxes and always ask if there’s anything we’ve missed.
So with the practicalities covered – what really makes us all happy. Parents will often say happy children – but sometimes our kids don’t know what makes them happy.
Lets face it in every part of our lives we have to be organised, work, school, running a house and even our hobbies can demand a lot of management and structure. Now I recognise there are some who adore structure – but occasionally isn’t it good to go a bit more free flow. Maybe allow how we feel to lead us in the direction of what to do rather than timetables and commitments.
A timetable of stuff to do can create stresses. I recall activity holidays which kicked off at 9 am sharp, theme parks with queues and shows at scheduled times, packing gear and food, not to mention the cost of it all certainly left me more edgy than calmed. When little ones decide to sleep in I didn’t want to give up a rare lie in opportunity in order to get the kids to a club or catch the bus for an excursion- lets face it the lack of routine can be liberating. Toddlers becomes fascinated with the most surprising stuff, and part of the magic of holidays is you have the time to let them. Our imaginations can be stimulated by new environments, but we need empty time to enjoy it.
Less stuff means less battles
Weirdly enough less stuff to distract and entertain can mean less to battle over. I recall a friend telling me of the nightmare of an ‘all inclusive’ which led to battles on her toddlers holiday over bottomless supplies of fizzy pop and endless fast food, with 24 hour access to a pool which her son was old enough to use, but his sister couldn’t without an adult – leading to meltdowns daily. Constantly being worried where the kids are in a packed resort hotel is no fun for parents, and means time spent together as a family can be diluted.
Add to this pester power, on buying the extra’s like ice creams, gifts from the shop, excursions and activities, it can all add up to a fair whack.
Let the memories make themselves
I’ve seen for myself families turn up to our glamping site a little edgy, shoulders hunched and fear of what luxury really means! On discovering the accommodation meets expectations, kids invariably want to explore and take it all in. Initial concern over how to entertain little ones wanes, as parents start to see them make their own agendas. Much to even my surprise, many visitors don’t even leave the site for the duration, happy to just be. No agenda, deadlines or itinerary being the biggest relief and reward.
I realise guests staying with Upsticks Glamping will go out and spend money and accept on site we haven’t swimming pools on offer. Still, what is here is created with the aim of making great memories – an orienteering trail, a box full of games to create, play and laugh with. Simple stuff like having animals to pet, den making kit and bikes for all ages can be enough, especially when there’s the space to do it. The aim being to get everyone enjoying time together. Granted we have added a few extras like a zip wire for the adrenaline junkie and out door baths for those who want some pampering, but the aim is to make your family holiday with toddlers fun, inclusive and easy.
Take the pressure off
We never know what is going to capture the imagination of our children. I’ve certainly learnt you can’t second guess it. Rock collecting and den making were always winners with my two. Learning to light a fire and collecting wood, or cooking dinner outdoors whilst the moon comes up might seem like romantic ideas from our camping days – but they endure today and sometimes it’s worth remembering its the challenges we most treasure on reflection.
So much hinges on our holidays, and we as parents often feel under pressure to deliver! Well I know that if I took the pressure off myself to provide the perfect holiday I’d probably enjoy it and have more fun – not to mention be a better person for it.
Happy parents make happier kids. Parents work hard – only today I heard a report on working hours eating into family life. So holidays, more than ever are for the whole household and if everyone gets bit of down time, it makes for happier families.
So when booking your toddler holiday this year think about what you all need, as parents, kids, and as a family, and then decide how much stuff will make your stay away special – it might not be nearly as much as you thought![/vc_column_text]