6 Ways to Help Prepare for a Holiday with a Toddler

A trip to the beach. Nothing but the sun in your hair, sand in your toes, and a much needed dose of relaxation, right? A trip to the countryside. Nothing but quaint cottages and tranquil views, right Maybe, but that’s only if you discount the frantic packing and shopping and list-making that occurs the week before you go. And adding a toddler to the equation guarantees at least triple the amount of planning, packing, and stuff to cart along with you.

Honestly, the immense degree of forethought required when talking a holiday with a toddler might make it tempting to skip the salty waves and tranquil settings altogether. To make the whole process less intimidating, today I’m sharing a few tips that come to mind when thinking about holidaying with a one-year-old. Today we set off bright and early for our first family holiday, something that both my husand and I were looking forward to, that was until we started to pack and ended up in a complete meltdown. Even though these people are little, there need so MUCH stuff, and I am the type of parent that wants to be prepared for everything. But what one earth do I pack for a toddler? For seven days? And for a holiday in England in the Summer time, where it will undoubtedly rain at some point in those seven days!

I love writing list and so I thought that I would start off by writing a list of all the things the little lady would need and how many sets of clothes I should pack before, I then did a list for me, and then my husband. Before I knew it, I had one day left to pack! Whoops. Then a small frantic meltdown occurred. What do I pack for a toddler? How many baby grows do I take? What shoes? A coat? What if its hot? What if it rains? I some how managed to pack for the three of us, for seven days in less than 24 hours! BOOM! Squeezing as much as we could in our car, setting off for our four hour car journey. But before we are even at the end of the road I can hear this little squeaky voice in the back 'Ooooh' 'Mum, look' 'Raisins please'! Any car journey with a toddler can be difficult and so I thought that I would share my top tips in surviving those car journeys with them. So sit back and relax, we got this.

Make a plan and make lists.

Plan ahead and allow plenty of time in order not to feel rushed or stressed when getting to and through the car journeys or the airport. You need to have some sort of idea of what you will need to take with you, and think about all the thing that you may need to on the plane or in the car. You have packed your suitcase so the last thing you want is to pull out your heavy suitcase to try and get a change of clothes for your little poop machine, so be sure to have some essentials at hand.

Be organised.

Being organised is a complete essential when it comes to holiday and especially the case when you have a little one. If you have more than one child, then you have your work cut out. So along with you lists start packing in advance, not like I did! By the time it comes to your holiday you may be able to scrap a couple of items meaning there's a little more breathing room for your belonging. 


As parents we are not supposed to use food to bribe our children, but on long car journeys, regular snacks can help alleviate boredom and keep little ones happy. A hungry travelling child is NEVER a happy travelling child. Dried fruit, crackers, rice cakes and cubes of cheese are all great choices for snacking. Avoid anything too sticky, because a few chocolate buttons were a great idea to give to my daughter. 

Load up your phone or tablet. 

Download plenty of toddler friendly apps and games. It also helps to have a good supply of cartoons. Some people may frown upon kids being given tablets to play with, but kids love feeling like they’re doing things that adults do, so are much more likely to be kept entertained for longer if they’re using their mum or dad’s tablet. And for the sake of a peaceful journey, it’s worth it!

Don't forget about those comforts.

When it comes to your little one getting some sleep on a long journey, make sure they have whatever comforters they like to help them settle. This could be their favourite blanket, a special cuddly toy or even just a dummy. If you have room, pack a small pillow to make it easier for them to nod off on a flight. We all have those material comforts that help with our well-being so remember to pack their favourite blanket, a favourite book or their favourite toy so that they will feel more comfortable. My daughter does like sleeping in her cot bed so I bring her bedding, night light and her favourite yellow blanket.   


If your child suffers from travel sickness or struggles to get to sleep when travelling, make sure you pack some medicine that will help them to feel better and also help to ease them off to sleep. Calpol is the perfect child-friendly solution to making little tots feel as good as new again if they’re feeling a bit under the weather.

Hopefully it all sounds a bit more appealing now? If so, it’s never too late to book a last minute holiday.