I gave birth to my naughty little mini-me in September 2020, and I can safely say I wouldn’t recommend giving birth during a global pandemic. It was frightening and lonely, and whilst I knew I should have been the happiest I had ever been I honestly felt like everyday just blurred into the next.
When 2022 rolled around and the world opened up I was determined to create ALL the memories with my new little bestie and set about booking all kinds of adventures, from staycations and theme parks to family getaways and girls trips (if you consider a holiday with your mum and toddler a girls trip, which I very much do) I did it all.
Cheap and cheerful works perfectly for toddlers
Long gone are my luxury adult only holidays sipping on over-priced cocktails and lounging around reading a gripping crime novel. We decided that in an effort to do as much as possible we would need to be savvy. I can honestly say this was the best decision we made! Going out of season meant she had plenty of new toddler friends to play with and a holiday diet consisting of chips and ice cream meant our budget friendly all inclusive was put to good use! Also, who can say no to a good old fashioned mini disco.
Toys for your journey
This was very much trial and error! When I say I spent so much time looking for all kinds of things to keep her entertained on our travels, I really did. I lumbered myself up with books, dolls and stickers thinking there must be something that would keep her engaged. I learned on our very last trip that all it would take was a £3 pack of 'travel' play doh from Primark. I promise, this is a MUST HAVE!
All the snacks
Although my girl isn't a super picky eater I found it quite hard to get her to eat anything that was not beige, particually on our first few trips as she was so young. Bringing her favourite snacks saved the day on quite a few occasions! She may not have had the most varied diet whilst we were away but at least I could relax knowing she had at least eaten something that wasn't deep fried. The odd mocktail went down a storm too!
Easy on sandals!
Of course I have to talk about shoes! I work for a shoe company, she has to have something for every outfit right?! Whilst we needed to have something for her to wear in the sea anything other than an easy on leather pair of shoes just looked uncorfortable. She got so much wear out of her Sandy Tan hook and loops, they were quick to get on and looked adorable with every outfit.
No car seat required
This was one of my biggest stresses before travelling by plane. Toddler car seats are not exactly the most portable of items and honestly I doubted highly that I would use it once I arrived. We decided to opt for a private transfer from the airport with the car seat included, it made life A LOT easier.
This may seem obvious, but La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Kids Spray SPF50+ is a game changer! Her eyes would flare up everytime we applied cream and this of course led to almightly meltdowns. No matter how careful I was nothing was working, until we came across this spray. It's quick to rub in and great for really sensative skin and well worth the price in my opinion!
Milano sling bag
This bag it an absolute Mum must have when you are on your travels! On our trip to Disneyland Paris it was a god send. My camera was always on-hand and I felt really secure in all the hustle and bustle with it across my front.
You don't need to buy a pushchair
Unless you have a big wheeled, bulky pram, it is fine to travel with most travel systems. I have a pretty lightweight pram so decided to save myself some money and not shell out on something new. We kept it with us all the way up to boarding the plane. It made life really easy once we arrived as she was happy to nap during the day and I knew she was comfortable.
Finally, it's never as bad as you think!
I dreaded the plane/train journey's every time and every time I was pleasently surprised. My non-sleeping toddler just fell asleep in my arms on the plane, she sat down for meals in the evenings (and even when she didn't everyone loved watching her get up to mischief) and she even napped in her pram allowing me to have at least one over-priced cocktail in peace.