If you have never experienced any holidays with toddlers then it can be difficult to appreciate the difference have a toddler around makes to every aspect of your trip. On previous trips you may have enjoyed visiting art galleries, or strolling along the street admiring the latest in European fashions. With a toddler as a member of your group you will soon realize that your priorities will have to alter dramatically. As for me, when I had my child, I’d been perspicacious enough to learn on a pregnancy chat room how my postnatal period would go on. Young children are not known for their love of fine art, or their appreciation of culture or fashion. Any attempt to take them along on a ‘boring’ adult trip is very likely to end in disaster, with everyone feeling tired and stressed. Does this mean that it is impossible for both you and your toddler to enjoy a family holiday? No! What is does mean is that you must be the one that adapts their expectations of what happens on the holiday. Adapt your holiday to suit your toddler You can’t expect a toddler to fit in with your plans. Young children usually have short attention spans and if you try to keep them interested in anything that takes too long or doesn’t capture their imagination straight away then you are doomed to failure. Fun, relaxing holidays with toddlers are possible but take careful planning. If you have never been to your holiday destination before then you will need to do some research and find out what they have available for children. If museums and galleries are what interests you then find out whether the museums have exhibits that are child-friendly and can be interacted with by young children. Most modern museums make a point of being suitable for both adults and children. Many museums and galleries also offer child-packs to help children relate to what they are looking at, and have fun exploring the exhibits. A lot of museums and galleries also have free child places available, or even offer free entry to children at certain times in the week. If you enjoy exploring the history and culture of Europe then allow both you and your child some time off to visit some of the great parks of Europe as well. Most cities have parks where children can run, explore, and make as much noise as they want. Many of the parks will have entertainment laid on for children, take advantage of it. While your toddler is being entertained by someone else you can take a few moments to relax and enjoy the scenery, and the beauty of the park for yourself. Learn to slow down Don’t make the mistake of trying to fit in too much. Let your toddler move at their own pace. Dragging your child along in an effort to fit everything in is just going to be stressful for both of you. If there is really too much to see in one day then there is no harm in coming back tomorrow to finish off your visit. However you choose to spend your holiday with your toddler the most important thing is that you involve your child at every stage. Plan together so that both of you can obtain maximum benefit from the break. Find some things that you can do together, and some things that your child can do without your direct supervision. Find some parks for them to play in, or some entertainment provided by someone else so that you can spend some time without constantly having to occupy them for the whole time. If you want to find out some places for your family holidays, you can download the free ebook Best Destinations for Family Holidays.
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