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Are you a new parent or planning to travel with kids abroad for the first time?

Travelling with the whole family can be an exciting time but requires some planning and organisation.

To help, we have gathered some top tips for holidays with toddlers so you can be guaranteed a smooth-sailing trip to remember!

Are they old enough to travel?

The first decision to be made is whether or not your child or children are old enough to travel abroad. In general, it is recommended to stay closer to home for the first 8 months of a baby’s life.

Between regular feedings and nappy changes, travelling with an infant can be a challenge.

However, most airlines will allow babies as young as either one or two weeks old to travel on board.

If your baby was born prematurely you must wait until their initial due-date has passed, and if the baby was conceived by caesarean section you need to wait until after your check-up appointments before getting the green light.

If you are in any way unsure, it is a good idea to consult your travel plans with your GP and airline just in case.

What to bring

If this will be your first vacation with infants, you may worry about having enough supplies in your suitcase.

If you are tight on space or weight, it could be a good idea to buy certain supplies at the other end in a local supermarket or pharmacy. Either way, the main thing to do is prepare and plan in advance.

Some essentials to bring are:

  • A passport travel pack with everyone’s passports and boarding passes
  • High factored waterproof sun cream
  • A first aid kit
  • Adapters to suit your location
  • Enough medication (if required) to last the entire trip plus a few extra days, and any prescriptions for such
  • Their favourite toys and teddies
  • Enough games, movies and music to keep them entertained on both journeys and during the days

A good investment to make would be a small portable DVD player, or one which can store movies or TV shows downloaded in advance, which can provide hours of entertainment.

Where to go

For a family vacation with toddlers, staying in Europe can often be the easiest plan.

But don’t worry – Europe offers a huge array of destinations and cultures to be explored not far from our doorstep.

Some of our top pick destinations for the best places to holiday with kids are:

  • Spain (Alicante, Costa del Sol, Malaga)
  • Portugal (Albufeira)
  • Italy (Lake Garda, Lake Como)
  • France (Île de Ré, Bordeaux)
  • Greece (Santorini, Corfu)

Where to stay

Once you have chosen your ideal destination, it is a good idea to find some children-friendly hotels or apartments in the area. Lots of hotels or aparthotels host kids clubs during the day and offer fun night time entertainment for the whole family.

They may also offer babysitting services at an affordable price. These types of hotels are great for kids’ holidays.

Kids clubs mean that your child can make friends and give you and your partner some quiet time to enjoy during the day. It offers the best of both worlds to ensure that everyone has a good time.

Click here to see Europe’s best-rated kids clubs in some of the most family-friendly destinations.

What to do

 And now for the fun part! We all know how important it is to spend some quality time with the kids during the holidays.

It can be a good idea to research your destination in advance to see what activities are on offer and to see if you can save money by buying tickets for events or parks online.

Our top picks for family holiday activities are:

  1. Water parks
  2. Boat rentals
  3. Horse-riding
  4. Canoeing
  5. Cycling

By planning these activities ahead in advance, you stand to save a good amount of money by taking advantage of special offers and advanced booking discounts.

Camping holidays

Another type of popular holiday would be a family camping one. Family campsites come fully equipped with plenty of entertainment and facilities for every age, and often provide a safe and secure environment.

France is a popular European destination for a family camping trip, and offers some of the best holidays for toddlers. If you have ever dreamed of warm Summer nights camping in a park or near the beach, this is a must!

Take a look at L’Atlantique, Bonne Anse Plage and Les Méditerranées for some top-quality French campsites especially designed to cater for children of all ages and facilities to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

And last but not least… Make sure to travel with peace of mind

Travelling with the whole family can at times become a stressful ordeal. Make it that bit easier and stress-free by ensuring you have travel insurance for your family before you jet off on your holiday.

Ucompare.ie can take the time and effort out of finding the best deal for your family’s travel insurance by helping you get the perfect insurance policy at the best price.

Having travel insurance will allow you to relax in full peace of mind throughout all stages of your journey knowing you will be covered if anything goes wrong.

You might be surprised by how often problems can occur while travelling.

Everything from mobile phone and safe robberies to accommodation cancellations can be quite common and these are not pleasant experiences.

Invest in your safety and security by spending a small percentage of your total trip costs on travel insurance and enjoy your family holiday to the max!

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