How to Pull Off an Active Holiday with a Toddler

Toddler smiling and happy in a kayak

When it comes to going on holiday with your toddler, there can be a lot of different things you need to consider and plan ahead of time to ensure that you get the most out of your time away. For many parents, the prospect of going away with a toddler is too much to handle, and the thought alone makes them postpone any vacations until their child is a bit older.

However, not only is there no reason why you can’t enjoy a fun and relaxing time away with your toddler, but you can also make it an active holiday. An active holiday is where you spend time taking part in organizing activities, such as sports and outdoor adventures.

While some parents assume that sports activities are incompatible with family holidays that include a small toddler, many active holidays are available for all the family, regardless of age or ability.

Yet, as a parent, we can understand your apprehension about going on an active holiday with your toddler, so we have put together this handy guide that provides you with top tips to help you pull it off.

This post is part of our Toddler Travel Advice series – pop over and see all our travel tips and product reviews for this age group

Plan Your Activities

When you have been on relaxed holidays in the past, you may not have felt the need to plan your itinerary before you travel, but it is important that you have a rough schedule of what activities you plan on doing with your toddler before you leave home. This is because you will need to ensure that the activities are suitable for their age group, and many of the most popular activities get booked up quickly.

Also, by having a plan for how you will spend your active holiday, you can keep your toddler’s routine as normal as possible. Too much disruption to their schedule may make them a grumpy travel companion to have on the trip with you!

Schedule Breaks

Active holidays are well-known for often being strenuous and tiring, which is why many parents are put off going on them with their little ones. Therefore, it is important that you keep in mind how tiring an active holiday can be for your toddler and schedule regular breaks for them.

If your toddler is used to having an afternoon nap, then you should try to plan your activities around that. Be sure to make the time to rest in your active holiday itinerary.

Toddler sleeping - building in rest time to your adventure travel

Expect the Unexpected

As a parent, you will know how unpredictable children can be, so just like when travelling on any trip with a toddler, it is important that you are prepared for every eventuality. The unexpected is always bound to happen when travelling with a toddler, so make sure that you are ready.

It is advisable to travel with a first aid kid, some snacks and toys so that, wherever you are, or whatever activity you are about to enjoy, you have the things you need to keep your toddler looked after and entertained.

It doesn’t matter how well you have planned your active holiday or how amazing the activities are that you plan on doing while you are away; your toddler is sure to have their own itinerary that they want you to stick to. Therefore, it is important that you are flexible and accept that the plans you have may change.

Check out our guide to the top 20 Toddler Travel Essentials

Have the Right Equipment

It is advisable that you have activity equipment with you so that you can create your own fun in case you need to.

For example, by having your own inflatable stand-up paddleboard, you can enjoy some watersports wherever you are.

Water sports can be toddler-friendly as well, and as these iSUPs inflate in as little as 5 to 7 minutes you can create your own fun quickly and without it costing you too much money.

Don’t forget to pack appropriate safety wear for your tot! Try one of these toddler-sized wetsuits to keep them warm, and these learn-to-swim vests are ideal in the water.

Be Realistic

In order to successfully pull off an active holiday with a toddler, it is important that you are realistic about what you will be able to do during your trip. While you may have previously enjoyed extreme sports activities on your active holidays, this is unlikely to be achievable when you have a small child with you.

Be sure to only book activities that are suitable for a toddler, such as small hikes or short water adventures, otherwise, you may find it’s more than just your toddler that ends up in tears.

Toddler adventure activities child hiking

Do Your Research

However, while it is important that you are realistic about what you can do on an active holiday with a toddler, you should do your research beforehand. There are now more family-friendly and active holiday experiences available than ever before, so an active holiday can be fun for all the family.

Don’t let the addition of your toddler put you off an active holiday. Instead, by doing your research and having access to the equipment you need, you can ensure that you have an amazing time away with all the family.

What are your top tips for continuing active holidays with your toddlers?

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