Tiny Travelship founder Frankie shares her top sanity-saving tips on how to make your family holiday a parent-friendly one.
Age isn’t just a number
Not sure where to start on picking a parent-friendly pad? Factor in how old your little one will be at the time of travel, and consider the below practicalities, as advised by Tiny Travelship mama Chloe from @thatholidaymum.
0-6M – THE ‘GO ANYWHERE PHASE’
This age is the easiest in terms of deciding where to go, now is the time to make the most of your sprog being small, sleepy and super portable. Board that long-haul flight whilst you still can! The world is still very much your oyster. You’d be surprised how baby-friendly most places are, even if they don’t actively advertise as such. More than just welcoming tiny travellers a lot of hotels, villas and even airbnbs are getting savvy to modern mamma’s needs and offering a whole range of baby equipment, from the standard highchairs and cots to bottle warmers, sterilisers, baby monitors,toys and even bouncers and prams. Check what’s available at your destination and don’t be afraid to ask for photos.
In the wild south west corner of Mauritius you’ll find LUX Le Morne, backed by incredible mountains to the rear and crystal clear oceans to the front. A postcard perfect paradise. It may be a 12 hour flight from the UK, but if you get a night flight it’s not that bad. Plus, the time difference is only 3 hours – so no jet lag!
6-12M – THE ‘WEANING PHASE’
At this age villas or Airbnbs can be the easiest option because of the access to a kitchen for weaning. If your Tiny Traveller is in their own room at home, it can be helpful to look for places with separate sleeping spaces. There’s nothing worse than being a prisoner to your baby’s naps on holiday. This doesn’t need to be a suite with a second bedroom, you can make a nursery out of a walk-in wardrobe or even a super large bathroom. Don’t underestimate the value of rooms with outdoor spaces, so you can still soak up the sun whilst your little one sleeps. Even better are pool or beach front rooms. It’s worth checking with your accommodation from which rooms the baby monitor range will stretch.
Le Moulbot is a hidden gem just outside of Tavira, on Portugals ‘authentic’ Algarve. A mere 2hr 30 flight from London followed by a 40 minute drive, getting to this charming casa is a breeze. The gorgeous infinity pool has a shallow end, perfect for water babies, plus there’s a small (but fully formed kitchen) and study that can be used as a second bedroom.
12-18M – THE ‘TODDLING PHASE’
By far and away the least relaxing phase where you realise you need eyes on them allll the time! And when you might want to consider staycations over long haul travel. Consider the safety features of properties carefully. At this age you realise quite how dangerous a hotel room with stairs or a bunk bed is for a toddler on a mission.
A stone’s throw from Stonehenge sits six gloriously converted stables on a working farm. The Farm at Avebury is home to dreamy decor and farmyard friends. You know a property has been designed with families in mind when nappy bins are provided alongside cots and highchairs.
18-24M – THE ‘TIRE THEM OUT PHASE’
Now it’s important to find places with, or very near to, big open spaces and play parks. This age is the turning point when holidays need to start incorporating their needs a bit more, most importantly to keep them entertained. If you’re staying in a luxury hotel check family swim times, whereas some places allow children in at all times others only allow a limited number of hours a day.
If you’re looking for the independence and space of self-catered villas, but without the household chores, serviced villas are where it’s at, and Peligoni is the best of the best. There’s no accommodation on-site, instead you choose from a range of villas surrounding a central beach club – home to brilliant food, amazing kids’ facilities and the attentive service you’d expect from a luxury hotel
Now you’ve found your perfect pad, it’s time to talk packing.
‘Mamas need magical Mary Poppins-esque bags at the best of times, more so on holidays when multiple outfit changes, endless entertainment and mountains of SPF are required. We swear by the gorgeous XL Terry Tote; it’s the bag that keeps on giving and giving in terms of space. Plus it’s some serious arm candy to boot. When travelling tiny it pays to be Monica-level organised, that’s why the matching changing cube is such a genius idea. We filled ours with sun cream and snacks – so the essentials were always in easy reach,’ Frankie
Our tiny travel essentials are:
- Nappies, swim nappies, a travel changing mat and nappy bags for dirty diapers
- Swimwear – it can be hard to find stylish and safe swimwear, especially for little boys. Grass and Air not only looks good, but you can feel good wearing it as well – made using recycled plastic it’s good for the planet (and the photos)
- Wet bag – for the aforementioned wet swimwear
- SPF 50 – we love Bondi Sands and Beauty Pie for mamas and Toddle Born Wild for minis
- Bath toys for the pool
- Scrunch collapsible bucket and spade
- Travel fan
- Baby sunglasses – Izipizi have some of the best
- Sunhat – Little Hot Dog Watson are both functional and fashionable
- Bubbles and sticker books – always a crowd pleaser
- Babymoov anti-uv tent – it’s better to be safe than sorry and bring your own shade with you, these collapsible tents are super portable and give such peace of mind
- Beach Powder – an all natural eco-friendly alternative to talc, perfect for successfully removing sand from tiny bodies
- A holiday read – we can but dream!
- Snacks, snacks and more snacks, handily housed in a snack pouch
Tiny Travelship was created to pull on the collective knowledge of mamas-well travelled to act as your expert resource for researching, planning and designing a dream family holiday. A collection of design-led, parent-first holidays curated by a global community of style-seeking mamas. Follow Tiny Travelship for boutique stays and personalised days.