If you’re planning ahead for a family getaway in 2024 – especially over the school holidays – we’re here to help with this reviewed edit of the best family holiday destinations.
Whether you’re hoping to jet off to France or you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful family holiday in Spain, there are some bargain deals around at the moment. So if you haven’t got a family holiday booked yet, now is the time to start looking!
We reached out for expert tips from Frankie & Becky, the founders of Tiny Travelship, a global community of over 26,500 parents seeking and sharing stylish family travel recommendations, tips & tricks and expert itineraries.
Frankie & Becky, what’s your advice to parents travelling with babies
- Make the most of it. Contrary to popular belief, travelling with super young babes is a lot easier than you may first think (first time family travel nerves aside). Before tots are crawling, when they’re still small, sleepy and super portable, the world really still is your oyster. Board those long haul flights now, before you have a terrible toddler to contend with, and don’t rule those bougie boutiques off your bucket list just yet as a surprising number warmly welcome babes in arms.
- Don’t fear the flight. A smooth flight begins way before take off. When flying with a baby, it definitely pays to plan ahead. Even if you want to walk your baby to the plane in their pram, it’s well worth bringing your carrier too as walking your tot up and down the aisle in the air can help them fall asleep (we love the Ergobaby 360, £129.90, £129.50). Feeding on take off and landing really helps babies to equalise their ears, so if you formula feed, pack a lot more than you might have planned to account for this. Try and book a front row seat so you have plenty of space at your feet for easy to reach essentials (don’t forget a change of clothes for yourself as well as the baby) and check the bassinet policy of your airline as these can vary – for example, Virgin Atlantic allocate according to age, giving the tiniest tots priority, whereas British Airways operate on a first come first serve basis. Remember, your baby is never as loud as you think – most people will be wearing headphones on the flight and the holiday is always worth the journey.
- Pack smart. While travelling hand luggage-only might be a thing of the past, that’s not to say you can’t travel (relatively) lightly. More and more hotels, villas and even Airbnbs have an extensive range of parental paraphernalia, from cots and highchairs to baby baths and buggies. Email in advance to see what is available and don’t be afraid to ask for photos if it makes you feel more comfortable – particularly of car seats and cots.
What’s your advice to parents travelling with toddlers
- Make your life as easy as possible. You know your toddler better than anyone else, and the parental pain points you experience at home won’t magically disappear on holiday, so tailor your getaway with these in mind to relieve stress all round. If your child hates the car seat, look for hotels or home stays close to the airport, with plenty of facilities on site (come rain or shine). If it took your tot a while to warm up to nursery, don’t expect them to run into a Kids Club without a backwards glance – it may be that you get your adults only time via post bedtime babysitters instead. If you have a fussy eater or allergies on your hands, self catering options can be a life saver – this doesn’t mean ruling out hotels, but looking for those ‘best of both; gems e.g. Chateau Les Carrasses and Martinhal Sagres which have onsite restaurants as well as accommodation options with fully equipped kitchens.
- Consistency is key. Toddlers are creatures of habit, so try to recreate a home from home vibe on holiday. This doesn’t mean sticking rigidly to your every day routine, but creating a sense of familiarity in new, unfamiliar surroundings by packing favourite comforters, bedtime stories, and introducing your tots to their new sleep environment as soon as possible – bonus points for playing games and making them giggle in their new cot.
- Be space savvy. Don’t be a prisoner to your baby’s naps while you’re away – there is nothing worse than knowing the sun is shining outside whilst you’re trapped in a darkened room. Separate sleep spaces don’t need to cost the earth – you can get creative and turn a walk-in wardrobe or even a bathroom into a makeshift nursery. Think about where your baby monitor will stretch to during nap times – while a private pool is the ultimate parent pleaser, small gardens, patios or even balconies can also be a godsend.
Holidaying with babies and toddlers can be significantly more challenging than an adult break – have you considered the travel time, the weather and what child-friendly amenities the hotel or apartment offers?
Trying to find the perfect balance can become very stressful, so we’ve rounded up some of the best holiday destinations for toddlers and babies you should consider for 2024.
How we chose the best holidays and hotels for babies and toddlers
- HELLO! reviews: The HELLO! editors are often hosted on trips either in a group capacity or with a family member. The writer will evaluate whether the hotel looks suitable for kids or babies.
- Online reviews: We trawl through the reviews looking for parent opinions on the best places to go on holiday with your kids.
- Expert verified: The list has been checked over by the experts in this article, tinytravelship.com features lots of parent pleasing properties, all visited and verified by a fellow family.
The best family-friendly resorts for babies & toddlers
Meet the experts
Far from being your stereotypical travel influencers sharing their personal trips, Frankie & Becky, the founders of Tiny Travelship, pull on the collective knowledge of their global community of over 26,500 well travelled parents, who share their top family friendly finds with them. From world-class parent pleasing hotels to hidden gem homestays. The dynamic duo are building a big (little) black book of stylish family travel recommendations you can trust, as each and every one has been visited and verified by a fellow family. Head to tinytravelship.com for more parent pleasing properties, and follow on Instagram for daily inspiration, itineraries, insider reviews and the chance to share your own recommendations.