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A well-planned holiday can be fun and educational for junior.

A FAMILY holiday, even a short one, will do everyone some good. Mundane routine gives way to spontaneity and excitement. For your toddler, holidays can be educational as well. His first encounter with the sea or his maiden ascent to a mountain resort provides many rich experiences for his development.

Nevertheless, to ensure maximum enjoyment and minimum hassle, some preparation and forethought are necessary. Picking the right kind of holiday is important.
Theme parks provide children with endless hours of fun.

Destination of choice

Ocean cruises may become frightening for toddlers when the sea turns rough. A five-city tour is too taxing for someone so young. A holiday that revolves around museums, art galleries and heritage sites will literally bore toddlers to tears. So will one that weaves in and out of shops and more shops.

Ultimately, the best choice may be a one-destination holiday that allows the family to unwind in a family-oriented resort while scheduling some kids’ activities into the itinerary.


If you are planning a trip abroad, find out from your doctor whether immunisation is required. You can find helpful information on potential hazards associated with international travel and ways to minimise health risks from the World Health Organization’s site at

If your child suffers from allergies like eczema or asthma, the local weather should also be taken into consideration as you do not want to trigger a skin flare-up or asthma attack on vacation.

Safety first

Regardless of the mode of transport, safety should be uppermost in your mind. If you are driving, make sure your child uses a safety seat. If you are flying, it would be safer, albeit more expensive, for the child to have his own seat and be buckled up during air turbulence instead of merely being held by mummy.

If your child is prone to motion sickness, avoid giving him fizzy drinks, sour fruits and juices like orange and pineapple prior to and during travel. Discourage him from reading when travelling as this aggravates motion sickness.

If he travels poorly, ask your doctor for advice beforehand. And remember to pack some plastic bags, lots of wipes, a change of clothes, and a bottle of water in a tote bag for cleaning up should your little one vomit.

Food matters

Food can be a major problem for travelling toddlers. They may not be keen to try the local cuisine or the food may be unsuitable for them.

You might want to pack along your child’s favourite cereals so junior can enjoy a familiar and nutritious meal.

During the vacation, make sure junior gets enough water, fruits and vegetables as he may become constipated due to the change in routine and a lack of exercise.

You can stave off traveller’s diarrhoea by eating well-cooked foods, especially meats, washing fruits thoroughly, consuming only pasteurised fruit juices and milk, and observing good hygiene like washing hands properly before eating. Always choose clean eateries.

Boredom busters

Whether your little one is cruising in the air, sight-seeing in a foreign land or chugging along in a train, a tantrum may erupt and cause annoyance to others. Try to avoid tantrums by making sure that your child is not hungry, tired or bored. Have on hand nutritious snacks when meals are not available on demand. Encourage him to nap.

Pack a few of his favourite toys to occupy him. If you are driving to your holiday destination, let the whole family stretch their legs at rest stops along the way. Some rest stops have playgrounds. Allow your toddler to play a while as the exercise and fresh air will improve his mood.

Fun activities

What are some of the activities that toddlers enjoy during vacation? An all-time favourite is the local beach where junior can play with sand and water or blow soap bubbles into the sea breeze.

Remember to use sun protection cream on junior as children’s delicate skin burns easily.

Another must do is a fun-filled day at a theme park, enjoying endless rides and games. If your destination boasts of a zoo, farm or orchard that is open to visitors, do slot in a visit. Most kids love watching animals and these visits are educational, too. Sight-seeing may interest little minds but do not cramp too many attractions in a day as over-stimulation and fatigue may make your toddler crabby.

Every wise decision, from choosing a child-friendly hotel to packing comfortable clothes and down to allowing junior’s teddy bear to tag along, helps to make the holiday an enjoyable one for the whole family.


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