How to travel with kids

Having a little one needn't limit you to Holiday Parks and caravans. While you might have to put some of your more adventurous travel plans on hold for a few years - or at least until your child is out of their stroller, which could be a challenging push up Kilimanjaro - there are plenty of tot friendly travel options.

You just need to know about them. And in the best traditions of World Reviewer we've asked an expert to advise us on the best kid-friendly travel.   

That expert is Emma Barnett from, a site that specialises in matching your family with the right holiday. And we put a few questions to her about where to take your brood.

What are the five best destinations you know of for tot travellers?

TenerifePortugal, Mauritius, St.Lucia, Greece & Cyprus

If you have your own tot, what do you think makes a great travel experience for them?

  • A good swimming pool preferably with a graduated entrance or a nice paddling pool, somewhere very child friendly where children are made a fuss off! 
  • Good food selection. 
  • Comfortable sleeping area or cot and a happy mum and dad always helps!

And what are the five best tot travel experiences you'd recommend to give them when they're little? 

  • Swimming pools are a favourite with any small child as its usually a novelty. 
  • Space in a hotel room for them to explore including a safe outdoor area to give them a bit more freedom.
  • Aeroplanes are always exciting.
  • Kids clubs/playgrounds provide a new experience with the opportunity to mix with other small guests...
  • ...and finally the opportunity to stay up a little bit longer so somewhere that offers a kids disco or some evening entertainment is always a winner.

Do you have any suggestions for avoiding unpleasant flying experiences?

Ensure there is a change of clothes and water or juice to be given on take off and landing to avoid ear problems. Get some new toys to give them a novelty on the plane and keep them entertained for a while. Ensure their sleep routine is adhered to where possible as a tired child is often a grumpy child! Giving a child a window seat is always a good idea and regular walks up the aisles will ensure they don’t get too restless. I find night flights on return journeys where possible always work better as children are most likely to sleep. A portable DVD player is a very handy piece of equipment!

And do you have any advise for people booking tots into hotels in advance - is it better to be up front with all your bookings or do you think it puts some people off?

The earlier you book a hotel, the better choice of rooms and rates. Also, as interconnecting rooms are not always guaranteed, these are normally allocated on a first come first served basis so the earlier you book the better. Booking early also ensures availability at the kids clubs, babysitters available etc. and most hotels offer early booking incentives so it's worth taking advantage of these. Also airfares only ever go up closer to travel so these are also worth securing earlier. 

What could airlines and hotels do better, if anything, to make it easier to travel with little ones?

Allocating seats on low cost airlines would be a bonus to ensure families are always guaranteed to sit together. I think most family friendly hotels get it right but my one biggest bug bear is that many hotels don’t offer plastic cutlery/ crockery at mealtimes so you are often panicking about smashed china! One family hotel we represent gave my kids oversized wine glasses for their drinks!

Thanks Emma, for sharing your good advice with us. If you like what you've read and have a little one yourself head over to Totstoo, where they're currently running a competition where you can win a luxe selection of travel toys

If you've taken your brood on any holidays that stand out as being brilliant or dire then please let us know where you headed and help us make all family travel happier.  

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