The Ages & Stages series continued…
Planning Tips for Travel with a Baby 12 to 18 Months
Your child may look more like a “staggerer” than a toddler through much of this phase, and even though he is on his feet, he may be very unsteady and prone to falls. He will likely want to spend every chance he gets perfecting his walking skills, whether he is still cruising from object to object or sprinting off in sheer delight, and heads up! He may also be reaching new heights as a climber, as well.
Where to go:
If you hope to relax on your vacation, it may be more important than ever to look for accommodations that are prepared—and safe—for small children. Rethink exotic retreats with hard tile floors, or sleek hotels with “edgy” furnishings. Look for a family-friendly hotel or resort that anticipates small children, where you won’t have to spend all the time in your room distracting your child from the AC controls, or steering him away from a glass coffee table (see the Checking-In Safety Checklist for help on arrival and recommended products for Travel Safety & Childproofing On the Go).
You are now entering the window of time when it can feel like a charming vacation rental or the homes of extended family members can have many more safety concerns than you’ve bargained for (see Staying [Safe and Sane] with Friends and Family in Chapter 3 of Travels with Baby). If you truly want to relax on your vacation, this is an especially good time get acquainted with child-friendly resorts or cruise lines that may have a play room for toddlers, a playground, and/or a kiddie splash pool where your child can be active in suitable surroundings.
If he will still nap in the stroller (see our recommended travel strollers here), this may provide you with opportunities to enjoy some attractions and activities during his naps that he might lose patience with in his waking hours. A travel bed, travel cot, or Pack ’N Play with tall enough sides to keep her contained when she wakes from a nap can be very helpful and important for her safety. Find more tips for naptime sleeping and nighttime sleeping during travel in Travels with Baby’s Chapter 5: Preparing for Changes.
He may now be eating more of the foods you do, which could help simplify things so long as there are not concerns of food or water safety for your destination. If there are, see Travels with Baby‘s Chapter 9: Going Farther Afield and the section on Food and Water Safety, and be sure to discuss the status of your child’s Hep A vaccination with your pediatrician before travel.
Best bet vacations:
Beach vacations (see Tips for Planning Great Beach Vacations with Babies and Toddlers and Deciding Where to Go in Travels with Baby), camping trips, shorter trips by airplane (see more tips for flying with baby and toddler), and family-friendly cruises (see Five Things You Should Know Before Planning a Cruise with a Baby or Toddler and for more help, read Part IV: Travels by Cruise Ship in Travels with Baby).
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