When travelling with a toddler, it can be difficult adapting their routine to the local time zone. That’s probably why Lanzarote in the Canary Islands is such a popular holiday destination with parents – there’s no time difference. So, you’ll avoid the stress of trying to convince a two-year-old it’s time to sleep when they’re still wide awake, and mealtimes will be the same, too. Plus, there are loads of sandy spots for toddlers and young children to make the most of, with 93 beaches across the island. Even better, you’ll get more than your traditional golden coastline here – wow little ones with Lanzarote’s famous black sand. You’ll be digging holes and making sandcastles in no time. And, you can awaken your kids’ inner scientist by exploring the tiny pools caught in the rocks as the tide goes out. Pack beach shoes to protect yourselves from stubbed toes, and spend a few hours spotting different creatures in their mini seas.
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If you need to feed a picky eater on holiday, it’s a good idea to have Majorca up your sleeve. Most restaurants offer children’s menus with familiar meals like burgers, pizza and chips, plus Spanish and international dishes, too, so you won’t have to miss out on a great paella. If you have a little Thomas the Tank Engine fan on your hands, you can hop on board a train to Soller, a 90-minute adventure through the Majorcan countryside. Take your seats in the charming wooden carriages and prepare to cross the route’s spectacular bridges, 13 tunnels, and its five-point viaduct. It’s a great way to see the island without the fuss of driving.
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Have you experienced Ibiza’s family-friendly side yet? If you’ve swapped partying until the early hours for waiting for your little one to fall asleep, you might not have considered the White Isle for your family holiday. But the glowsticks and thumping bass lines are mostly confined to a couple of areas – meaning there’s plenty of Ibiza left for holidays with your brood. Families with toddlers will want to skip diving or snorkelling. But, a glass bottomed boat tour will give them a fascinating window into the world beneath the waves. They’ll love watching the fish and other creatures darting under the boat. And, if you do fancy splashing around in the water rather than on the surface, the Aguamar water park has rides and slides for all ages. You can bring your own food, which is ideal for picky eaters. Plus, there are plenty of changing facilities and lockers on-site, so you don’t have to carry your baby and toddler gear around with you all day.
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Menorca, just like Majorca and Ibiza, is just two-and-a-half hours away from the UK by plane. That makes it one of the best destinations for families, and one of the quickest and easiest options for getting your toddler to the beach with minimal fuss. Plus, family-focused Menorca actually has more beaches than Majorca and Ibiza combined. The island is home to Es Grau beach, famous for its long, shallow shore. The warm waters of the Mediterranean deepen so gradually that you’d have to wade out nearly 40 metres before it gets much above shin level. Toddlers love the shallow water, especially as it’s usually a little warmer than the surrounding areas. Think of it as an enormous natural swimming pool. Menorca’s also the calmest of the Balearic Islands, with a gentler pace than its big sisters. Think relaxed days on the beach, family-run hotels and restaurants, and sparkling marinas.
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If you’re looking for a baby-friendly holiday somewhere a little different, consider Sardinia. Italian culture couldn’t be more welcoming of babies and children, so your ‘bambino’ will be fussed over wherever you go. Restaurants delight in serving little ones, though high chairs can be hard to come by, so you might want to pack a portable. Look out for the ‘trattorias’ that locals visit with their young children for the best child-friendly waiters and menus. At the beach, you can amaze wide-eyed tots with Sardinia’s unusual rock formations. Tick off Roccia dell’Orso, which looks like a bear, and Roccia dell'Elefante – a giant elephant-shaped rock standing tall at the edge of the road. Or, if you’d prefer your wildlife to be a little more active, Sardinia has a real treat in store. No toddler can fail to be mesmerised by the sight of flamingos in their natural habitat, after all. These bright pink birds are the highlight of the San Teodoro Lagoon.
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Ready to take the plunge with your toddler?
Check out our TUI FAMILY LIFE hotels, with their special Baby Club and Baby Lounges. And with pre-bookable equipment, you don’t have to pack the kitchen sink to make sure you have everything you need.
Author: Natalie Howells
The TUI FAMILY LIFE Coma Gran is just a minute’s walk from Sa Coma’s soft, sandy beach. You’re also right next to the town’s main drag, where you’ll find a choice of bars, shops and restaurants.
The TUI FAMILY LIFE Baia di Conte takes inspiration from Sardinia’s sense of family, and it’s sandwiched between a private beach and a national park.
Fun-loving families will find the best of all worlds at TUI FAMILY LIFE Club Aura, a peaceful hotel with free entry to the waterpark next door, and only minutes from buzzing San Antonio.
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