Holidays to Menorca with a toddler
Going on holiday with a toddler is very different to holidaying as a couple! You need to find a destination you think you'll all enjoy, then decide how to get there and where to stay. All in all, it requires a lot of careful planning so you can all have a fun and memorable holiday.
Holidaying with a toddler: the essentials
When my husband and I were deciding where to go with our two-year-old son, there were various things we had to consider, such as the type of destination, travel arrangements and more. We eventually settled for a holiday in Menorca in the Balearic Islands. Only a two and a half hour flight away from the UK with sandy beaches, gentle warm waters and a good range of accommodation - it seemed like the ideal holiday destination. If you're researching where to go on holiday with your toddler, you might be thinking about these essentials:
Finding a child-friendly flight
We chose to fly with Jet2.com from Leeds Bradford Airport as the flight departed at a civilised 8am, and allowed us to take 22 kg baggage (two kgs more than easyJet) and also 10 kgs hand baggage so we could fit in lots of snacks, books and DVDs to keep a two-year-old entertained.
Plus, the seats were allocated so there were no long queues at the gate to make sure we boarded the plane first to get seats together.
Where to stay with a toddler
We had booked a two-bedroom apartment in Son Parc on the north of the island - 10 minutes walk to the beach with direct access to a toddler swimming pool. There was a good selection of beach toys, which saved us having to bring them or buy them, and extra toys within the apartment that were a lifesaver when we had a bit of rain.
The barbecue on the balcony was a hit with me and my husband on an evening after the little one had gone to bed.
Getting out and about to explore Menorca
A hire car is a good option for exploring the island. We'd heard a lot of good things about Cala Galdana so we headed there for a day trip. This was one of the most picturesque beaches on the island, surrounded by pine-clad trees with a light gold shoreline lapped by gentle waves.
There were no massive rollers to knock over a small child here! It was ideal for building (and smashing) sandcastles, and paddling and playing in the sea.
Finding somewhere to eat
We also had lunch at a very child-friendly restaurant called Toboggan. This had a large outdoor patio where we could sit and watch our son enjoy the children's play area. There was also mini-golf and a kids' waterslide suitable for young children that was only 1 Euros for 3 rides.
The food was pretty good and reasonably priced too - I had a lovely tuna salad ciabatta and my husband had a burger. As with the majority of restaurants in Menorca, there was a comprehensive children's menu too.
Checking out the beaches and things to do
The beach at Son Parc was also a real gem - crystal clear waters with a large sandy beach that wasn't crowded. The water was very shallow, which meant we could take our son paddling without worrying that the ground would drop away suddenly.
For the older children, the excellent snorkelling opportunities at the right hand side of the bay proved popular. On one of our days here, we hired a pedalo boat (12 euros for an hour) and took him 'sailing', which he loved. He really enjoyed looking for fish and finding other boats!
It wasn't just the beaches that made Menorca a great holiday destination for toddlers and small children. In all the places we visited, there were some fun playgrounds. These were clean, well maintained and there were separate sections for smaller and older children.
Continuing with the playground theme, we were really impressed to find a play area for small children in the Departures lounge at Mahon Airport when we were flying home. This was perfect for keeping him entertained whilst waiting for the gate to be announced. Again, there were plenty of seats around it for parents to sit and keep an eye on their children and it was immaculate and well maintained.
In my opinion, holidays to Menorca are ideal for small children and parents wanting to have a fun family holiday together. By next summer, we will have a 3-year-old and a newborn baby, so Menorca is definitely high up on our list of places to go for our summer holiday.
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