Make your holiday with baby memorable for the right reasons

It's impossible to plan to the tiniest detail, but some judicious planning can make that first holiday with baby a lot less stressful. It's never just a case of bundling your bundle of joy into the car and heading off for a week in the sun. There's all the baby paraphernalia to think about – bottles, bibs, nappies, you know the endless list – and when you get there, your baby might not be interested in what you want to do. Your best option is to choose a holiday home where you can all relax, with room for your little cherub to safely explore while you get a chance to chill out too.

Where to go with your babe in arms

Every family is different, so you'll have to choose your holiday based on what will make you all happy. For baby, the destination won't matter as much as the fact that you're all in a fun holiday mood. Whether it's a rural retreat in the UK or a Mediterranean villa close to the beach, it's important to make sure your holiday rental is well equipped for your little one and doesn't involve an epic trek to get there. A few smart considerations can make your days away a lot less taxing and much more relaxing.

Where to go on UK holidays with baby

With little kids, a break in one of the UK's traditional seaside towns could be just the ticket. Nothing quite beats the charm of spending days on the beach with buckets and spades or exploring rock pools. You can take your pick from holiday lettings in a wide range of seaside destinations, from Bournemouth to Blackpool, where there are plenty of sights and activities to keep your beach baby occupied. Or, your family might prefer a countryside break, away from the crowded hotspots, where your baby can get excited at seeing animals in the fields and spend the day toddling in gardens or parks.

Where to go on European holidays with baby

If you decide to take your baby on a first holiday abroad, you probably won't want to sit on a plane for hours – a short hop to France or Spain is probably the limit of their endurance at this age. The Mediterranean resorts of Spain offer some great family friendly beaches and masses of other activities, like water parks and playgrounds. You could even take the train over to northern France, where a rustic farmhouse with a private pool could be just a couple of hours away from home.

Travel considerations on holidays with baby

Taking a young child on holiday can be a daunting prospect, and there are all sorts of surprises that having a small baby can throw up – no pun intended. So pack carefully and do your homework before setting off, so you'll be well prepared when it comes to planning a suitable day out or making an emergency nappy run to the nearest supermarket. Detached holiday homes are ideal, so you won't have to worry about the neighbours when you're woken up in the middle of the night.

Beach holidays with baby

A beach holiday can be great for little kids, who love digging holes and being buried up to their necks in sand. Rock pools and ice cream stalls also hold an alluring fascination for young children – and some of us mums and dads. Think about booking a holiday home that's not far from the beach, so you can beat a hasty retreat when your little one suddenly decides he or she has had enough. And if you want to take baby paddling in the sea, go for a beach with shallow waters and gentle waves.

Holiday rentals for baby

Don't forget this is your holiday too, because planning a trip with very young children can feel like a military operation at times. With so many essential baby accessories, it's worth looking for holiday rentals where at least some of these are already provided, like cots and high chairs. The big advantage of a self-catering home from home is that you can eat, play and change nappies whenever you need to – before enjoying some downtime yourselves whenever baby's asleep. You have to plan ahead with a baby in the family, but it needn't take over your holiday completely.

Tips for holidays with babies

Some babies travel better than others, so if you don't fancy a long drive with a disgruntled infant in the back seat, look for somewhere within easy reach. And before you book it, check up on exactly what's available at your chosen holiday home. Many will be used to hosting little kids and will be set up accordingly, but others might be more focused on grown-up guests. Make sure you know where the nearest shops are, because babies often call for extra unexpected supplies. And a washing machine can be a real godsend, as all new mums and dads will know.