Holidays with babies and toddlers can bring a plethora of new things to consider. As well as considering whether a hotel is equipped for little ones, you also have to factor in travel time, weather and access to amenities while you're there. It can be tricky to find the right balance between them all, but there are plenty of family-friendly resorts, towns and cities both in the UK and further afield that parents and little ones will love.
We've rounded up some of the best holiday destinations for families with toddlers or babies, including Europe's very first baby hotel, some beautiful beach resorts and even some far-flung places for those who aren't put off by the idea of a long flight.
Costa Del Sol, Spain
Easily reached within three hours of the UK, you'll have plenty of amenities close at hand along the coast at popular destinations like Costa Brava, Costa Blanca, Costa Dorada or Costa del Sol on mainland Spain. While a self-catering villa or apartment would be ideal if you want to prepare your own meals, it may be worth paying a little extra for an all-inclusive resort, as they will have a selection of children's meals that even fussy eaters will enjoy and offer the convenience of having food available pretty much around the clock.
The Baby Hotel, Austria
As the name indicates, the Baby Hotel in Austria is the ideal place to go with your little one. Europe's first baby hotel offers 80 hours' childcare each week for babies, has special menus for nursing mothers and a full-board option for formula-fed babies. You'll also find dedicated baby-and-parent activities, as well as a spa and fitness centre where adults can relax and enjoy some time away knowing their baby is well looked after.
The Algarve, Portugal
There is much to offer young families at the Algarve, with both lively and quieter resorts depending on what you fancy. Visiting out of season will still offer great weather without temperatures being too hot for sensitive babies and toddlers.
Center Parcs, UK
Each of the five Center Parcs villages across the UK is suitable for holidaying with a baby or toddlers, with lots to explore and activities including swimming pools which have separate areas for youngsters, while the crèche offers three-hour sessions for children up to 35 months. The accommodation is fully-equipped too; lodges are fitted with stair gates and have high chairs and a cot.
Bulgaria has many unspoiled Blue Flag beaches that are both clean and safe, so you can have fun playing in the sand or paddling in the sea with little ones. Nessebar has both old and new towns to explore, with plenty of places to shop and eat during the day and early evening before you retreat to your hotel or villa for your baby's bedtime.
Although it's a slightly longer flight to take with a baby or toddler, the Canary Island of Tenerife is a great choice for a holiday with little ones at any time of year. Some of the most family-friendly resorts include Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje. Choose your hotel carefully, as you'll want a place where you can unwind and spend the evening without disturbing your baby once they've gone to bed.
If you fancy a city break, Rome is ideal for young families. Not only is it easy to explore many of the sites on foot, the streets are relatively flat for getting around with a pushchair. You'll also find specialist tours for kids and families, such as a two-hour walking tour featuring quizzes and scavenger hunts around the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
Another child-friendly Italian destination is Tuscany, where you can indulge in pizza and gelato in the Italian sunshine, while your tots can spend their days playing in the pool. The medieval town of Lucca is completely flat and easy to navigate with a pushchair, but you might want to consider travelling out of season as temperatures soar during the summer months and it may be too hot for babies and toddlers.
If you're prepared to travel further afield, Bali is an affordable baby-friendly option. Canggu, Ubud, Jimbaran and Nusa Lembongan are said to be among the most family-friendly areas. Hotels are well-equipped with cots and highchairs, while you can easily book a nanny or babysitter to take care of your tot while you have some alone time, or even join you on your outings to have an extra pair of hands.
The Windy City is another long-haul destination that is easy to explore with a baby or toddler. Once you've got over the journey, you can take in attractions like the Navy Pier and Shedd Aquarium, or take a free stroller tour at some of the city's museums, such as The Field Museum and The Museum of Contemporary Art.
Exploring Greece with your baby or toddler can be an enjoyable experience for all, thanks to the child-friendly culture that often sees youngsters eat free at restaurants or stay for free at hotels. One of the best places to go is Athens, where you can see historic landmarks like the Acropolis and wander around the picturesque neighbourhood of Plaka with your children in tow.
New Forest, UK
You can't go wrong with a trip to the New Forest with youngsters. There is so much to see and do, including visiting Paulton's Family Theme Park – home to none other than Peppa Pig World – sure to be a big hit with toddlers.
Try Sir Richard Branson's new Son Bunyola retreat in Majorca for a luxurious family holiday. The estate covers 680 acres of land and includes three villas, which each have their own private chef and a full concierge, while there is also a babysitting service on offer. Alternatively, if you're on more of a budget, head to one of the popular beach resorts like Cala D'Or, which has lots of affordable and child-friendly accommodation, small and safe beach coves, along with activities like the MiniTrenet tourist road train and numerous children's parks where toddlers can play.