Most parents find toddlerhood the hardest time to fly, mainly because your child is big enough to climb around on the seats but not old enough to read, play Nintendo or watch the in-flight video (although portable DVD players are a godsend). So from 18 months until about four, consider short hops within Europe. On charter flights, pay extra to book the premium seats, so you can minimise check-in time and stress. Think about paying for lounge access in busy airports at peak time.
Consider breaking the journey on a long-haul flight, with a stopover in, say, Singapore en route to Australia. Research airlines that go the extra mile for children – Gulf Air, for example, has fantastic (and free) Sky Nannies to help parents with children’s meals and entertainment during the flight.
At your destination, you’ll have to have a child-proof hotel room or villa, checking on things like balcony railings, power points, loose wires and sharp edges. The food will be ‘foreign’. You have to travel with a huge army of toys. Car tolerance may be limited. With children this age, you may appreciate some backup on holiday, although don’t gamble too hard on the children’s club being your salvation as not all children will settle, particularly if they haven’t started nursery at home.