Most toddlers are creatures of habit and routine, and our toddler is the same. She is happiest when she has consistent mealtimes, naptime, and bedtime. When we go on vacation, however, we undoubtedly break that routine due to flights, long drives, hotel stays, restaurants, etc. I believe the exposure to new sights, sounds, and stimuli is good for her, but I can see that the lack of routine leads to lack of sleep and irritability.
Many countries don't have dinner options before 7 p.m. (some much later) which means staying up past bedtime if we eat out. Nap time will be on-the-go, not in a crib due to check-out times from hotels and our (selfish?) desire to sightsee. I'm happy to spend some time at playgrounds, but I don't want to only see playgrounds when there are centuries of art and culture to explore.
How can I plan my vacations so that everyone in the family is most comfortable and happy? How much importance should I place on our toddler's sleep and entertainment vs. our own?
This question differs from Balancing children's needs with a parent's own needs in that it is specific to special circumstances while traveling or on vacation.