Travelling with children!
We’ve done our fair share of journeys with toddlers now and over our travels we’ve found what works and what doesn’t! So I thought I’d share my top tips with you all. If you have any of your own gems then please share them in the comments, after all we need all the help we can get.
- Pack a set of extra clothes and a plastic bag for the journey.
- Plan activities for the journey. Remember children have short attention spans. Think magazine, snacks, snap, eye spy, puzzles.
- Allow children to take their own carry on luggage. Just make sure it’s not too heavy for them or else you will end up carrying it!
Make sure your devices are all charged up to the max.
- Consider getting audiobooks.
- Take a toy for the plane that can attach to the seat belt. Alternatively use a child friendly carabiner to attach the toys to and then to attach to the belt.
- Download programmes, games and films for them onto a tablet or smartphone.
- Invest in a pair of headphones for the devices. It prevents disturbance to others and also can help keep nervous children calm.
- Take a ‘present’ on journey, it could be a reward for being good.
- Take a travel pillow.
- Take sweets for landing in an effort to reduce ear pain, for babies a milk feed should help.
- Take plenty of nappies. Account for delays. You can buy nappies at airports but have they got the size you need in stock? They will be overpriced too!
- Make sure you have more formula milk than you think you’ll need. Think, spillages and delays.
- Unsure if it is a good idea to travel with a baby? Think – are there any health concerns? Is the baby mobile yet? Is the baby weaning? If the answer is no to these then it may be a good time to fly with a baby. A baby who has begun to mobilise is much harder to keep calm on a flight.
Don’t have an agenda. Children have their own and it changes! Be prepared to take each day one at a time. Be prepared not getting to see everything you hoped to.
- Make sure you check if any vaccinations are needed prior to travelling.
- A sling or baby carrier is a must. Babies can be comforted being close to mum in a carrier. You have your hands free. Just remember babies get warm next to you so don’t over dress them.
- Clothes for travelling – layers are best and also compact easier in luggage. Thick jumpers take up lots of room. Think comfort, stretchy pants, pumps/trainers that children can manage themselves. No dungarees/belts/awkward buttons.
Need to sterilise small items or bottles. Consider a travel steriliser or even a sandwich tupperware box and sterilising tablets. The latter tends to take up less room.
- Consider buying fruit pouches. They may not be cheap but they’re a great way of getting your child to have some fruit without it being messy.
- Nappy sacks make great little bin bags.
- Some airport lounges accommodate children, these are great as they tend to have games/TV’s/Tablet devices/food/drink etc.
On any journey make sure the children (and yourselves) keep sipping water. Dehydration can cause grumpiness and headaches and occurs more often whilst travelling.
- Make sure you have a toilet trip just before boarding and just before getting on any coaches or in taxis.
- If you are going to be hiring a car – make sure you remember to take the car seat. Airlines will carry them free of charge.
- Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get to and through the airport or train station or ferry port. We all know children DO NOT NEED THE TOILET and then at the last minute REALLY NEED THE TOILET! Allow an hour more than what you think you’ll need.
PLEASE PLEASE ADD YOUR OWN TIPS IN THE COMMENTS…