9 Important Things to Remember When Travelling with Young Children

Travelling with young children can be a daunting prospect at the best of times, but the gradual return to normality after the past couple of years can only add to our stresses!

Read on for the most important things to remember when travelling with young children.

Follow these 9 great tips to make travelling with young children easier and less stressful, so you can all enjoy your trip much more.

Travel is fun and exciting, whether you go 50 miles from home or 5000, but travelling away from home with young kids can also be difficult.

You're either reliant on unrelaiable public transport, or taking a car and risking being delayed by traffic or road works.

You don't know what food will be available when, what the beds will be like, how to maintain a schedule or rhythm with all the activities and the possible time difference.

It's a minefield!

Wherever you are going, transporting your brood from one place to another can certainly present problems.

But there are ways to make family travel easier - and more fun.

Follow these 9 tips to make your next trip with kids easier and happier for everyone:

1. Expect the best, prepare for the worst

It’s easy to get stressed out just at the thought of having to organise, pack for and mobilise your little army.

There’s so many things to remember, and the thought of how badly behaved they can be may cause anxiety and a frayed temper even before you set off.

If the kids pick up on this and become anxious and grouchy themselves.

Before you know it, the whole trip seems doomed before you even begin!

2. Plan for all outcomes

So give yourself plenty of time to plan, organise, and anticipate possible outcomes.

What happens if you miss a train or connecting bus service?

What if someone feels sick?

Think back to previous trips and any incidents that made them difficult, and try to give yourself the tools and the breathing space to deal with problems should they happen.

What went wrong before?

What caused a drama, tantrum or complete meltdown?

What is likely happen this time?

There are a hundred possible things that could go wrong on any trip, but some are more likely than others.

Buses and trains can be late, tickets can disappear and then reappear out of thin air, and so on.

Take the time to nip potential problems in the bud and you will find the whole process less fraught. 

Planning is the key to remaining calm and staying in control whatever might happen.

3. Book your tickets well in advance

By booking tickets well in advance, not only do you avoid the disappointment of not being able to travel on your preferred date at the ideal time, but you will usually be able to take advantage of lower prices.

You may also be able to reserve specific seats, so you can position yourself close to the toilet if you have very young children that need to go often.

On coach and bus services there may be wider rows of seats at the back allowing your whole group to sit in a line together, making it easier to keep an eye on how everyone is doing without having to lean over the backs of seats or across gangways.

4. Bring your own food with you

this will keep everyone happy, stave off the hangries, and save a small fortune at rail and service stations.

In fact, the true value of being able to produce food at an appropriate moment cannot be over-estimated. 

You never know when food is going to be available or when hunger will strike, so win one of the easy battles and be prepared with some tasty and nutritious goodies for your journey.

A mobile picnic or quick snack can also help break the monotony of a long journey, or the boredom of waiting for a travel connection.

5. Encourage kids to bring their own bags

With cool and trendy backpacks and kids' travel cases available for children as young as three, there’s no excuse for the little ones not to help out by carrying a few of their own things.

Plus they can have everything they need at hadn for the journey.

Have them pack some small games or toys, books, food or anything else that might be of use on your trip. 

Children love to be involved and feel responsible, so they will love this!

Hint: a few tubs of Playdoh will while away hours!

Read more: Best Travel Toys for Kids

6. Getting on and off transport

Trolleys full of luggage and armfuls of kids can be tricky to manoeuvre through crowded terminals and platforms, and this is usually the most stressful part of any journey.

Making your connection and getting everyone and everything on board is tricky.

Never be afraid to ask for assistance.

Visit the information desk at train stations and coach depots, and ask for help to load your luggage while you take charge of your little ones.

If there are no staff available then ask another traveller.

You will usually find people far more willing to help than you might expect, particularly if it is clear that you have your hands full!

7. Don’t let them get too bored

Long journeys are usually boring.

Eye spy and other games (think of ones that can be played even without a pen and paper) can pass the time fairly easily.

You could also bring books or comics to keep them occupied for as long as possible.

If you're bringing games consoles, phones and tablets then make sure that devices are charged before you set off and that you have any spare batteries needed.

Read more:

8. Be as comfy as you can

A couple of small cushions (inflatable ones are great) and fleece blankets can make all the difference between a cold cabin and a cosy little snug.

A comfy place to just sit and relax could even see small children nodding off for the duration of the journey.

9. Remember that they’re children!

Above all, remember that no matter how much effort and planning you put in, not everything will always run like clockwork - especially when kids are involved.

Expect that it might not go as smoothly as you want and go with the flow.

So, plan as much as you can in advance; then stay calm and keep them entertained.

And remember, whatever happens, don’t let it get to you.

You’re going to get there in the end.

It’s up to you how you feel when you do.

Read more:

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