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Stress-free Travelling With Children

By Vikki Ashton

May and June are perfect months to travel with a young family, before the heat of the summer hits and the school holidays send prices skyrocketing. But as parents will know, travelling with children can be so stressful that we sometimes wonder if it’s worth the effort! However, with some careful planning and lots of tricks and tips up your sleeve, your journey could be calm, stress-free and perhaps even enjoyable.

So here are a few ideas and tips which will help keep children occupied on a long journey and get your much-needed holiday off to a winning start.

  • Set expectations before you go. Explain the trip to the children and help them understand what will be happening so they feel prepared and know what to expect. Consequently, they will be less overwhelmed and more relaxed.
  • Leave plenty of time! Doing anything with children in tow always takes longer than you expect, and the last thing you want to do is miss your flight and end up running ragged through the airport. Think about how much time things will realistically take – and then add another half hour just in case.
  • Snacks, snacks and more snacks! Food is a great distraction for kids, and no-one wants a hangry toddler on their hands so stock up with rice cakes, crisps, cereal bars, fruit, sweets and more – anything you can think of that will keep hunger at bay.
  • A small lightweight buggy will make your life so much easier both in the airport and when you arrive at your destination. Something that folds down to a small size, is lightweight and easy to carry is worth the investment.
  • These scooter suitcases are a brilliant idea, and the kids will love them. No chance that they won’t want to carry their own bags – winner!
  • If they’re at that age where they are likely to wander off a backpack with detachable rein will really help give you peace of mind in a busy environment like an airport.
  • Be prepared on the first aid front. Don’t forget to pop a bottle of Calpol and a box of plasters in your bag in case anyone is feeling under the weather or gets themselves into a scrape.
  • You should also ensure you have plenty of nappies, wipes and spare clothes in case of an accident. Take more than you think you need – there’s nothing worse than getting caught short on a journey!
  • You don’t need to go mad but treat them to something new like a book or toy to engage their attention and keep them busy for a while. Keep it for when they are starting to get fractious, and it will save the day.
  • Entertainment is key and can make or break your journey, so make sure you have plenty of things to keep your child occupied. Ensure your electronic devices are charged up and you have plenty of games or their favourite TV shows downloaded, have some familiar toys and books to hand or try some of these dot-to-dot printables from Kidadl.
  • One of the main reasons babies cry on planes is because of ear pain. Toddlers and babies can find it difficult to equalize their ears and the pressure can be distressing. Feeding your baby or having something to chew will distract them and help their ears pop.

Everyone’s family is different so the best way for you is not necessarily the same as the next family. The main thing is to enjoy your holiday – plan ahead as much as you can and take things nice and slowly, after all, you’re on holiday and it’s time to relax.

Happy travels x


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